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2019 Titans Week 2 Enemy Profile: Quenton Nelson

He busses with the boys but also busses against them!

NFL: NOV 18 Titans at Colts Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s once again time to face the Colts, but this time following Andrew Luck’s retirement. The Titans went 2-0 against the Colts in 2017 when Jacoby Brissett was the starting QB, and he’s the very same QB starting on Sunday.

The difference between then and now is stark, mainly with the offensive line becoming one of the very best in the league. A huge piece of that offensive line is left guard Quenton Nelson, who also made a guest appearance on Taylor Lewan and Will Compton’s podcast Bussin’ With The Boys. Nelson is coming off a sensational rookie season, one that cemented him in the conversation as one of the best guards in football.

There’s not much that needs to be said about the quality player that Nelson is, but we’re going through with it anyway. Here’s a quick breakdown of Nelson’s tape in his two career games against the Titans so that fans will again get acquainted with his style of play. That’s going down in this week’s Titans Enemy Profile.

On this play from Week 11, Nelson is (of course) the left guard.
Nelson picks up a blocker initially, holding him off for a brief moment...
...before wisely picking up on the stunt, helping Anthony Castonzo contain the stunt long enough for Andrew Luck to get rid of the ball.

Here’s how it all looks in full motion.

Nelson’s vision is quick and though this looks like a simple objective, this is the kind of play that got the Colts killed in the past. With the arrival of Nelson they now have one of the very best interior offensive lines at the pro level.

Let’s get to another example from this Week 11 matchup.

I’m not entirely sure who it is Nelson is blocking on this play since the jersey number is being obscured, but nevertheless the left guard does a great job of standing his ground on this pass blocking rep. His power and balance are crucial for Luck to step up and explore the pocket, where he eventually hooks up with T.Y. Hilton for the touchdown.

Lastly let’s warp to Week 17 of the 2018 season to take a look at how Nelson handles run blocking.

Astonishingly, Nelson is once again the left guard on this play.
He’s pulled and moved out in space to help protect for Marlon Mack on this rep, and ultimately along with right tackle Braden Smith he ends up providing the key block that makes this run work.

The efforts from Nelson and Braden Smith on this run block open up a gap for Marlon Mack to run through. The arrival of the two rookies in 2018 breathed new life into the Colts offense, allowing for a highly efficient, far more realized offense that limited the pressures for the quarterback and lack of holes for the backfield.

The Titans pass rush committed a significant amount of pressure against the Browns offensive line in Week 1, but on their own home turf they have a different beast to combat in this Colts offensive line, which contains more talent. Quenton Nelson is the driving force of this unit, providing high quality as a pass protector and as a run blocker, with incredible power, quickness, and vision.

This won’t be an easy task for the Titans defensive line.