Titans OC: 'We've been humbled the past two weeks'


Matt LaFleur's first season as an NFL play-caller has been one wild roller-coaster so far.

Early this season the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator was forced to game-plan around Marcus Mariota's bum elbow. Now he's back to the drawing board following Week 6's shutout and 11-sack day.

The Titans haven't scored a touchdown in two weeks. After the thrilling Week 4 overtime win against the Eagles, Tennessee has been a sleepy, sloppy, discombobulated operation.

In an interview with Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean, LaFleur was asked how the team gets back to scoring touchdowns.

"I don't really know the answer to that. But it's a new week, a new plan, and our guys, they came to work this week," he said. "There's no doubt about it. ... Unfortunately, this is a humbling league, and we've been humbled the past two weeks."

The Titans rank dead last in the NFL in offensive touchdowns this season, 30th in points per game, 30th in total yards, 28th in yards per rush (3.7), and 29th in passer rating.

With no support from the run game and receivers who can't gain separation, Mariota has struggled to move the ball. Sunday's 11 sacks were the perfect storm of a problematic offense and a sticky, fiery defense. Early in the shutout, Mariota had nowhere to go with the ball even when he had time. As the sacks piled, up the gun-shy QB began to let his eyes drop, seeing the rush. When that happens, the offense is toast.

"Yeah I think any time that happens, that's a tendency throughout the game," LaFleur said of the sack parade. "And that's where I've got to step in and do a better job of making sure we've got some throws that get the ball out of his hands. Or scheme up some different protections. You know, credit to Baltimore; they did a good job and I think there's a reason they're the No. 1 defense right now. They're a talented group. But bottom line, we've got to be better. We expect better, and we know we can be better."

To be fair to LaFleur and the Titans offense, they faced two of the NFL's top defenses in the last two weeks. The Ravens and Bills rank No. 2 and 3 in Football Outsiders' DVOA metrics.

The job gets only slightly easier this week in London against a Chargers defense in Los Angeles (12th in DVOA). After coaching his butt off to start the season under less than ideal circumstances, LaFleur knows he needs to get his offense back on track in a hurry.

"I think every game is different, and I think last week unfortunately we got outcoached and we got outplayed," he said. "And that starts with me. Like I said, pretty humbling experience."