Tennessee Titans hardest 2015 games: #16


With the NFL (pre)season about to start it is time to actually look forward to the season ahead and start thinking about where the Tennessee Titans stand. I will make a season projection after a few preseason games, but in the meantime I think it is interesting to rank the games I see as the easiest (#16) to the hardest (#1).

So with that said, here is a look at this ranking.

#16: Week 1 @ the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rookies vs Dick LeBeau?

So, everyone should know by now that part of how Dick LeBeau has earned a reputation as one of the league’s best defensive minds is how completely he destroys rookie quarterbacks.

According to a 2013 ESPN post (with numbers I have updated), Dick LeBeau’s defenses have a record of 20-2 against rookie quarterbacks.

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From that original post here are some insane figures that explains just how scary LeBeau’s defense should be to rookies by the numbers (these numbers are not adjusted to include the 2014 season):

“• 61 – The Steelers defense has made a habit of dragging down rookie QBs, totaling 61 sacks in 18 games.”

“• 167 – Rookie quarterbacks have averaged 167 passing yards per game against Pittsburgh since 2004.”

“• 20 – Pittsburgh has 20 interceptions (against just 12 passing touchdowns allowed) in that span. The Steelers have held rookie quarterbacks to one passing touchdown or fewer in 16 of the 18 games in that span.”

So, while Jameis Winston is seen as the future of the Tampa Bay franchise, it is going to be very hard not to start of on a bad foot here.

No challenge for Marcus Mariota?

Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David are two very good players, but outside of that what do the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have defensively? Quick, can you name the one player on the Bucs rosters that has more than three sacks and who isn’t named Gerald McCoy.

If you said Jacquies Smith, then wow you really know your stuff.

On the back end who exactly are you afraid of? Alterraun Verner is a good player, but ideally he is your second best cornerback and the team is forced to throw at him. Now the Tennessee Titans can gameplan to just attack Johnthan Banks who has been one of the worst cornerbacks in the league over the last two years.

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  • The lack of pressure Marcus Mariota will find combined with the lack of a decent defensive backfield, should make for an easy day for Marcus Mariota.

    Also, if you want to take it even further past personnel, head coach Lovie Smith is famous for vanilla cover-two coverage defense that is one of the easiest to read for a quarterback.

    What home field advantage?

    Just to top it all off, the one argument that people are going to make that might hold some weight is that it could be hard for a rookie to start out on the road. Well…you say that but…

    So the last time that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won a game at home was December 8, 2013. That means that they have only won one game at home in the last 22 games.

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