The Tennessee Titans dropped their second consecutive contest, losing to the New England Patriots on Sunday. The Titans have several unrecognizable faces on the roster currently. Injuries have completely decimated the top half of this team’s roster, and it’s forced the coaching staff to get awfully creative with their personnel on both sides of the ball. We’ve identified three surprising facts regarding the team’s official snap count report worth analyzing in further detail.
Harold Landry plays just 39 snaps
Harold Landry's 39 snaps (67.2%) are the least I can recall him playing over the last two seasons. Normally around 90%. Here are the other #Titans LB snap counts vs. #Patriots. pic.twitter.com/nECVv6fe9j— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) November 28, 2021
This one was initially tough to understand, but head coach Mike Vrabel delivered some clarity on the situation in Monday's press conference, claiming that Landry was "battling at less than 100 percent." Landry has typically served as this team’s workhorse at the outside linebacker position, often playing north of 90% of the team’s defensive snaps on a weekly basis. That was not the case on Sunday, as Landry was involved in just 67.2% of the team’s plays. Landry failed to record a single pressure on Sunday for the first time this season. Tennessee's bye week came extremely late in the year, so it's no surprise to hear that wear-and-tear has begun to take its toll on Landry.
Landry’s running mate Bud Dupree is on injured reserve, and his eventual return should take some pressure off of Landry, who should be plenty fresh when the Titans take the field again in two weeks time.
Cody Hollister out snaps Dez Fitzpatrick 47-12
Skill position snap counts for the #Titans vs. #Patriots. Cody Hollister with 47 snaps. Dez Fitzpatrick with 12. pic.twitter.com/2OjrP9R5GD— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) November 28, 2021
Tennessee entered this game with just four wide receivers: Nick Westbrook, Dez Fitzpatrick, Cody Hollister and slot receiver Chester Rogers. Hollister, who spent time with the team in 2019, 2020 and the summer of 2021, rejoined the team earlier this week via the practice squad and immediately stepped into a starting role on the outside. It’s a bleak representation of where the Titans are at with their receivers right now due to injury. Hollister’s surprising snap count is also a resounding reflection of what this coaching staff thought of Fitzpatrick’s play in Week 11. Fitzpatrick clearly struggled in Houston. He was routinely disrupted throughout his routes due to lack of physicality and overall play strength. He struggled to run the correct routes, and constantly needed help from Ryan Tannehill when it came to getting lined up correctly. Fitzpatrick was the target of two Tannehill interceptions against Houston, and he was largely at fault for those turnovers. All of the mental and physical errors cost Fitzpatrick, who took a backseat to Hollister on Sunday.
DT Kyle Peko plays 50% of snaps
Jeffery Simmons led all #Titans DLine with 55 snaps. Here's the rest vs. the #Patriots pic.twitter.com/6JxHeJWCLD— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) November 28, 2021
There are actually several intriguing facts all throughout the defensive line’s snap count report. Firstly, nose tackle Kyle Peko was chosen to step into Teair Tart’s run-stuffing role. Peko was named a starter, and played a healthy 29 snaps, which accounted for 50% of the team’s defensive plays. Rookie undrafted free agent Naquan Jones played just 16 snaps in a similar role, but was more disruptive, and recorded a fourth-quarter sack. Larrell Murchison played just six snaps. It’s both interesting and disappointing to see Murchison get out snapped by Kevin Strong, who was added via the practice squad just earlier this week. Veteran defensive end John Simon played 19 snaps too many. He lacked the look of an NFL-calibre player in all honesty.
This team badly needs to get healthy down the stretch.