The only AFC South team to win in Week 1, the Titans pulled off an upset victory in Cleveland and have their sights set on the opening home standoff against the Colts post Andrew Luck. And it’s a good thing they’ve started 1-0 because there’s one elephant in the room we need to discuss.
The Browns pass rush posted four sacks and six quarterback hits on Marcus Mariota, but in terms of pressure, it got worse.
Based on pressure per dropbacks (including plays where the QB was sacked or forced to scramble), the Titans allowed the second highest rate of pressure in Week 1, second only to the Dolphins. For more, let’s take a look at every team’s rates of pressures per dropback from lowest to highest:
JAX, NO, PHI-.17
ATL, MIN, NYJ-.25
Not great! But credit Mariota’s pocket movement and Arthur Smith’s game plan for helping steer away from what otherwise would’ve been a large inconvenience. The Colts are in the middle, as the combination of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa proved a worthy match to one of the best offensive lines in the league. Can Cameron Wake and company produce the same pressure they got against Cleveland? We shall see.
For more context let’s look at the amount of pressures each team allowed last week.
DAL, MIN: 3
CAR, DEN, JAX, KC, PIT: 6
IND, NE, NO, PHI: 7
NYG, SEA: 10
BUF, CIN, CLE, GB, NYJ: 11
TB, WAS: 12
ARI, ATL, LAC: 13
DET, HOU: 18
So yeah, this is concerning going against an underrated pass rush in Indianapolis, a well coached pass rush might I add. Speaking of which, the Colts were below average (or above, depending on how you feel) in pressures allowed, but that also has to do with fewer dropbacks from Jacoby Brissett than other quarterbacks.
Now let’s look at sacks per dropback allowed:
DAL, KC, OAK-0.00
BUF, LAR, NO, NYG, PIT, WAS-.02
JAX, NE, PHI-.03
ARI, ATL, MIA, MIN-.08
CIN, DEN, NYJ, TEN-.09
Hey, at least the Titans offensive line isn’t Seattle’s! Or Houston’s for that matter, which is why Deshaun Watson deserves so much credit for having a hell of a performance on the road against the Saints. Also the Colts allowed .06 sacks per dropbacks in comparison to Tennessee’s .09 rate. Nice.
Finally, let’s look at QB hits per dropback:
ARI, CAR, DEN, KC-.12
LAR, NE, NYG-.14
CLE, IND, WAS-.16
BUF, NYJ, TEN-.20
Tennessee’s spot isn’t bottom of the barrel, but still isn’t looking too good! Hopefully they survive the next three games without Taylor Lewan, because after the Colts game they’re going straight to Jacksonville to play against Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue and Josh Allen.
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