The Tennessee Titans made it four wins in a row by completing the season sweep over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. It wasn’t perfect, but the Titans made key plays on both sides of the ball when they needed them. Without further ado, here is how the Titans deployed their defense against the Colts, via the team’s official snap count report.
The Titans went heavy here with six active defensive lineman. As per usual, Jeffery Simmons led the way with 65 defensive snaps, which accounted for a whopping 90.3% of Tennessee’s defensive plays. Denico Autry continues to play at an extremely high level and was on the field 45 (62.5%) snaps. He played a great game against his former team. He was banged up throughout, and Tennessee needs him to stay healthy going forward. Teair Tart missed this game with injury and his regular share of snaps was largely awarded to rookie undrafted free agent Naquan Jones, who was on the field for more than 50% of the plays (37 snaps). Fellow nose tackle Eli Ankou, who was added to the practice squad just earlier this week and elevated to the game day roster for this contest, was in on 17 plays. Larrell Murchison continues to work his way back into the rotation and saw action on 18 plays. Amani Bledsoe was limited to just six snaps.
Harold Landry was once again excellent while leading the way with a whopping 72 (100%) snaps. Landry is now up to 8.5 sacks on the year. David Long also played 100% of the team’s defensive snaps. Tennessee needed a big performance from him given that Jayon Long and Rashaan Evans were out with injury. Long answered the call by being available on a snap-by-snap basis. Long has been TERRIFIC in 2021. Rookie third-round pick Monty Rice stepped into Evans’ shoes by playing more than 70% of the snaps. It was a big day for Rice, who looked like a rookie that was fairly out of sorts. It was surprising to see him play so many snaps. Avery Williamson, who many expected to see action as a run-stopping linebacker, did NOT play on defense. It’s pretty telling regarding what the coaching staff thinks of Williamson right now. Bud Dupree played 42 snaps, which accounted for a little under 60% of Tennessee’s defensive plays. It’s clear the Titans are trying to ensure Dupree stays healthy down the stretch. The coaching staff is weary of overusing Dupree. Ola Adeniyi played just three snaps.
Kevin Byard (All 72 snaps) and Jackrabbit Jenkins (also all 72 snaps) were once again the workhorses. There’s no surprise there. Byard made a critical fourth quarter error when his deep defensive pass interference allowed the Colts to tie the game in the dying seconds. But No. 31 made up for it with an even more crucial play when he intercepted Carson Wentz in overtime and set the Titans up in field goal range. Byard has been terrific in 2021 thus far. After shockingly playing 100% of the snaps against Kansas City last weekend, Greg Mabin once again saw a ton of time at outside cornerback opposite Jenkins. Mabin saw 59 snaps overall. As Turron Davenport pointed out here, Chris Jackson, who played just 28 snaps, eventually replaced Mabin on the outside. As expected, Amani Hooker (59 snaps) has slotted into the lineup next to Byard. He was responsible for a fairly big DPI call as well. Rookie third-round pick Elijah Molden was in on 48 plays and nearly won the game by picking off a boneheaded Wentz throw late in the fourth quarter. It was a Pick 6 and should have been the game-winning score, but the Colts tied it late. Dane Cruikshank played just 20 snaps and cornerback Breon Borders was limited to six plays.