FanPost

PFF Grades for Titans players and next week's opponent

ProFootballFocus reviews each football game grading the play of each individual player on each play. Their grading provides some insight on how individual players played, so I find it useful when seeing where the weak and strong parts of each team are.

So, each week, I plan on showing how the Titans players grade at PFF versus the upcoming opponent.

Note that since this is only after the first week that it's hard to determine too much from these grades but as the season goes on they will become more meaningful.

Position

Titans Player

Next week's opponent

Titans PFF Grade (rank in league)

Opponent's PFF grade (rank in league)

Offense

QB

Jake Locker

Matt Schaub

+2.3 (10th)

+4.1 (5th)

RB1

Chris Johnson

Arian Foster

-0.7 (31st)

-1.9 (40th)

RB2

Jackie Battle

Ben Tate

-0.3 (27th)

+1.7 (7th)

FB

Colin Mooney

Greg Jones

+3.1 (1st)

-0.7 (12th)

TE1

Delanie Walker

Owen Daniels

-2.2 (46th)

+0.2 (16th)

TE2

Craig Stevens / Taylor Thompson

Garrett Graham

-0.2 (21st) / -0.8 (25th)

+0.7 (11th)

WR1

Kenny Britt

Andre Johnson

-1.3 (87th)

+2.6 (8th)

WR2

Nate Washington

DeAndre Hopkins

+0.8 (31st)

+1.2 (22nd)

LT

Michael Roos

Duane Brown

+1.8 (18th)

-6.6 (65th)

LG

Andy Levitre

Wade Smith

+2.0 (10th)

+0.9 (20th)

C

Rob Turner

Chris Myers

-5.0 (32nd)

+1.9 (4th)

RG

Chance Warmack

Brandon Brooks

+2.0 (10th)

+3.4 (3rd)

RT

David Stewart

Derek Newton

-2.7 (48th)

+0.4 (25th)

Defense

DL (4-3 DT / 3-4 NT)

Jurrell Casey

Earl Mitchell

+4.9 (3rd)

+0.6 (38th)

DL (4-3 DT / 3-4 DE)

Karl Klug / Sammie Lee Hill

JJ Watt

-0.5 (59th) / +1.0 (33rd)

+7.2 (1st)

DL (4-3 DE / 3-4 DE)

Ropati Pitoitua

Jared Crick

+1.3 (19th)

-1.5 (37th)

DL (4-3 DE / 3-4 OLB)

Derrick Morgan

Brooks Reed

-0.2 (27th)

-2.9 (36th)

DL (4-3 DE / 3-4 OLB)

Kamerion Wimbley

Whitney Mercilus

-1.1 (38th)

-1.7 (33rd)

LB (4-3 OLB / 3-4 ILB)

Zach Brown

Brian Cushing

+1.1 (9th)

-0.4 (39th)

LB (4-3 OLB / 3-4 ILB)

Akeem Ayers

Joe Mays

-0.6 (21st)

+0.5 (21st)

LB (4-3 MLB)

Moise Fokou

-0.1 (28th)

CB1

Jason McCourty

Johnathan Joseph

+1.5 (16th)

0.0 (44th)

CB2

Alterraun Verner

Kareem Jackson

+1.5 (16th)

0.0 (44th)

SS

Bernard Pollard

Shiloh Keo

+0.1 (35th)

+1.6 (12th)

FS

Michael Griffin

Danieal Manning

+0.3 (30th)

+1.3 (16th)

Observations for the Titans:

Since it is only 1 week performance, this data can be skewed for certain players.

Players that graded well:

Jurrell Casey - Casey put on a beast of a performance grading out as the 3rd best DT/NT last week. He will have a bigger test this week as he faces a much better interior OL.

Zach Brown - Brown was all over the place showing off his speed and physicality (I guess he grew out of that allergy like my son did with milk/eggs). It was the 9th best performance for 4-3 OLB. I expect him to be utilized as a jack of all trades next week to cover TEs and/or blitz. He has Pro Bowl talent and seems to be putting it all together.

Andy Levitre / Chance Warmack - Both guards graded really well tying for 10th best performance for guards last week. We all knew Levitre is a top 10 player, no doubt, but it is nice to see Warmack getting off to a solid start. The guard position for the Titans has become a strength from a weakness in just one offseason.

Colin Mooney - Mooney graded as the best overall FB last week. You can't help but root for a guy like Mooney and with his performance last week, against a vaunted Steelers defense, he solidified a spot on this roster.

Jake Locker - Looking at overall stats for Locker last week may make you think he put in a sub-par game. But, he sustained drives, flipped field positions several times, and did not make any game-losing mistakes. Even some of the recent Super Bowl winning QBs had to take more of a game-manager type role when they were younger (Brady, Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, etc), but I expect as Locker becomes more comfortable that the passing game will open up more.

JMac and ATV - Both CBs graded out as the 16th best performance last week (tied). Both players made big plays in the passing game by defending the long ball and ATV making a great interception.

Players that graded poorly:

Delanie Walker - Walker definitely appeared rusty, especially in his run blocking. The Titans will need him to step up big time next week against Houston to help set the edge in the run game.

David Stewart - Stewart had one of the worst-graded games last week as a tackle. Big Country does appear to be affected by the injuries and if he can't pick up his play then the Titans may be looking at replacing him this offseason.

Rob Turner - Turner was the lowest graded player at center last week. It's not easy going up against Steelers' nose tackles, but Turner's poor play does make you wonder if the right decision was made to release Velasco. He'll have another big test this coming week.

Texans players to watch:

JJ Watt - It's obvious that to attack the Texans defense you must start with how to handle JJ Watt. He is such a disruptive force in the middle. The good thing is the Titans guards are much better this year, but I would still expect the offensive gameplan to have either a RB or TE in the backfield with Jake to help block Watt.

Matt Schaub - Schaub turned it on at the end last week to bring the Texans back to a win. The Texans offense is predicated on running the ball and play-action and Schaub executes it very well. He can get flustered with pressure in his face (as most QBs do) so it will be interesting how Gray/Williams design blitzes to attack Schaub.

Andre Johnson - You can't talk about the play of Matt Schaub without mentioning Andre Johnson. AJ is getting a little older but even if he has lost half-a-step he is still a top 10 receiver in this league. The Titans need to play tight on him with a safety over the top...he is Schaub's top target, typically his first read, and the receiver he looks for when he is pressured.

Chris Myers / Brandon Brooks - The Texans center and right guard played really well last week. We all know Myers is a top center in this league as the Titans were interested in him two offseasons ago (imagine him, Levitre, and Warmack as the interior OL). It may be difficult getting pressure up the middle or any push in the run game. This is where Casey, Hill, Martin, and Klug need to have their best game.

Arian Foster / Ben Tate - Foster graded out poorly last week while Tate graded out well. You have to wonder how healthy Foster is...but expect the Texans run game to lean on both backs and the Titans LBs are going to have to be disciplined against this Texans zone run scheme.

Summary:

The Titans strengths right now appear to be offensive guard play, the play of Casey/Brown, and our CBs, whereas the Titans weaknesses are center and right tackle. For the Texans on defense, it is all about JJ Watt, and on offense, they have a solid interior OL and one of the best WRs in the game, while their OLBs did not play well last week and their CBs put in average games.

In a lot of ways, this is a game matching strength on strength so I expect it to come down to how the QBs play. This is the type of game Jake Locker can show he is a franchise QB as long as he has good interior protection from Watt.

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