In breaking down the play-calls, it was obvious what the Titans were most comfortable with Collins under center and in the way they protected him. Tennessee knew, especially after two first-half sacks, that protecting the 16-year veteran was of the utmost importance. So, the Titans did more max protecting than in probably any game this season.
By TitanInsider's unofficial count, they stayed in the two-tight end formation for nearly 50 percent of their play-calls on Sunday, going with that package on 29 of 60 snaps. How do we know it was max protect? Craig Stevens, the blocking tight end, caught no passes and was targeted just three times in the game.
Once the Titans got up eight points after Kenny Britt's third TD catch of the game, they also went strictly to the run game to try and salt it away, up 27-19. After that score with 5:03 to play, Tennessee used 10 straight rushing calls over two series, getting field goal in the process before Cortland Finnegan's late pick-six for the final margin.
Let's look at how the the play calls worked:
Tennessee ran 25 first-down plays
--In the two-back set, the Titans ran six times for 16 yards on first down and had one incomplete pass.
--With two tight ends on the field, the Titans ran five times for 14 yards on first down. Collins was just 4 of 11 passing here, but thanks to the 80-yard bomb to Britt, he finished with 118 yards passing.
--The Titans pretty much mothballed the three-receiver look on first down, using it just once with an incomplete pass the result.
–In the heavy package with two backs and two tight ends, the Titans ran one first-down play just after Alterraun Verner stopped an Eagles drive at the Tennessee 3 with a fumble recovery. Chris Johnson lost two yards from this set on his only carry.
Tennessee ran 22 second-down plays
--The Titans had decent success running the football on second down with two backs on the field, gaining 31 yards on six carries on second down. Collins completed his only attempt for three yards.
--In the two tight-end set, Collins was deadly accurate, hitting on 8 of 10 passes for 102 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He was also sacked once from this set.
--From their three receiver package on second down, Tennessee ran once for five yards, and Collins was sacked for an 8-yard loss.
--In the two back, two tight end look, the Titans ran once, but gained no yardage.
Tennessee ran 13 third-down plays and converted four times
--The Titans gained eight yards on their only running play from the two-back set. Collins completed his only pass attempt form this formation for five yards.
--The two-tight end formation was Tennessee's bread-and-butter for most of the day, except on third down. Tennessee used it for only one play on third down, and the result was an incomplete pass.
--The Titans used the three-receiver set on nine of their third-down tries. They ran three times for just two yards, but went 3 of 5 passing for 46 yards. Included in those five attempts were the 26-yard touchdown pass to Britt in the first half, and an interception on their opening drive of the first half. Collins was also sacked once from the three-wide package.
--The Titans called the heavy formation once on third down, gaining two yards.
Play call tendencies
--First down: Run/pass ratio 12-13. The 12 rushing calls gained 28 yards for the Titans, while the 13 passing plays were boom or bust. Collins completed just four of his throws, but one was the 80-yard score to Britt, pushing the passing totals to 118 yards.
--Second down: Run/pass ratio 9-13. Tennessee gained 36 yards on the nine rushing calls against the Eagles on second down, but it was in the passing game where most of the damage was done. Collins hit on 9 of 11 passes for 105 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. He was sacked twice on second down.
--Third down: Run/pass ratio 5-8. Tennessee gained 12 yards on the five rushing attempts, with a couple of these run calls coming late in the game, while trying to protect an eight-point lead. Through the air, Collins was 4 of 7 for 51 yards and a score. He was also intercepted once and sacked once.