Although the Tennessee Titan defense lost its top overall defensive rating, make no mistake, this young defensive unit is still one of the best in the league. Just ask Eli Manning. Here’s a quick review of the Titan’s Week 3 performance on defense, including unit grades and selections of the “Titan” and “Terrible” player of the week.
Defensive Line – B
Anytime Stephen Tulloch leads the Titans in overall tackles (9 solo and 4 assists) is generally a good sign. This line has yet to finish a game without a sack in 2010, with Dave Ball continuing the streak this week. Also, since Tony Brown was the victim of simultaneous chop block and face-mask penalties, the Titan D-line should be credited with an additional sack and safety. Allowing too many big running plays leave room for improvement.
Linebackers – A
Will Witherspoon is possessed, leading the Titans in sacks and demanding attention as a serious pass rushing threat. Tulloch is rapidly becoming the rock of this developing defense, while Jamie Winborn and Colin Allred keep Gerald McRath’s spot warm until he returns next week. For the amount of turnover and loss of veteran leadership this linebacker corps experienced in the off-season, this unit has easily exceeded expectations.
Defensive Backs – B
Jason McCourty’s interception was awesome, making his loss in the coming weeks even more painful to bear. Alterraun Verner had a key fumble recovery and will get his chance next week to make an impression. Collectively, the Titan secondary had 38 tackles, 4 pass deflections, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Even in garbage time, allowing 386 yards of passing is too porous for a playoff caliber team.
Titan Player of the Week: Michael Griffin – Leading the Titans in solo tackles, forcing a key fumble, and downing a critical punt on the one yard line is just another example of how Griffin is back and better than ever.
Terrible Player of the Week: Cortland Finnegan – He is arguably the best player on this defense. And it is for that reason that he needs to be held to a higher standard when it comes to his sometimes senseless personal foul penalties. He is a leader, perhaps it’s time he acted like it. Stay feisty, my friend.
Overall Defense Grade – B+
The Titans defense is not getting nearly the credit they deserve for their utter domination of a talented New York Giant offense. At what point do you attribute the mistakes of the offense to the disruptive play of the opposing defense? Forcing key turnovers in the red zone and in the shadows of the the offense’s own goal posts are what good defenses do.
Tags: Alterraun Verner Colin Allred Cortland Finnegan Dave Ball Eli Manning Gerald McRath Jamie Winborn Jason McCourty Michael Griffin New York Giants Stephen Tulloch Steve Smith Tennessee Titans Tony Brown Will Witherspoon