1 stat tells the story of the Tennessee Titans pass rush

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Once again the Tennessee Titans’ defense was gashed by explosive plays, but they found ways to make plays in crucial moments.

Their ability to win in those crucial moments is a huge reason for their 3-2 record. Despite that, it may be a little hard to understand how a defense that continues to get gashed, is that good in big moments.

At this point, the defensive backs aren’t confident in themselves at all and even when they are in the right position it seems like receivers have no problem catching passes. (Not including Kristian Fulton who has actually been good since returning from injury.)

Linebacker has been a revolving door next to David Long with Zach Cunningham, Joe Schobert, and Dylan Cole all getting playing time.

So, how can a defense that has recorded stats from 17 different linebackers and defensive backs consistently step up and make plays when it matters most?

Ultimately, it all comes down to three players.

Three Tennessee Titans running this defense and a shocking stat

For all of Kevin Byard’s greatness, he isn’t one of the three players making game-changing plays week in and week out. Both he and David Long have had game-winning interceptions, and they deserve praise, but they haven’t been quite as consistent as this trio.

The three players I’m talking about are Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry, and Rashad Weaver.

Those three have been disruptive in the run game, but more importantly, they have been disruptive in the passing game.

Unfortunately, the NFL didn’t give Jeffery Simmons full credit for his second sack of the game against the Washington Commanders. Instead, he ended the day with 1.5 sacks, meaning that he has 3.5 sacks on the season.

That puts him third on the Tennessee Titans’ sack list behind Autry and Weaver who are tied with 4 a piece.

Even without full credit, the Tennessee Titans trio can brag about their production as pass rushers. This might surprise you, but the Titans are the only team in the NFL with three players with 3.5 or more sacks.

The only other players on the team with sacks are Bud Dupree with 1 (even though he has only played 68 snaps) and Sam Okuayinonu who has 0.5 after getting credit for the other half of the aforementioned sack by Simmons.

That stat describes this Tennessee Titans pass rush in a nutshell. When those three are on the field, you have a real shot at getting to the quarterback, but if you don’t see 99, 98, or 96, then you should probably hope that any pass gets broken up or knocked down by Teair Tart.