Edge Pass Rush: F
Don’t know that we really learned anything about the #Titans in this one. Right now, they’re a gritty team with a talented offense and a defense that’s a liability.
— Luke Worsham (@luke_worsham) October 25, 2020
The Titans’ two biggest free agency acquisitions of 2020, outside linebackers Jadeveon Clowney and Vic Beasley, have been massive flops.
Beasley’s lack of both effort and production led to him being released after playing in just five games. He cost the Titans $9.5 million that would have been better spent on buying gas station scratch-offs.
Clowney, who’s making at least $13 million in 2020, has yet to record a sack. He’s hardly made an impact on the defense.
Harold Landry has just 2.5 sacks, though the Titans’ coaches have been way too insistent on dropping him into coverage in obvious passing situations.
If the Titans can’t get more production out of their edge rushers in the second half of 2020, the defense is going to continue to get embarrassed.
Interior DL: A
The Titans’ starters on the interior of the defensive line, DaQuan Jones and Jeffery Simmons, have been pretty remarkable in 2020.
Simmons, in particular, has been on a tear. Expectations were high for the second-year player from Mississippi State heading into the season, and he’s met them.
He’s become a major disruptive force and a true nightmare for offenses to deal with. His performance in the Titans’ most recent game against the Bears earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Inside Linebackers: D+
Perhaps the biggest disappointments for the Titans in 2020 have been linebackers Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown. Each looked primed for breakout campaigns, yet neither has come anywhere close to meeting expectations.
Brown seems to be trending in the right direction, now, following a pair of solid performances, but Evans remains mostly invisible. He also got himself thrown out of the Titans’ season opener for punching an opponent.
The only thing keeping this grade from being an F is the fact that, with the absence of Joseph and the addition of Desmond King, the group turned in a quality performance in Week Nine.
In every other game, though, the Titans’ secondary was a disaster. Not only have the cornerbacks been a major problem, but safeties Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro have been mostly invisible.
Hopefully, as King continues to become more comfortable and Adoree’ Jackson gets back on the field, this group will continue to grow.
Stephen Gostkowski has been all over the place in 2020. He kicked game-winners in each of the Titans’ first three games of the season. He was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September.
However, he also has missed a lot of kicks, including a fourth-quarter would-be go-ahead kick in Week Seven against the Steelers.
Brett Kern, who’s currently dealing with a hand injury, has been his usual dominant self this season. His replacement, Ryan Allen, played very well in his first game on Sunday.
Cover image: Joseph Maiorana/USA Today