The Titans get a chance to face one of the worst offensive tackles in the league over the past two years. Will they be able to exploit him?
Where he is beatable: Pass rush.
Using a formula the wonderful people at PFF came up with, we will take a look at how Stephenson has done in pass protection. The Pass Blocking Efficiency formula combines QB hurries, hits, and sacks and describes how often an OT does his job. For example, Titans left tackle Michael Roos scored a 97.8 fifth best out of 55 eligible OTs.
To get a good sample size, I will use his snaps from this year and last year. This year, Stephenson has only blocked on 25 pass plays, but has already managed to collect five QB pressures. That makes him PFFs worst pass blocker out of 88 eligible players this season with a PBE of 85.0.
In 2012, Donald Stephenson pass blocked 169 snaps, and allowed 21 total pressures. That put him at a 89.9 PBE for the year, which was better than his start this year, but it still put him as the 108th ranked tackle out of 115.
So with that in mind, who gets a chance to face Stephenson this week?
Base look: Derrick Morgan LDE
Morgan is currently playing 85% (225/264) of the snaps at LDE and will be the one charged with rushing from the offensive right side. So how has Morgan looked this year? So far this year, Morgan has had 12 pressures from that position, and the Titans will expect more from him in this game. If Morgan isn't getting it done though, the Titans do have other options.
Other looks: Akeem Ayers/ Zach Brown
The Titans are not afraid to have Ayers put his hand down and pin his ears back. If the Titans feel like Morgan could have more success on the other side, or if Stephenson looks like he is handling Derrick Morgan's power rush techniques, fans could see a lot of Ayers at LDE. Ayers brings a better first step and better disengage moves to the table.
It can't be overemphasized how good Zach Brown is looking this season. As a pass rusher he has done very well, including a team leading three sacks. As a cover man he has helped wall off opposing QBs from their safety valves. Finally, as run blocker he has stuck his nose in more than most slight OLBs would. He has been the Swiss army knife the Titans needed, and I would be shocked if the Titans don't blitz him against the RT to manufacture pressure.