The pass rush will be fine without Harold Landry
The Tennessee Titans’ success last year was predicated on their pass rush, and when they lost their sack leader in Harold Landry for the year, it was almost considered to be the final nail in the coffin for a team expected to take a step back this season. Fortunately, they have a lot of depth on the defensive line, and even if they continue to struggle as a whole, their pass rush will not be a reason why.
This is mainly due to Jeffery Simmons, who is continuing to blossom into one of the best game changers in the league. He is one of the biggest disruptors of the line of scrimmage in football, and as long as he is on the field, the Titans’ defensive front must be feared because with or without Landry, he is the one that commands the most respect and attention from opposing teams.
He once again proved why on Sunday, as he had two sacks and a forced fumble that was recovered by Bud Dupree. The strip-sack in particular was a thing of beauty, as he absolutely blew by the offensive line, and creating turnovers as opposed to just racking up sacks was a huge point of emphasis for the Titans coming into the season.
Even though the Titans did not stop the run in the slightest on Sunday, Simmons had another play in which he blew up the line of scrimmage and dropped Barkley in the backfield for a loss. He is truly a freak of nature, and he keeps proving that the Giants made a bad decision selecting Dexter Lawrence the pick right before him.
It’s not like the rest of the defensive front has slouches, as Dupree had a sack and a forced fumble, which the Titans desperately need with his huge contract and the loss of Landry. Denico Autry had a rough day, but considering it was Week 1 and he missed most of training camp with an injury, there is no need to freak out with him this past week.
Another big story though, and one that should excite Titans fans, is Rashad Weaver’s performance. Like the rookie receivers, he did not play a ton, but maximized his opportunity and recorded two sacks, one of which he read the read option perfectly and dropped Daniel Jones in the backfield.
The Titans have shown that they can overcome big injuries like Landry’s, and it helps when you consider what they have behind him. As long as they do not suffer another significant injury, their pass rush will be just fine.