After Week 15, the Green Bay Packers are 1st in the NFC with an 11-3 record. The Packers are coming off of an uninspired 24-16 over the Panthers. While Carolina is currently tied for last place in the NFC, they are still better than their record indicates. Put this one in the rearview mirror because up next is a strong Tennessee Titans. The team from Music City comes in at 10-4 after handling the Lions. It should be an epic battle of playoff-bound teams under the lights in Green Bay. This loaded Titans roster might be the best the Packers will see this year. In this article, we will examine the Titans Week 16 depth chart.
Smash Mouth Offense
There is nothing cute about how the Titans play offense. Head coach Mike Vrabel wants to play football like a dark alley street fight. His chest piece is the bruising Derrick Henry. The NFL’s 2019 leading rusher is big, fast and a nightmare to tackle. The 26-year-old has already eclipsed last year’s stats and shows no signs of slowing down. Henry will get his yards but the goal for the Packers’ defense is to fly to the football and make key stops when needed.
There have been some injuries along the offensive line but this is a disciplined group of veterans. They play hard and together. Ben Jones is in the middle at center and makes all of the calls. He is good in space and at getting to the second level. Long time left guard Rodger Saffold and the young Nate Davis aren’t household names but are built for this system. They are bullies inside. Dennis Kelly has found a home at right tackle and while David Quessenberry isn’t pro-bowler like Taylor Lewan, he has filled in admirably. The Packers defense will need to come in hungry against this tough front. Not only will it be challenging to bring Henry down, but even more difficult while this line blocking for him.
Don’t Pass Over This Attack
With the workhorse Henry getting so much attention it opens everything else up for quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The nine-year veteran has been extremely good this year with close to 3,500 yards, 31 TDs to go with only 5 INTs. He rarely makes mistakes and has no problem spreading the rock around. At his disposal is a pair of dynamic wide receivers in A.J. Brown and Corey Davis. Brown went over 1,000 yards as a rookie and looks to follow that up again. With 10 touchdowns and averaging 15.7 yards a catch, he is a big-play threat. Built-in the mold of a running back, he is a bear to bring down in the open field. Furthermore, Davis, the 2017 5th overall pick, isn’t an easy out either. Davis struggled his first three years but seems to have hit his stride. He will also likely go over the 1,000-yard mark as he sits with 945 and 5 end zone visits. Last week he busted a career-high 75-yard catch and score. As if that three-headed monster isn’t enough, the Titans also have seven-time scorer TE Jonnu Smith. The Packers will have a tall task against these weapons.
Not Carrying Their Weight
As good as the Titans’ offense has been, the defense isn’t performing on the same level. The pass defense is in the bottom five in both yardage and scoring. A big part of this is due to the lack of pass rush. The Titans are at the bottom of the league with only 14 sacks. Their pass rush group isn’t scaring anyone. Third-year pro Harold Landry leads this bunch. After a breakout 9 sack campaign in 19, he only has 4.5 this season. He also isn’t generating QB pressures at a high rate. Derrick Roberson is going to start at the other outside linebacker spot but he is a backup at this point. Roberson is still looking for his first sack of the year.
Though the QB pressures aren’t coming the Titan secondary is good. Adoree’ Jackson and Malcolm Butler are respectable cornerbacks in this league. Jackson has been really good the last few weeks and has elite speed to be able to play aggressively. Butler is a veteran who was considered one of the best for a long time. The Titans also added stud slot corner Desmond King via trade. King is a do-it-all playmaker that is also an All-Pro in the return game.
On the back end is another playmaker in free safety Kevin Byard. Since 2017, Byard has 18 interceptions. His play is down a tick this year but don’t underestimate his true centerfield talent. Furthermore, the hard-hitting Kenny Vaccaro will go at strong safety. Vaccaro isn’t the best in coverage but gets better the closer he is to the line of scrimmage. The Titans also like the young Amani Hooker who has 3 pics in limited action.
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The Tennessee run defense has fared a little better and is middle of the league. Up front in the trenches starts with budding star Jeffery Simmons. The second-year pro is a menace. He uses his cat-like quickness and explosion to hold the point of attack. It will be crucial to hold him in check. DaQuan Jones is the nose tackle and is a good space heater. He is not going to show up on the stat sheet but does his part. The inside linebackers are a young athletic Rashaan Evans and Will Compton. Evans has the tools to make plays but Compton is more of a backup snap eater. Overall this group can mask mistakes if the Packers are not tuned in.
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