Man, it was tough in the Twitter streets for Tennessee Titans cornerback Kristian Fulton yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, he deserved the criticism he got yesterday, and he didn’t make it any better with the comments he made after the game:
Kristian Fulton said it's tough when you have to play against the refs and the WRs. Feels the PI call wasn't a good one. But as he said, "It's life as a DB." pic.twitter.com/KqPew9griL— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) October 8, 2023
He won’t fix his mistakes if he can’t honestly assess his play. There is part of me that can understand why he is mad about the second pass interference call, the receiver did run over him, but that was really because he was fooled so badly on the double move and his technique was terrible. He’s gone from a reliable player when healthy to a liability. I’ll be pretty surprised if he gets the start against the Baltimore Ravens in London next week.
With all of that being said, this defense has 99 problems and Fulton is only one of them - and he wasn’t even the worst problem they had yesterday. The worst problem they had yesterday was the fact that the defensive front could not stop the run. That is supposed to be the calling card of this defense, but they got pushed around all day yesterday. They gave up 7.2 yards per carry and 2 touchdowns to an Indianapolis Colts running back not named Jonathan Taylor. This team really doesn’t have a shot to win when they do that.
There was a lot of talk about Teair Tart being out as the reason they were so bad against the run. Look, Tart has been a really good player for this team, but there is way more going on here than just Tart not being out there. The two big free agent acquisitions on defense this offseason, Arden Key and Azeez Al-Shaair, have been non-factors for the most part since the season started. Jack Gibbens doesn’t need to be out there. If this front seven isn’t good against the run there are going to be problems.
They also didn’t get much of a pass rush yesterday. They only had one sack and didn’t record many hits on either Anthony Richardson or Gardner Minshew. The secondary isn’t great. This defense was supposed to make up for not great secondary play with a great pass rush. That certainly didn’t happen yesterday. Where is Harold Landry?
Mike Vrabel and Shane Bowen better be in the lab answering some of these questions this week because this season will go off the rails really quickly if the defense continues to play like it did yesterday.