Fan voting for the 2021 Pro Bowl is underway, so it’s time to take a look at which Tennessee Titans players deserve to make the cut.
There are four Titans players worthy of getting a nod.
QB Ryan Tannehill
— Luke Worsham (@luke_worsham) September 20, 2020
Tannehill’s 2020 season, so far, has put a giant muzzle on the mouths of anyone who wants to spot the nonsense that the 32-year-old wasn’t worth the extension the Titans gave him back in March.
Through nine games, Tannehill has a phenomenal touchdown-to-interception ratio of 20-3. He’s got a real shot to surpass 4,000 passing yards, and his 106.9 passer rating points to minimal regression from the heights he reached in 2019.
What was true for the Titans’ offense in 2019 remains true in 2020: RB Derrick Henry is the engine of the train, and Tannehill is its conductor.
The Titans’ QB has been far more than a game manager as the Titans have achieved a 6-3 start to the season. He’s made a number of brilliant throws, and his mobility continues to allow offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to call a high volume of play action passes.
Tannehill is also perhaps the biggest reason why the Titans have been able to win so many games despite having one of the worst defenses in the NFL. He deserves a second-straight Pro Bowl nod.
DL Jeffery Simmons
Jeffery Simmons is the second coming of Ndamukong Suh. He is extremely impressive, and y’all know I don’t give a whole lot of compliments. How many guys that big can contort their bodies like that, even if it wasn’t a pick?
— Luke Worsham (@luke_worsham) November 8, 2020
The Titans’ defense, as a whole, has been abysmal in 2020. Simmons’ individual performance, though, has been a major positive.
Expectations were high for Simmons heading into this season, and the second-year player has delivered. Now well over a year removed from a bad knee injury that led to him falling in the 2019 draft, Simmons has established himself as one of the NFL’s most disruptive defensive linemen.
He’s become a major force to be reckoned with against both the run and pass. He’s an elite athlete for his size, and he’s been essentially the only player on the Titans’ defense to not be consistently abused in 2020.
Watching Simmons play evokes memories of Buccaneers defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh from when he was in his prime with the Lions.
LG Rodger Saffold
When Saffold played his first games for the Titans early in 2019, he flat out stunk. Once he hit a turning point around halfway through that season, though, he became a force on the Titans’ offensive line.
Saffold has remained that force in 2020. He’s been the definition of steady on the offensive line, continuing to keep Tannehill upright and give Henry big running lanes.
He also deserves a lot of credit for the fact that the Titans’ offensive line has remained steady following the loss of LT Taylor Lewan.
RB Derrick Henry
Vrabel on Derrick Henry’s performance: “We witnessed someone taking a game over.” #Titans
— Luke Worsham (@luke_worsham) October 18, 2020
Henry has only had one “vintage Derrick Henry” game in 2020—a dominant performance against the Houston Texans—which is why his impressive stats are somewhat shocking.
With seven games left for the Titans, Henry has already amassed 946 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns. He hasn’t been terribly explosive in 2020, but he’s been efficient.
As the weather gets colder and the Titans turn more to the run game, Henry will likely heat up as he typically does in November and December. That should be a scary thought for defense, considering that Henry is already playing at a high level.
In his first year playing on a longterm contract, Henry is more than worthy of Pro Bowl votes.
Cover image: Christopher Hanewinckel / USA Today