5 Tennessee Titans pass rushers could have double-digit sacks in 2022

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

With nine games in the books and eight more to go, we are officially past the halfway point of the Tennessee Titans season.

A few things stand out when you reflect on the positives for the Tennessee Titans in 2022.

Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, and Saquon Barkley are all competing to be the NFL’s rushing champion. Once again Ryan Tannehill is one of the NFL’s most efficient passers and continues to find ways to get enough points to win despite having Todd Downing as his OC.

More than anything though, the thing that continues to stand out is how the Tennessee Titans defense has returned to the dominant, stifling form that fans anticipated coming into the season.

How impressive is the defense? They are 8th in points allowed, 2nd in rushing yards per game, 4th in sacks, and 6th in interceptions per game.

Keep in mind, they are doing all of this while elite players are missing. Jeffery Simmons (1 game), Harold Landry (full season), Rashad Weaver (1), Kristian Fulton (2), Bud Dupree (3), Amani Hooker (4), Zach Cunningham (4), Elijah Molden (8), and Ola Adeniyi (8).

One of the most impressive stats that this defense has right now is more about individuals than the team. While it does take an entire defense doing their job to get a sack, the Tennessee Titans currently have three players with a clear path to 10+ sacks.

On top of that, you could (and I will) make the argument for two other players that have a chance to make that list as well. That is incredible.

Which Tennessee Titans pass rushers are thriving the most?

Even though both Rashad Weaver and Jeffery Simmons have each missed a game, they both have 5.5 sacks this season. On that pace, each of the young defenders should double that number over the last eight games and get to 11 sacks on the season.

That is impressive for a duo of 25-year-olds, but the 32-year-old Denico Autry is the Tennessee Titans leader in sacks with 7. While everyone outside of Nashville might be sleeping on Autry, fans, players, and coaches are all taking notice.

If Autry can maintain this production, he is on pace for 13.5 sacks which would be the most by a Tennessee Titans defender since Jevon Kearse’s legendary rookie season in 1999.

While those three all have the inside track to 10+ sacks, they aren’t the only players that could get there.

I have talked a lot about Bud Dupree and his impact on this Tennessee defense, but as an individual, he has tallied a sack in every game this year where he has played 50% or more of the snaps. Dupree is sitting on 3 sacks with 8 games left, it is a long way to go but if he can just stay healthy or maybe have a big game to go along with his consistent presence, he could get to 10+ sacks.

Another player who has averaged a sack per game when they got the right snaps is DeMarcus Walker. A six-year veteran, Walker has 3.5 sacks this season which is just shy of a career-best for him.

What is impressive about Walker is that he has had sacks in three-straight games and he has had 3 sacks in games where he has been allowed to rush the passer 20+ times.

Since teams have started to abandon the running game against the Tennessee Titans, that could mean that games, where he is able to rush the passer 20+ times, start to become common for him.

Again, with 8 games left, he would only have to maintain his current pace to top 10+ sacks.