This weekend, the Tennessee Titans will be faced with the stiff challenge of overcoming one of the league's best defensive units. Led by their emotional leader Ray Lewis and the playmaking exploits of Ed Reed, moving the football against the vaunted Baltimore Ravens' defense is no walk in the park.
Despite the difficulty surrounding the arduous task, getting solid yards against their defense is a dream that can become a reality. Stealing a phrase from the immortal Hank Stram, "matriculating the football down the field" against Ray-Ray and Co. is a goal that can be accomplished.
How so, one may ask? Answer: The Giant formula...
Back in November, the New York Giants were able to accomplish the unthinkable in their 30-10 victory over the Ravens. Via the efforts of Earth, Wind and Fire, the G-Men accumulated 207 yards on the ground against a Ravens' run-defense that is known for shutting down opposing runners.
On Saturday, the Tennessee Titans should emulate the Giants' gameplan consisting of the three P's:
Brandon Jacobs set the tone against the Ravens on that windy afternoon by powering his way to 73 yards on only 11 carries. On one play in particular, the 6'4" 264 lb. Jacobs hammered his way to a 36-yard gain that served as an omen for the remainder of the day:
"You tell me," Jacobs said when asked if his run down the left sideline set the tone for the game. "I think it did right away. The guys knew right away we could run the ball on these guys. It's not impossible."
Against the Ravens, the Titans should utilize LenDale White in a similar capacity. Sure, he doesn't have the speed of a Brandon Jacobs (here's proof of that) but at 6'1' 235 lbs, White is more than capable of smashing his way to a good performance on Saturday.
After attaining initial success running the football against the Ravens, the Giants didn't abandon their gameplan. Despite an injury to Jacobs that forced him out of the game after halftime, the Giants continued their smashmouth ways, running the ball 33 times and gaining 207 yards on the afternoon.
Patience is a virtue and it will also serve as a key for the Tennessee Titans in their quest to best the Ravens' defense.
This great quote by New York offensive tackle David Diehl sums up the need for an offense to be persistant against Ray-Ray and the bunch:
"They have a great defense, a great front, great linebackers with a lot of experience...You watch film and you see teams get frustrated by only making 2 or 3 yards or getting tackled for a loss...The great thing is, we just stuck to our game plan. We knew that if we just kept pounding away that eventually they were going to crack."
Are you listening, Mike Heimerdinger?
Breaking the Ravens' defense is easier said than done but as indicated by the New York Giants' impressive showing against Rex Ryan's troops, a precedent does indeed exist.
Hopefully, executing the "Giant formula" will lead to giant success for the Titans this weekend.