The Titans Offensive Line Needs To Improve On This Stat In Order To Make Significant Progress
Tennessee's o-line was terrible in this regard last campaign
- Despite playing in the AFC Championship game last season, the Tennessee Titans allowed the third-most sacks in the NFL, a stat that can’t repeat itself in 2020.
- The Titans had an outstanding rushing attack behind Derrick Henry, making their pass-protection struggles puzzling.
- Tennessee conceded 4.2 sacks per game with Marcus Mariota starting, but allowed just 2.8 per game after Ryan Tannehill became the starter.
- A pair of young offensive linemen could lead to improvement from the right side of the Titans offensive line.
- Tennessee's regular-season win totals line stands at 8.5 games. They're +180 to win the AFC South and -148 to make the playoffs. The Titans are +1400 to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl and are +3000 to win it all, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
Great In One Aspect, Terrible In Another
In many ways, it was puzzling to see the Tennessee Titans struggle so much in pass protection last season. With Derrick Henry leading the league with 1,540 rushing yards and then going off in the playoffs, opposing defenses shouldn’t have had so much success getting after the quarterback. Of course, Tennessee struggled the most during the early part of the season when left tackle Taylor Lewan was serving a four-game suspension.
The Titans conceded 17-of-56 sacks in the first three weeks, including a Week 3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in which Tennessee allowed nine sacks. Nevertheless, it was unusual to see a playoff team be among the worst in the league at protecting the quarterback.
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The change at quarterback that the Titans made after starting 2-4 helped their pass protection immensely. Marcus Mariota was sacked 25 times over six games, which is an average of more than four sacks per contest. Ryan Tannehill was sacked just 31 times in his 10 starts. If you include the playoffs, Tannehill was sacked 2.8 times per game. While less mobile than Mariota, Tannehill made better decisions and was able to throw the ball quicker to avoid sacks. If the Titans allow an average of 2.8 sacks per game in 2020, they’ll likely be middle of the pack in sacks allowed, a drastic improvement from 2019.
Reasons For Optimism
Despite last year’s disaster, the Titans have the potential to own one of the better offensive lines in the NFL. Lewan is a three-time Pro Bowler, while center Ben Jones is a former All-Pro. However, it could come down to right guard Nate Davis and right tackle Isaiah Wilson.
Davis was a third-round pick in 2019 who now has a year of experience under his belt. Wilson, meanwhile, was selected 29th overall in this year’s draft and will have to fill the shoes of Jack Conklin, who signed with the Cleveland Browns during the offseason. Outside of Wilson, the Titans will have a significant amount of continuity on their offensive line, which should lead to improvement from last season. Expect Tennessee to keep their quarterback upright more often in 2020.
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