Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Mike Vrabel continues to dominate NFL head coaches in key area


46 MINUTES AGO (october 31, 2023)


NASHVILLE -- If you want to know what makes Mike Vrabel such a good head coach, you need not look further than how his Tennessee Titans do coming off the bye week.

With a 28-23 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Vrabel improved to 6-0 as the Titans head coach in games after the bye week. When you give the players extra rest and Vrabel extra time to prepare, the Titans are a wagon.


But it's not just Vrabel's undefeated record off the bye that is so impressive. It's the dominant fashion in which Tennessee has won so many of these games. Accompanying that 6-0 record is a 6-0 record against the spread and a shocking point differential. Vrabel's Titans have more than doubled the scoring output of their opponents (179-83).

Once again dating back to the start of 2018, the Titans are averaging 22.5 points per game in weeks with regular rest. There is a significant jump to averaging 29.8 point per game off the bye.

Here's a look at the game directly after the bye in every season since 2018 (Vrabel's first year):

11/05/2018 - W 28-14 @ Dallas

11/24/2019 - W 42-20 vs. Jacksonville

10/13/2020 - W 42-16 vs. Buffalo

12/12/2021 - 20-0 vs. Jacksonville

10/23/2022 - 19-10 vs. Indianapolis

10/29/2023 - W 28-23 vs. Atlanta

So what exactly does Vrabel and the Titans organization do so well when given extra time to prepare?

"We just try to focus on getting better. I think we focus on improving and doing things that are going to help us win," Vrabel said when I asked him earlier this week. "I think for me as the head coach here, it's frustrating sometimes like yesterday, when we were really, really close to putting teams away...We make it a little closer than what it should be. But that's this league sometimes. All the credit to the players for going out there, performing and being ready to go."

Not the most insightful answer from the head coach, but who can blame him? Whatever Vrabel and the Titans have going on in their approach to the bye week is working. That might be best kept close to the vest.

But it's undeniable at this point. This is more than a coincidence or trend. You could even take things one step further and point to the Titans' 4-1 record in games following Thursday Night Football. Mike Vrabel and his coaching staff do a better job than other staffs of getting prepared and approaching weeks with extra rest

That could bode well for the Titans against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10 after playing in Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

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