The Titans had a bounce-back win of sorts last weekend, and even though it was against the win-less Jacksonville Jaguars, there were notable positive to take from the performance.
1. Taylor Lewan, LT
We've already touched on Lewan's fine debut here at MCM, but it bears repeating. After giving up one sack to Chris Clemons, Lewan was a stone wall the rest of the day, protecting Charlie Whitehurst's blind side with skill, and opening up large lanes in the running game. Titans running backs were notably more effective when rushing to Lewan's side of the line. The rookie tackle looks set to settle in at Roos' spot for the rest of the season, and will look to continue flashing early returns on the Titans' 1st round investment.
2. Jurrell Casey, DE
After being double teamed into oblivion the past few weeks, Jurrell Casey finally got some backup from his counterparts. The result? He ended the day with 9 total tackles (including several at of behind the LOS), and 2 sacks in a dominant performance. Casey was a bull against both the run and the pass, showing off his elite ability to separate from blockers as well as maintain his leverage and anchor against in the running game.
3. Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB
Wreh-Wilson had a game a redemption, notching 11 tackles and an interception. And many of those tackles were not after the catch, but in the run game where he was very effective. It was apparent that he was comfortable jamming receivers at the line and playing tight man-to-man coverage on the outside, but also that his confidence was up. That confidence boost showed up in the form of more aggressive coverage, without the penalties that had come along with it early on in the year. Let's hope the second year corner can maintain that level of play.
4. Delanie Walker, TE
Walker has been one of the top 3 tight ends in football so far this year. It's been a long time since I would say that of any Titans skill player. Walker was outstanding as a run blocker against the Jaguars, gaining leverage on linebackers at the second level. In the passing game, Walker caught 3 passes for 57 yards, adding to his impressive season total. This has been Walker's best stretch as a pro, and he has been a clear focal point of the Titans offense thus far.
5. Dexter McCluster, RB
After a lot of discontent with McCluster's utilization, he saw a huge increase in production during last week's game. He caught 6 passes for 52 yards and took two carries for 6. Whisenhunt motioned him out wide plenty, which caused obvious match-up problems for Jacksonville. On one particular play, McCluster was motioned out to the right side of the formation from the backfield. He came across the middle and outran the linebacker, taking a catch all the way to the left side for almost 30 yards. The play highlighed McCluster potential to cause problems for Defensive Coordinators.
6. Avery Williamson, ILB
The rookie inside linebacker shone yet again after getting the nod to start. Williamson was solid against the run, and was crucial on one of the game's biggest plays; recovering a red-zone Cecil Shorts III fumble and taking it back into Jaguars territory. Williamson has been a pleasant surprise, but in reality, he is a perfect match for what Ray Horton wants to do with the interior of this Tennessee defense. To me, at least, it's hardly a shock that he is playing so well, having gone severely under-drafted this past summer.