Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Will Levis was under constant duress throughout Thursday’s primetime defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers. As a unit, the Steelers defense totaled 34 pressures. Those pressures were divided by 23 hurries, seven quarterback hits, and 4.0 sacks. Levis was pressured on 34 of 44 dropbacks.
We understood the challenge posed on Thursday. T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith were awful matchups for Andre Dillard and Nicholas Petit-Frere. Both matchups went as expected. I never thought the Titans would be so reliant on a veteran journeyman such as Chris Hubbard, but that’s the reality of their situation. Hubbard, who missed Thursday with a concussion, is by far the best offensive tackle on the roster.
Pro Football Focus credited Dillard with allowing seven pressures, four hurries, and two quarterback hits. He was assigned blame for one sack. Dillard scored a 54.6 pass-blocking grade, which sounds generous.
The analytics aren’t as kind to Petit-Frere. Pro Football Focus assigned the sophomore blocker an unbelievably awful pass-blocking score of 12.7. Petit-Frere was consistently beaten by Watt’s inside counter move on a snap-by-snap basis.
Injuries certainly didn’t help. Petit-Frere, Dillard, and Peter Skoronski were all momentarily injured. Their brief exits forced Corey Levin, Jaelyn Duncan, and Dillon Radunz into the game.
Radunz played the majority of the snaps at right tackle. He was by far (somewhat by default) Tennessee’s best offensive tackle. Pro Football Focus has Radunz at a 66.8 pass-blocking grade via 40 pass-pro reps. Radunz didn’t allow any sacks or hits, but did allow three pressures.
The Titans should consider reshuffling their offensive line. Hubbard should be healthy enough to resume his duties as the starting right tackle. Will Mike Vrabel move Petit-Frere back to left tackle, or will Radunz receive an opportunity at tackle?
I don’t want to hear any complaints about this team drafting an offensive tackle in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. It’s absolutely a necessity.