How do the Tennessee Titans hold up vs other NFL teams “up the middle?”
The Tennessee Titans have some deficiencies in the “middle” of their offense, but are dominant in the middle.
An old school way of constructing a defense was to build right down the middle, that means a strong DT, LB, S trio. That sort of thinking really doesn’t mean much now because the game isn’t based on the running game.
In fact, if you get too worried about building up these positions and invest too much here, you will likely hurt your team rather than help.
However, Daniel Jeremiah brought this question on Twitter:
Now, the responses don’t matter. 95% of teams are sure that they are actually the best in the league here. The answer is probably Atlanta (Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Alex Mack, Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones, Demontae Kazee) anyway, all of which were on a team that just went 7-9.
Clearly that model doesn’t hold up as well anymore, especially when you consider that Atlanta may also have the best receivers in the NFL as well. But, it is interesting to think how the Tennessee Titans stack up against the rest of the league here.
The picks for each position would be:
-QB: Marcus Mariota
-RB: Derrick Henry
-C: Ben Jones
-DT: Jurrell Casey
-LB: Jayon Brown (I mean, really pick any of the three and you will end up with a top candidate)
-S: Kevin Byard
Based off defense alone the Titans have the best in the NFL, no exceptions. The argument will be Aaron Donald and the L.A. Rams, but Corey Littleton and Eric Weddle wouldn’t beat out Jayon Brown and Kevin Byard.
If you are going most dominant individual out of the three then sure LA wins, but if the question is which trio on both side are the most talented then the Titans would win vs any team in the NFL.
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Offensively is where this gets trick for Tennessee. Marcus Mariota has all the potential in the world to be great, but right now he is a QB who can win you a lot of game but who generally won’t blow anyone out.
Ben Jones is probably on his last year with Tennessee unless he can find a way to reclaim what he had in 2016. He can be a very solid center, but his upside is always going to be dictated by the guards next to him and how much they can or can’t do.
Derrick Henry is the only one on this list with an argument at a top-10 spot, even then so much of your argument for that has to come from one historic month of production last year.
This really is a tale of two sides of the ball. Defensively the Titans are one of the best teams in the NFL, especially up the middle. On offense, Tennessee has a star at left tackle, left guard and tight end with potential difference makers all over the field, but up the middle there are some questions.