NFL Week 14 Preview: Titans at Cardinals
The Tennessee Titans visit the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
PFFELO Ranking: 15
Coverage by: Sam McGaw
Matchup: Tennessee Titans offense vs. Arizona Cardinals defense
- TE Delanie Walker vs. S Budda Baker – Walker’s average of 2.43 receiving yards per route run since Week 7 is the highest rate among tight ends that have seen a minimum of 26 targets during that span. This season, Walker has turned 57.4 percent of his targets into either a first down or a touchdown. He’s generated a 93.9 passer rating when thrown at. Baker has allowed 14 catches on 22 passes into his coverage for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterbacks throwing against him have averaged a 100.8 passer rating.
- T Taylor Lewan vs. Edge Chandler Jones – Lewan’s pass-blocking efficiency of 96.1 is tied with teammate Jack Conklin for 14th among offensive tackles. Lewan has gone four straight games without allowing a sack. He enters Sunday’s bout with a pass-blocking grade of 80.4 and a run-blocking grade of 75.9. Jones ranks 23rd among edge defenders with an overall grade of 83.9. The mark is largely aided by his pass-rushing grade of 86.1. He has a 10.4 pass-rush productivity, which is good for 24th in his position group. Additionally, he’s tacked on 19 run stops, which is tied for the fifth-most among 3-4 outside linebackers.
- RB Derrick Henry vs. LB Karlos Dansby – Henry has been the closer for the Titans over the past two games. Of his 24 carries in those matchups, 17 have come in the fourth quarter. Comparatively, fellow Titans running back DeMarco Murray has had two carries in the fourth quarter in those games. Henry has registered an elusive rating of 128 over the past two weeks, which is the second-highest mark for a running back during that span. This season, he’s had eight runs go for 15-plus yards, and 42.6 percent of his rushing yards have come on those gains. While Dansby has a team-high 23 run stops, he possesses a run-defense grade of 45.8. His overall grade of 46.6 ranks 55th among linebackers.
PFFELO Ranking: 24
Coverage by: Mark Chichester
Matchup: Arizona Cardinals offense vs. Tennessee Titans defense
- RB Kerwynn Williams vs. LB Avery Williamson – With starting running back Adrian Peterson still struggling with a neck injury, fifth-year back Kerwynn Williams is set to start his second-straight game for the team. Williams filled in admirably during his team’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 13, where he carried the ball 16 times for 97 yards, forced one missed tackle and averaged an impressive 2.81 yards after contact per attempt, the 14th-best mark among backs. This week, Williams will be hoping to continue his success, but it won’t come easy against Avery Williamson, who has tallied a run stop percentage of 8.8 percent so far this season, good for 19th among inside linebackers, while his run-defense grade of 87.4 currently sits eighth among players at the position.
- T Jared Veldheer vs. Edge Brian Orakpo –With D.J. Humphries out for the year with a knee injury, the Cardinals opted to move Veldheer from right tackle back over to left tackle, and the veteran has responded magnificently. In his last three games protecting the blind side, the veteran has allowed just three pressures on 122 pass-block snaps for a pass-blocking efficiency of 98.0, good for sixth among all tackles in that span. In his latest contest, he’ll be looking to keep Brian Orakpo at bay, but that’s easier said than done. Through 13 weeks, the veteran edge-rusher has racked up 50 total pressures, the fifth-most among 3-4 outside linebackers, while his pass-rush productivity of 11.9 currently ranks ninth among players at the position.
- TE Ricky Seals-Jones vs. LB Wesley Woodyard – Three weeks ago, head coach Bruce Arians decided to give the former Texas A&M wideout a shot, and the rookie has repaid him in a huge way. In his last three games, Seals-Jones has caught 9-of-10 catchable targets for three touchdowns and 170 receiving yards at an average of 5.67 yards per route run, which ranks first among tight ends in that span by quite a considerable margin. This week, he’s in for a tough matchup against Wesley Woodyard, who has performed well when covering tight ends this season. Through 13 weeks, Woodyard has allowed just 12 receptions from 20 targets for 161 yards and a passer rating of just 46.0 when covering tight ends.