Who is the best defense in the league at getting to the passer? The Broncos? Nope. The Jets? Nope. The Patriots? Nope. Carolina? Nope. The Tennessee Titans.
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But Will, the Denver Broncos have three more sacks!?! That is true, but the Titans are getting sacks at the highest rate in the league per pass attempt. With 31 sacks on just under 300 attempts the Tennessee Titans are averaging a sack on around 11% of all opposing passing attempts.
That is an insane pace right now and there is no reason why that should stop. With Dick LeBeau and this aggressive defense that brings pressure from everywhere, it is a tragedy that the offense can’t get going because we may be missing the Tennessee Titans best defense in team history.
What may be even worse is that Brian Orakpo could be missing out on a chance to earn the comeback player of the year award. For those that don’t remember, Orakpo was not a highly sought after pass rusher this offseason because he had two peck injuries in three years and was looking like a player who just wasn’t safe.
Despite that, the Titans took a chance and gave him a nice contract signing him through the 2018 NFL season. Well, with the defense better than ever and the Titans now having book end pass rushers with Jurrell Casey and Wesley Woodyard in the middle, it is safe to say that this gamble has paid off.
However, it isn’t just his impact on the defense as a whole that should be getting recognition, his individual stats are also impressive. Even if you include an early season lull he is on pace for 11.5 sacks this season which would be a career high.
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If he can somehow manage to keep the pace he has set the last four games, he would end the season with 14.5 sacks which would have tied him for fourth in the league last year.
He is the key cog that makes this defense work as well as it is, and because the offense can’t sustain drives or force the opposing team to pass more to keep up he isn’t even getting the numbers he should be getting. The Titans aren’t going to the playoffs this year, but they have several key building blocks for the future and anyone who doesn’t see him as comeback player of the year material is crazy or just isn’t watching him play.