Tennessee Titans matchup: Jeremiah Poutasi vs Vic Beasley
By Will Lomas
The Tennessee Titans have a tough matchup this weekend with the Atlanta Falcons. When you think of the Falcons the first things that come to mind are the wide receivers.
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Starting with one of the most underrated receivers of this generation in Julio Jones. The talented young star gets his name put behind Antonio Brown, A.J. Green, Odell Beckham, and other young skill players because he plays for a team that just hasn’t been able to live up to the level of their talent. However, he and Roddy White are one of the best duos of receivers in the league year after year.
As interested as I am to see Perrish Cox, Cody Riggs and Coty Sensabaugh all try to match up with that talented group, it is the Tennessee Titans offense that will be the story of the night.
With that in mind, my matchup to watch is Vic Beasley vs Jeremiah Poutasi.
Vic Beasley (for Tennessee Titans fans that don’t know) was one of the most explosive edge rushers in college football last year. He is a pure speed rusher that occasionally flashes the ability to counter inside. He is a tough test for veteran tackles, much less a rookie like Jeremiah Poutasi.
Poutasi (who has been running with the Tennessee Titans second string offense) has been better than expected after a bumpy start to mini camp. While some consider him to be a more natural fit at guard, the Tennessee Titans have liked what they have seen of Poutasi outside and haven’t given him any sort of meaningful snaps on the interior.
Poutasi reminds me a lot of D.J. Fluker who was a first round pick by the San Diego Chargers a few years ago. He doesn’t have great speed, but when he latches on to you and -whether it is in pass protection or when he is opening a hole in the running game- he doesn’t let go.
On passing downs it will be interesting to see how well Poutasi can kick slide and whether or not he is reaching for such a fast edge player. I have to give the advantage here to Beasley.
On the other hand, the running game flips the script. The Tennessee Titans rookie should bully the smaller Vic Beasley and open up the “B-gap” for any sort of interior runs that the Tennessee Titans want to try with their bigger backs like Jalston Fowler, David Cobb and Antonio Andrews.
Overall, I think the Titans will send a tight end over to help Poutasi since Byron Stingily (who will probably be the second string left tackle) has much more experience on an island. That should reduce Vic Beasley’s ability to get to the quarterback quickly. Then in the running game I imagine that Poutasi will dominate and force the team to bring in another edge defender.
So while I think Poutasi will get the better of this matchup, if the two were on an island outside and it was 3rd and 10, I would have a slightly quicker clock in my head if I were the quarterback.