Tennessee Titans linebackers vs. Buffalo Bills running backs and tight ends
One of the few position groups that hasn’t been hit by injuries or COVID for the Titans is the inside linebackers. Starters Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown and backups Will Compton and David Long are good to go for Tuesday. Even special teamers Nick Dzubnar and Daren Bates could be counted on to play minor roles with so many different defensive players being forced to miss this game. Having this group at full strength is important against a team like the Bills, as it’s crucial to eliminate some of the ancillary weapons for Josh Allen.
Minimizing Stefon Diggs, John Brown and the other wide receivers’ damage is going to be quite difficult; the Titans simply don’t have enough talented cornerbacks available to do so. But if Mike Vrabel and Shane Bowen choose to play a lot of off-coverage in order to account for those losses and curb the big plays down the field, the Titans’ linebackers will have to do their jobs effectively.
In addition to making tackles in open spaces on routes across the middle of the field by those Bills receivers, it will be paramount for Evans and Brown to bring down Devin Singletary and Zack Moss on first contact. Both Singletary and Moss are adept pass-catchers out of the backfield, and we’ve seen the Titans struggle to deal with running backs to start this season. The Titans also haven’t covered tight ends well at all, which could make Dawson Knox and/or Tyler Kroft a nuisance.
Eliminate those check-down options for Allen and it will make every other defender’s job that much easier.