Analyzing PFF Grades from Week 3 and so far in the regular season.
The Tennessee Titans offense for the second week in a row has shown us that it can dominate and take over a game. Similarly to Week 2, the Titans continued to be persistent in the run game and it paid off. The Titans continued to run the ball, which resulted in breaking the Seahawks’ stout defense. The Titans rushed for 195 yards on 35 carries for an average of 5.6 yards a carry. What stood out the entire game was the offensive line and their dominance over what could be said is one of the best front sevens in all of football. This was reflected within the Titans top five Pro Football Focus grades.
Top Five Grades:
- T Taylor Lewan, 91.1 overall grade
- LB Wesley Woodyard, 86.8 overall grade
- G Josh Kline, 85.6 overall grade
- EDGE Brian Orakpo, 84.8 overall grade
- S Kevin Byard, 83.0 overall grade
Some of the players that stood out to me are also the Titans’ highest Pro Football Focus grades. Lewan and Kline have been the two best offensive linemen for the Titans and one of the reasons why the Titans are ranked second in rushing in the NFL. Woodyard is playing out of his mind and might be the best Titans inside linebacker, and maybe the best in the AFC South. Orakpo, in my opinion, has played well thus far, but his grades have not reflected his performance, though this week it is a different story. Lastly, another player who has dominated, Byard again is just too good to strictly play free safety, as he has excelled in run defense.
OT Taylor Lewan, 91.1 Overall Grade:
I just recently heard an interview of Lewan talking about how when he gets on the field he wants to kill his opponents. I thought this was going to be true after the dirty hit by Richard Sherman. Lewan looked like a man possessed. He continues to dominate both in the run and pass games with grades of 86.8 and 82.9, respectively. As of Week 4, Lewan is ranked as the No. 2 tackle in the NFL, below Joe Thomas.
QB Marcus Mariota, 56.0 Overall Grade
Similar to Week 2, Mariota struggled early in this game but got right back on track. During Mularkey’s Monday press conference, he stated that Mariota got on his wide receivers to run better routes. This resulted in Mariota getting back on track and resulted in 225 yards, two touchdowns and a completion percentage of 62.5%. According to Pro Football Focus, Marcus is ranked as the 21st quarterback with a 74.3 rating. I think as Mariota continues to get in sync with the offense, his numbers will increase and we will be talking about him being a top 10 quarterback.
ILB Wesley Woodyard, 86.6 Overall Grade
Woodyard is playing like a man possessed this year. Woodyard had eight total tackles and made his presence felt both in run defense and pass coverage. As of Week 4, Woodyard’s ranked as the 24th best inside linebacker with a 78 grade and a 78.4 run defense grade. If Woodyard continues to keep this up, he might have his best year as a pro.
S Kevin Byard, 830 Overall Grade
Second-year man Byard continued to make plays both in the run and pass games. Byard only allowed one completion on four targets when in pass coverage. He continues to make his presence known both in pass rushing and run stopping. Kevin is ranked as the 17th best safety with an overall grade of 81.8. He also rank as the fifth best safety in pass rushing. Byard continues to play at a high level and is one player on defense I am excited to continue to watch.
G Josh Kline, 85.6 Overall Grade
What a steal Kline has been for the Titans. They grabbed him off waivers last year and he’s been a great contributor to this offensive line. Currently, Kline is ranked as the third-best guard in the NFL with an 87.1 overall grade and an 87.1 & 85.4 passing block and run blocking grades, respectively. Kline has continued to be a constant for the Titans offensive line and might be the best lineman no one is talking about.
EDGE Brian Orakpo, 84.8 overall grade
A man who has continued to play well but his grades have not truly reflected his performance. This game really showed how well Orakpo has been playing. Orkapo only had two tackles, but he was constantly in the face of Russell Wilson all day. He is ranked as the 34th best edge rusher in the NFL with a pass rush grade of 80.6. I think Orakpo will have another great game as he will be facing a weak offensive line in Houston.
Titans Projected Lineups for Week 4
Pro Football Focus provides both offensive and defensive matchups for the upcoming week based on the teams’ projected line ups. I have provided below both the offensive and defensive projected lines that Pro Football Focus believes the Titans will use in this game, which includes the players’ overall rankings though three games.
Note: I think many will be wondering what the specific colors are underneath the players’ names. Below I have attached the key Pro Football Focus provides.
Titans offense: Two-Back
Titans base offense: Two-Tight End
Titans offense: Three-Wide
Walker, Lewan and Kline though three weeks are playing at elite/all-pro levels. Conklin, Decker, Fowler and Murray’s overall ratings are low but continue to increase week after week and their play continues to show. All four of these players all had a really good game against the Seahawks last week. I think their play will continue to get better as they face a pretty good defense in Week 4.
Titans Nickel Defense
Titans 3-4 Defense
Byard is playing at an all-pro/elite level though three weeks and I think his success will continue throughout the year. Jackson’s overall grade might be low, but week after week he continues to improve. I am very excited about how far he has come since Week 1. Brown’s play has been up and down like Jackson. I think he will continue to get a better and will be a special player for the Titans.
Williams and Williamson’s play back up both players, as they have not looked so great. Williamson in pass coverage and Williams as a run stopper have underwhelmed. If their play continues, would you think the Titans will need a replacement for both? If Williams does not pan out, this signing might be the only blip on Jon Robinson’s resume. Williamson showed signs early in his career that he could be an three-down backer, but this has not been the case this season.