Tennessee Titans: Stat experts believe youth infusion will fuel defense
When the curtain fell on the Tennessee Titans 2020-2021 NFL season, the reviews of this team’s defense were, shall we say, less than admirable. Tennessee’s defense gave up a quarterback rating to opposing signal-callers that exceeded 97.5.
That was good for a ranking of 24th. They were also ranked 29th versus the pass while they finished 30th in the league in sacks. It’s safe to say that they should be better in 2021 because, in all honesty, it’s literally impossible for their defensive unit to get any worse.
The Tennessee Titans’ offseason improvements involve adding youth on defense.
This is the part of the story that most of you know well. Tennessee made some valuable additions on defense via free agency (Bud Dupree, Jackrabbit Jenkins, Denico Autry) before adding guys who figure to contribute early and often during the coming season.
Tennessee drafted Rashad Weaver and Monty Rice to assist in the trenches and at the defense’s second level while Elijah Molden and Caleb Farley were taken to help bolster the Titans’ secondary. Farley’s gotten off to a slow start, but that’s to be expected. He’s battled injuries and hasn’t played a full season of football since he was in high school. Still, this franchise expects a lot out of him and you should too. If he’s past his injuries, and it appears that he might be, he should be very good for a very long time.
Pro Football Focus gave Molden a mention along with Teair Tart and Amani Hooker. They were mentioned in a story about PFF’s biggest takeaways from the preseason as the highest-graded Tennessee Titans defenders. They figure to be cornerstones of this defense for years to come. Here’s some of what Ben Linsey, the writer of this one, had to say on the subject.
"Even with some of the losses Tennessee suffered on offense, the defense remains the Titans’ bigger area of concern entering next season. However, a quick look at their highest-graded defenders this preseason provides a reason for optimism. All three are 24 years old or younger and will be asked to play roles on this defense following the departures of DaQuan Jones, Kenny Vaccaro, and Desmond King."
There’s not much that needs to be said after that. If the preseason is any indication (it can go either way, but in this case, it might), this Titans defense appears to be on the way up. They’re definitely headed in the right direction.