Notable Week 16 PFF Grades for the Tennessee Titans

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 01: Jack Conklin #78 of the Tennessee Titans blocks J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 01: Jack Conklin #78 of the Tennessee Titans blocks J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Tennessee Titans offense was able to give the team a fighting chance to win in Week 16, and it was reflected in the PFF grades.

Even though the Tennessee Titans are on a three-game losing streak, the team played well against a top-tier NFC playoff team. The Titans continue to play the bend but don’t break defense, and even though they couldn’t stop Todd Gurley, they kept the game alive until the final drive. At times, the offense was flowing and was able to move down the field effortlessly using the no-huddle. The offense gave the team a fighting chance until the very end and it was reflected in the Pro Football Focus grades.

Top 5 Performances:

RT Jack Conklin, 86.5 overall grade
LT Taylor Lewan, 83.0 overall grade
LG Quinton Spain, 82.9 overall grade
WR Eric Decker, 82.3 overall grade
WR Corey Davis, 79.9 overall grade

The former 2016 first round selection gets the nod as the top performer for the Titans in Week 16. Conklin has been the most consistent offensive lineman for the Titans this year. Against a tough front seven, the right tackle did not give up a single pressure in 43 pass blocking snaps. He also recorded an 80.7 grade in pass blocking situations, which was second on the team. Conklin continues to dominate in run blocking, recording the highest grade on the team with an 89.7. Conklin was the top right tackle in all of football in Week 16.

The other former first round selection and one of the best left tackles in the NFL, Lewan has made the top five performers for the Titans. Lewan has been very inconsistent this year, which can be said for the entire offensive line. Similarly to Conklin, Lewan dominated in passing situations this week, recording an 87.2, which was highest on the team. Where he has struggled this year has been in the run game, recording a 51 run blocking grade. I hate to beat a dead horse, but this has been a constant for the entire offensive line this year, minus Conklin. On a positive note, Lewan graded as the fourth-best offensive tackle in Week 16.

Three offensive lineman in the top five performers is what Titans fans expected in 2017. Spain has been one of the weakest links on the offensive line. Maybe Spain read my post from a few weeks ago when I called him out.  Needless to say, Spain had to face a very stout front seven and he dominated in the run game. He recorded an 84.4 run grade, which was second-highest on the team. Aaron Donald is a very dominant pass rusher, but he was pretty quiet in this game. Spain contributed to this as his grade reflected, recording a 79.1 pass blocking grade, which was third-highest on the team. As Week 17 approaches, the offensive line faces another tough matchup against the best defense in football. Spain will have to step up and prove himself to earn another year with the Titans.

More from Titan Sized

Decker has really come on as of late for the Titans. He has stepped up while others have struggled, which is what is needed from a good veteran. Decker’s receiving line is nothing to brag about, but what stands out to me is his ability to get his hands dirty in the run game, as he recorded an 80.7 in run blocking. This is pretty impressive for a position that normally gets labeled as a diva position. Decker’s impressive stretch of good performances might be attributable to Decker playing for a new contract, as he will be a free agent after the season.

Well, this was the week that Titans fans everywhere were waiting for; Davis finally broke out with a career-best 91 yards. A highlight of the day is when he outran Rams corner Troy Hill and then had to be dragged down by a few defenders to get some extra yards after the catch. That is the primary reason why the Titans drafted him: he has the ability to be a star. If this is what he can do for the Titans, Week 17 will be even more exciting as he will be playing against the best secondary in football.

Notable Performances:

DE Jurrell Casey, 79.9 Overall Grade

One of the highlights from Week 16 was when Casey destroyed Jared Goff on a hand-off, jarred the ball loose and the Titans were able to score points. Casey also recorded a hit, a pressure and three defensive run stops. Casey has been an unstoppable force these past few weeks and the Titans need this from him in a very critical game.

TE Jonnu Smith, 77.7 Overall grade

The Titans finally got Smith involved again, which was much needed as Walker continues to struggle. Smith is known for his receiving skills and versatility, but what stood out was his run blocking grade, recording a 75.6. Titans fans should be excited that Smith is getting more involved, as this will help take pressure off of Walker and the receivers as well. If Jonnu can continue to get involved in the run game, the more the Titans will be able to use him.

CB Adoree’ Jackson, 75.2 Overall Grade

The ever improving Adoree’ Jackson. As we know, he has been picked on a ton this year and has performed well. Jackson is one of three corners in the AFC to record 60 plus tackles and 15 passes defensed. In Week 16, Jackson was targeted four times and only gave up one reception for three yards and a touchdown.

DL Kevin Dodd, 73.6 Overall Grade

Another Dodd sighting, but the Titans are putting him into a better position by putting his hand in the dirt. Dodd does not have the ability to rush the passer or cover tight ends in a two point stance; it is not what he excelled at during his time at Clemson. Dodd is best used when he is in a three point stance and able to get his hands on and then react. The Titans in recent weeks are letting him do this and it has proven to be effective. Dodd played well on run downs, recording a 78.4, and even though he did not have a ton of snaps, he was effective.

QB Marcus Mariota, 69.3 Overall Grade

Mariota has the tools to be an effective quarterback in the NFL for a very long time. The third-year quarterback has not met expectations, but there is plenty to like about him. The Titans’ scheme might not be the best and doesn’t take advantage of his abilities. He has regressed and it might be due to his lack of preparation this offseason as he came back from an injury. The Titans will need him to perform well against their division rival.

Mariota was able to throw some very nice balls into tight coverage in Week 16 against a good secondary. He did have a “What are you thinking?” interception, but he even said he regretted it immediately as it left his hands. One thing that most might overlook is his ability to continue to fight. A perfect example of this was when we fumbled, he dove into the pile, got the football and jumped forward for a few more yards. The fight and heart that was shown there just shows his dedication to winning.

CBs Tye Smith 67.1 & Brice McCain 32.5 Overall Grades

Smith has had minimal action this season, but made the best of it as the Titans were down two corners this week.  Smith was targeted seven times and only gave up three catches for 31 yards.

McCain got the start and struggled against a very good receiving corps. McCain was the lowest graded Titan in Week 16 and has been on the bottom of the PFF performers most weeks. McCain was targeted twice and gave up one reception for 14 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was one remarkable moment as he got turned around by a rookie for an easy pass and catch.

EDGE Derrick Morgan, 76.8, & Erik Walden, 53.8, & Brian Orakpo, 52.9 Overall Grades

It’s been a solid but unspectacular year for the Titans’ pass rushers. Morgan has quietly had a good year for the Titans but continues to get up there in age. Orakpo has been more effective as a run stopper rather than a pass rusher like in past years. Lastly, Walden has been a solid contributor, but not enough for the Titans to not upgrade in the offseason.

Week 17

With one game left in the regular season, the Titans’ fate is in their hands. A win and the Titans are in the playoffs, which looks to me like it will be the sixth seed and a rematch with the Jaguars. Jaguars coach Doug Marrone stated that he will not be sitting his starters, but they already locked up the third seed in the playoffs. With a must-win on the table, below are the projected Week 17 lineups for the titans.