The Tennessee Titans will look to keep their astounding five-game win streak going when they meet a difficult and stubborn New Orleans Saints team at Nissan Stadium this Sunday. Even with players such as Derrick Henry, Michael Thomas and Jameis Winston set to miss this contest, and the likes of Alvin Kamara and Julio Jones looking questionable at best, there will be plenty of star power on the field. These three player-vs-player battles could help decide the outcome.
HAROLD LANDRY VS. RYAN RAMCZYK
Harld Landry has been in astonishing form this season, having already equaled his career-high in sacks (9) through just nine contests. Landry has recorded 47 pressures, trailing just Myles Garrett (48) and Maxx Crosby (50) for the league-lead in that metric, via Pro Football Focus. Landry is giving opposing offensive tackles all they could handle right now. The Titans need to make new Saints quarterback Trevor Siemian uncomfortable on Sunday, and that starts up front.
Landry will spend most of his time rushing against Saints right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, who may be the best right tackle in all of professional football. This should be an extremely competitive battle on Sunday. Our eyes will be peeled to the action.
A.J. BROWN VS. MARSHON LATTIMORE
Brown didn’t play his best game in last week’s win over the Los Angeles Rams, dropping two passes on a pair of crucial third downs. Brown will look to bounce back against the Saints. It’s worth noting that the former Ole Miss standout had been in fine form before Sunday’s drop issues, having lit up the Bills, Chiefs and Colts to the tune of 379 total receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Brown will see a ton of Lattimore in coverage, perhaps even on a snap-by-snap basis. New Orleans will want to avoid getting Brown lined up opposite rookie corner Paulson Adebo too frequently, and may even ask Lattimore to shadow Brown exclusively. Lattimore isn’t playing his finest season in 2021, but still has a reputation as one of the best pure cover-men in the league. This is what receiver-vs-cornerback battles are made of.
JEFFERY SIMMONS VS. CALVIN THROCKMORTON
We simply couldn’t leave Simmons out after he destroyed the Rams’ interior offensive line for a game-high three sacks. It was Simmons’ finest performance of his young career, and he will look to build upon that momentum against a stout Saints line. Tennessee will move Simmons all around their defensive front, but he should see a fair bit of undrafted sophomore guard Calvin Throckmorton. Just as Simmons destroyed Rams left guard David Edwards on Sunday, he should once again have the upper hand against Throckmorton.
The Saints will likely look to slide protection and pay extra special attention to Simmons. Throckmorton is a young player that handled himself in acceptable fashion this season, earning a grade of 56.6 in pass protection, per Pro Football Focus. He’ll have his hands full with Simmons.