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Tennessee Titans PFF matchups to watch: defense

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Who should stand out on defense

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

PFF gets knocked a lot for their quarterback rankings, but they do a lot of great things. Unless you have seen every snap from every team and can argue with them, you have to concede that they may have a more even keeled opinion of players around the league.

Looking just at their numbers and what I have seen form the Tennessee Titans here is who I think will have a big day against the Buffalo Bills.

Jurrell Casey

Focusing just on Casey for a second, is anyone on the Tennessee Titans team having a more underrated season? Casey has been a wrecking ball on the inside thanks to improved edge rushing from Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan. Couple that with fun blitzes from Dick LeBeau and Casey is making plays whether the stat sheet says so or not. PFF has noticed giving him the 3rd best rating for a 3-4 DE in the NFL through three weeks with an 11.5.

Across the line, he will get the luxury of matching up against either Kraig Ubrik or John Miller at right guard. The two guards have combined for a -13.2 rating which would make them the 72nd rated guard (out of 74) if they were considered one player. They have allowed 11 quarterback hurries for a team that really doesn't throw the ball that often.

The Titans would much rather face Miller if given a choice, but again, it really doesn't matter with these two.

Brian Orakpo

If you haven't been noticing, Orakpo has been terrorizing offensive linemen so far this year and he drew three holding penalties in his last game against the Colts and still got a sack on top of it. He is beating rushers with pure strength and a very savvy skill set. While he is best known for his sacks, it is his run defense that is really undersold. As a run stopper, he sets the edge with authority and forces things back inside to where the Titans are strong.

It is easy to say that he is already the most effective edge rusher on this defense since adding Morgan. As he continues to get into the playbook and this defense gets more creative, he will get even better. So with that sort of performance, it is easy to see why Orakpo is the only 3-4 OLB in the top-17 with less than 150 snaps, and he is currently sitting at 10th with a 7.1 rating.

His opponent this week should be Seantrel Henderson at right tackle. Henderson looked like he had a lot of promise, but this year he has not looked great earning a -5.5. Better offensive linemen had tried to stop Orakpo and failed, so I think he handles his business this week too.