ReFo: Titans @ Chiefs, Week 1
The Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs matchup started very slowly as both defenses consistently stopped the opposing offenses. It wasn’t until late in the second quarter that the Titans offense finally got out of first gear, but once they did the Chiefs never looked like mounting a comeback.
The game was won in the trenches, especially the difficulty the Chiefs’ offensive line had against the new 3-4 Titans defense. The Chiefs provided little running room for Jamaal Charles and had to rely on the passing without the suspended Dwayne Bowe, and as you would expect, their passing game struggled to provide any spark.
Tennessee Titans – Performances of Note
Jurrell Casey, DE: +7.0
Breakdown: In his new role, Casey looked like he has been playing as 3-4 defensive end his whole life. Providing consistent push in the run game, he helped the Titans’ defense to limit Jamaal Charles to only 19 yards on seven attempts. As a pass rusher, Casey ended the game with a 14.6 Pass Rushing Productivity, due to three hits and seven total pressures.
Signature Play: Third quarter 9:32 as Casey pushes Mike McGlynn 3 yards into the backfield and then makes the tackle for no gain when Charles cuts behind it.
Derrick Morgan, OLB: +6.5
Breakdown: Another of the supposedly miscast players in the 3-4 defense. Morgan was dropped into coverage 12 times, targeted twice. One was a 6-yard completion the other was a pass deflection when he was covering Travis Kelce on a seam route downfield. Morgan was able to take advantage of the Chiefs putting starting left guard, Jeff Allen, at right tackle as Morgan took it to Allen and backup Ryan Harris all day long.
Signature Stat: Morgan only rushed the Passer 31 of his 54 snaps, but he was effective with seven total pressures and a Pass rushing Productivity of 17.5.
Michael Oher, RT and Chance Warmack, RG: -4.1 (in run blocking, combined)
Breakdown: The Titans’ performance as a whole was very good, though there were a couple of issues that could linger. Oher and Warmack both had some struggles in the run game, having difficulty consistently sealing their blocks at the point of attack. Oher, however, produced a solid day in pass protection allowing only one pressure (a sack) on a play where Locker had enough time to get rid of the ball.
Signature Play: Fourth quarter 8:46 when Oher is stood up at the point of attack by Alvin Bailey who then makes the tackle for a 1-yard gain.
Kansas City Chiefs – Performances of Note
Chris Owens, CB: -3.2
Breakdown: With Marcus Cooper out, the Chiefs used Owens as their third cornerback. The Titans managed to pick on him for seven catches and 88 yards. While those numbers aren’t huge, Owens’ grade drops because of two missed tackles. One of the missed tackles was against Justin Hunter the other against Leon Washington allowing him to convert for a first down.
Signature Stat: Owens was targeted every 4.1 snaps he was on the field and allowed a reception every 4.7 snaps.
Travis Kelce, TE: +1.2
Breakdown: The lone bright spot on the Chiefs’ offense against the Titans was preseason standout, tight end Travis Kelce. Targeted fives times for three catches and 49 yards, Kelce continued to show that he’ll be a matchup issue for linebackers in coverage. Promise from his strong preseason.
Signature Play: Second quarter 11:48 and while this is not the most difficult play that Kelce will have to make, it shows how dangerous he can be against linebackers.
Offensive Line (-17.3)
Breakdown: We all know the Chiefs had issues on their offensive line going into this matchup with the loss of three free agents and the suspension of Donald Stephenson. That last bit gave the Chiefs the bright idea of putting Jeff Allen at right tackle. Allen is a below average guard and putting him at tackle was a disaster, not because Allen was poor at right tackle, he ended with a -2.9, but the recently signed Mike McGlynn took over at left guard. McGlynn was what he has shown time and again: a player who struggles against the majority of the NFL. If you want to find some sliver lining from the Chiefs offensive line, it is possible to look at sixth-round rookie Zach Fulton who had some difficulties in run blocking (-1.9) but posted a -0.6 as a pass blocker.
Signature Stat: The Chiefs’ offensive line as a unit gave up 18 Total Pressures and had a 68.9 Pass Blocking Efficiency which was the second lowest of the week.
PFF Game Ball
After a strong season last year as 4-3 DT Jurrell Casey gets the game ball in his new position as a 3-4 end.