If you figured the Titans’ disastrous performance in pass protection against the Jaguars would put them at or near the bottom in pressures allowed, it turns out you were right!
The offensive line allowed 22 pressures against the Jaguars defense, only second to the Dolphins’ 23. It was as bad of a performance as Titans imagined, and it gets even worse. The team has allowed 49 pressures overall, tied with the Texans for the second most in the league through three weeks. At least it’s still better than the 66 pressures Miami has allowed, but even in Taylor Lewan’s absence this was still supposed to be a line that protected their quarterback better than Houston.
Pressure has also been allowed on 42% of the offense’s dropbacks, fourth most behind Houston, Minnesota, and Miami. I don’t think anyone expected the Cowboys’ level of pass protection quality from this line, but certainly not something that stoops this level. Newly acquired left guard Rodger Saffold hasn’t been atrocious but he’s been a big disappointment in protection. He’s allowed more pressures per expected and so far he hasn’t met the same standards he established with the Rams.
Meanwhile on the right side Jack Conklin played poorly against Jacksonville, and Jamil Douglas was extremely lackluster filling in for Kevin Pamphile at right guard. Dennis Kelly isn’t the worst backup you can have but it’s clear Lewan is needed badly on the quarterback’s blind side.
It also doesn’t help that Arthur Smith has called back-to-back poor games, and one might argue he got lucky against the Browns’ huge day of penalties in Week 1. Lewan’s suspension has aided it, but this is an offensive line that looks even worse than it did last year. Fortunately, the pass rush they face this week—the Falcons—isn’t as talented as the one the Jaguars have, but with a guy like Grady Jarrett playing really well this is also not the time to not show up.
The Titans have just one more game until Lewan returns, and while he can’t fix every hole this unit has, he’s at least the best lineman here, as well as one of the best left tackles in the league. Just. One. More. Game.