Tennessee Titans revamped defense gets huge test


Last year the Tennessee Titans had the 27th ranked defense in the league in yards allowed, giving up 373 yards a game. After five games with legendary coach Dick LeBeau overseeing things, the Titans are allowing just 313.6 yards a game…good for third best in the league.

Free agent acquisitions Perrish Cox (cb), Brian Orakpo (lb), and Da’Norris Searcy (s) have all contributed heavily. Linebacker Derrick Morgan was re-signed, and is well on his way to a career year in sacks.

And defensive end Jurrell Casey has returned to his 2013 Pro Bowl form. At times he has been simply unblockable.

As improved as the unit has been, those stats come with a caveat. The Titans have faced these four quarterbacks in their first five games….

Jameis Winston, Johnny Manziel, Tyrod Taylor, and Ryan Tannehill.

Not exactly a fearsome foursome.

This week Tennessee’s revamped defense faces it’s first real test of the season, when the Atlanta Falcons bring their high powered offense to Nissan Stadium this Sunday. Atlanta is not only a top 5 offense in yards per game (407.3, 4th), but they finish off drives at an elite level, averaging over 30 points a game.

The Falcons have a three-headed monster on offense…qb Matt Ryan, wide receiver Julio Jones, and running back Devonta Freeman.

Ryan is currently third in the league in passing yards. Freeman is currently second in the league in rushing, and Jones is currently second in receiving yards.

Pick your poison, and I mean that literally.

If it’s a shootout, they’re well equipped with the Ryan and Jones connection. If you take that away, then the Falcons have no problem pounding you with the run game. Freeman has 9 touchdowns already.


But just like the Titans, Atlanta’s stats come with a caveat. In six games, they have only faced one defense currently ranked in the top ten in yards allowed (Washington, 8th).

In the sample size preseason opener between Tennessee and Atlanta, Julio Jones shredded the Titans’ first string secondary…albeit against a vanilla defense with plenty of new pieces playing together for the first time.

The Titans will game plan this time, so there will be no excuses.

Tennessee’s revamped defense draws the perfect opponent this week to show that they are not just improving on paper.

Next: Are injuries and offensive line the problem?

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