Though the Titans dropped to 2-3 against the visiting Bills on Sunday there’s plenty of positives to take from the 14-7 defeat, which of course exists almost entirely on defense. One of those players is corner Logan Ryan, in the final year of his three-year contract with the Titans.
Against the Bills the 28-year old DB had 7 solo tackles, a sack, a TFL, and 2 quarterback hits. On the season Ryan has allowed a 63.6 passer rating, a huge decrease from the 102.0 rating he allowed in 2018 (according to Pro-Football-Reference). In a contract year he’s been a huge piece of a Titans defense that’s quietly one of the better units in the league, and in Week 5 he did his part to ensure Tennessee would remain in the game against Buffalo.
That said, let’s take a look at the best plays from Ryan’s performance against the Bills in this film breakdown.
Ryan’s time with the Titans has been known primarily for his usage as a blitzer. In 2018 he was used to blitz 36 different times, while this year through five games his usage comes to 11.
Here he disguises himself well with a blitz up the B-gap. He times his movement to the point where he takes off after Josh Allen just before the ball gets snapped. Allen can only watch as he gets taken to the ground quickly, and Ryan collects the sack and the first of two quarterback hits on the day.
Once again Ryan blitzes on this play, this time being used up the C-gap.
Here Ryan puts the pressure on Allen, collecting his second quarterback hit against the second-year starter. The pass itself fell incomplete, as it was well defended by Adoree Jackson.
Let’s move on. You might recognize this next play.
Ryan’s most well known play from Sunday occurred on this tackle against Bills rookie tight end Dawson Knox.
Ryan starts the play off extremely well, using his intelligence and vision to help cover Cole Beasley. Knox runs what appears to be a pivot route, and he cuts outside to the flat. Allen throws to him and in that moment Ryan turns around and chases after the tight end.
Ryan stops Knox in his tracks but let’s just say not before punching Knox’s two most prized possessions. Yeah....great play, but painful.
Next we move back to the first quarter, where Ryan is originally going up against wide receiver Duke Williams. Williams is being motioned inside on this play, which obviously means Ryan follows suit.
When Ryan sees rookie tight end Tommy Sweeney pulled out in the flat however, he sets his sights on him instead. Ryan jumps in the middle of the play in case Allen was ready to throw to Sweeney/over Ryan’s head, forcing the quarterback to hold onto the ball for just a little longer. The ball is catchable but the placement is not 100 percent precise from Allen, and partial credit for this goes to Ryan’s efforts on this play.
My personal favorite effort from Ryan, however, happens to be his snap on Kevin Byard’s interception in the third quarter.
You may be wondering why Ryan deserves props for Byard’s interception but trust me, he did his part in ensuring Josh Allen could not get the ball off until it was far too late,
Covering the slot receiver at the beginning, Ryan’s eyes follow Allen’s throughout the entire play. He goes after the receiver crossing the middle of the field (Knox), patching him up. Then he goes after Beasley, entering his proximity long enough until Byard also comes in and picks this pass off.
Ryan’s efforts on the right side of this play should be commended. His vision is top notch and it’s matched by his incredible coverage.
Unfortunately the Titans offense could not meet the standards the defense put in place, as the Bills defense slaughtered the offensive line, the receiving corps, and Marcus Mariota. Still, Logan Ryan has put in a case to deserve a second contract from Tennessee, and even if he doesn’t he’s going to get paid by another team at this rate.
You wouldn’t normally associate Ryan as the face of this Titans defense, but based on the way he’s playing he’s looking like it. He’s been an integral part of the secondary through five games and is matching his contract with high quality play. At the end of the season he becomes a free agent, so who knows if the Titans decide to pony up and give him more money before another team can.
But with the exception of Kevin Byard, Logan Ryan is the best player in the Titans secondary. I had a lot of fun watching him play against the Bills and look forward to seeing how he can build upon his great Week 5 performance.