Tennessee Titans defense can be optimistic about 2 metrics

Russell Wilson (L), Harold Landry (R), Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images photo pool)
Russell Wilson (L), Harold Landry (R), Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images photo pool) /

Let’s get one thing right understood. The Tennessee Titans are not going to go far in the playoffs if they give up 30 points as they did in Week 2. Their secondary got burned by Tyler Lockett on two big plays. The lack of press coverage at the end of the first half led to one of the Seattle Seahawks’ scores, and the coverage breakdown that resulted in the Freddie Swain touchdown was just inexcusable.

At the end of the day, however, those are issues that can be fixed or at least mitigated as the season goes on, especially when you consider the fact that Elijah Molden is so raw and that the defense is currently missing Amani Hooker. With that being said, you can expect things to tighten up later in the year.

Overall, when you look at last year versus the first two weeks of this year, this unit is showing serious improvement, and two key areas are a perfect example of that.

The Tennessee Titans’ pass rush and third-down efficiency provide optimism.

Fans don’t need another reminder of how ineffective the Titans’ pass rush was last year, nor do they need to be reminded of how they constantly fell apart on third down. Both areas were positive difference-makers in Seattle, and through the first two games, the pass rush already has taken a big step forward.

Not that these are mind-blowing numbers, but sacks from Denico Autry, Jeffery Simmons, and Ola Adeniyi brought the Titans’ total to five on the year. For reference, they registered a lackluster 19 sacks last year.

And, how have they been on third down? Last year, the Titans had the worst defensive third-down efficiency, allowing their opponents to convert 51.98 percent of the time.

On Sunday, they allowed the Seahawks to convert only four times on 12 attempts, and two of those four conversions were the aforementioned touchdown allowed to Swain and the run by Chris Carson that actually should have been marked well behind the line to gain.

Yes, the 30 points given up is tough to overlook, but you can’t act as if these improvements aren’t a good sign. If Tennessee continues on the trend that they’re on, the results will come. Small improvements will pay massive dividends for Tennessee Titans.

By no stretch of the imagination will the Titans have the best defense in the NFL, and despite the fact that the defense has improved, these totals are above average at best. This Titans team is going to be carried on the back of their offense. Contrary to what Week 1 showed us, they have one of the best offenses in the NFL and are good enough to be a playoff contender because of that alone.

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It showed last year, as they played with the 28th ranked defense in the league. If they become a decent unit, or even just capable, the Titans have a chance to go far in the playoffs.

The defense was easily the biggest question heading into the season, and while there are still plenty of questions left to be answered, it appears that they are heading in the right direction. For a group that endured so much turnover in the offseason, that is about all we can ask for at this point in the regular season.