Defensive Line – C-
Jason Jones limping off the field 2 plays into the game was almost as bad as losing this game. Without Jones collapsing the pocket, Matt Schaub and Peyton Manning will be impossible to stop (x4). Jacob Ford has to become a better tackler or he will have no value in run situations. Tony Brown (tackle) draws holding penalties like… well, Albert Haynesworth did as a Titan.
Linebackers – C
The endless exploitation across the middle of the field has to stop. Fortunately, of the remaining division games, only Marcedes Lewis has the ability to be a serious problem for the Titans. Stephen Tulloch dropped an interception on the only Washington Redskin drive that resulted in a touchdown. A captain’s “C” is earned in critical situations exactly like that one.
Defensive Backs – D-
Santana Moss gave the Titan secondary fits, regardless the coverage or personnel. Michael Griffin and Cortland Finnegan have both had better days. Chris Hope blitzing off the edge is a good use of his experience and particular skill set. Jason McCourty is a liability as a nickelback. If Alterraun Verner had intercepted that pass, how would he not win Defensive Rookie of the Year?
Titan Player of the Week:
Will Witherspoon (4 tackles, pass deflection, interception) – Witherspoon created another big play and could be the solution to the tight end exploitation of this defensive unit. Witherspoon should be able to cover the likes of Jacob Tamme (Indianapolis Colts) and Joel Dreessen (Houston Texans). And he should be given the opportunity to do this assignment.
Terrible Player of the Week:
Jason Babin (3 tackles, 1 sack; Unsportsmanlike conduct penalty) – Babin started the day on the right foot (sack) and essentially ended it on the wrong foot (penalty). This penalty is inexcusable and tacky for the former first-round draft pick. I am looking for Babin to bring the best yet on Sunday as he battles his old teammates. Come on, Jason!
Overall Defense Grade – C-
At the end of the day, the Titan defense forced four field goals and only allowed one touchdown in roughly 5 quarters. The Tennessee Titans are on a losing streak for lack of offense, not lack of defensive effort or serious defensive weakness. This defense is settling in to its new role. And as long as the Titan defense keeps it close, they will receive a passing grade.