Heading into the 2022 season, the perception of the Tennessee Titans and the Denver Broncos couldn’t have been more different.
People were buying the Broncos as potential Super Bowl contenders and thought that the Titans were going to be overtaken in the AFC South by the elite Indianapolis Colts.
Through the first nine weeks of the NFL season, both of those ideas seem like long shots.
In the Tennessee Titans’ case, it has been because the defense has settled very nicely after a rocky start. The Pro Bowl (or better) caliber talent on the defensive side of the ball has stepped up and dominated a league where it is becoming very difficult to find good offensive linemen.
For the Broncos, Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett were supposed to be a match made in heaven on offense. Unfortunately, they just haven’t found a way to mesh and fans have started to hold their breath every time Wilson is going to pass the ball.
These two new storylines match up nicely for the Tennessee Titans heading into their matchup on Sunday.
Where the Tennessee Titans have an advantage
Denver has a great defense and with the question marks at quarterback, you can bet on hearing that all week long. However, the deciding factor in this game will be the Titans’ pass defense against the Broncos’ passing attack.
The Broncos have the 8th worst rushing offense (per snap) in the NFL, and the Tennessee Titans’ run defense is so good that teams have stopped trying to run against them.
If Denver follows suit, that means that the Titans’ pass rush will be getting a lot of work on Sunday, which isn’t great news for the Broncos either. Only three quarterbacks in the NFL are getting sacked at a higher rate than Russell Wilson.
Right now their offensive line is banged up and the Titans will see:
LT: Calvin Anderson (backup)
LG: Dalton Risner
C: Graham Glasgow (backup)
RG: Quinn Meinerz
RT: Billy Turner
Even though the right side of the line is healthy, they still aren’t great pass protectors, so there are several ways that the Titans could attack Denver whether they want to use creative stunts or just line up their best talent against the Broncos’ weakest linemen.
That should be music to the ears of the Tennessee Titans since they have one of the best pass rushes in the NFL. In fact, they are one of only six teams with 23+ sacks in only 8 games and they are finally starting to hit their stride now that they are figuring out how to win without Harold Landry.
It would be great to have Jeffery Simmons and Bud Dupree, but that isn’t a given right now. Still, Denico Autry and Rashad Weaver have combined for 11 sacks, and Teair Tart, Mario Edwards, and DeMarcus Walker can all make splash plays as well.
The Titans are back at home on Sunday and you know they are going to be motivated to bounce back after their first loss in over a month.