It’s time for your first quarter grades as the Tennessee Titans are four games into the 2014 NFL season. Unfortunately, the Titans as a whole have regressed from the 2013 season at every single position so the grades aren’t good. We previously took a look at the offense and here are our defensive grades.
Defensive line: Grade B-
Jurrell Casey is still Jurrell Casey and has adjusted fairly well to the new defensive scheme. Ropati Pitoitua is likewise playing well but missed the Colts game with a leg injury. Karl Klug has played well in rotation and Mike Martin got his most extensive snaps of the season Sunday in his absence and played well registering two quarterback hits and a quarterback hurry. While sacks as a stat are a bit overrated the Titans haven’t registered one since the first half of the Dallas game. They need to do better there.
Linebackers: Grade C
Derrick Morgan had been playing well in the new system until the Colts game where he struggled against one of the surprisingly better offensive line groups in the league right now. Morgan has also surprisingly struggled against the run more this year. Kam Wimbley has been decent but isn’t a playmaker at this stage. Wesley Woodyard has been their best linebacker of the group but is second on the team in missed tackles with three.
Zach Brown got in the doghouse again and his now on injured reserve with an upper extremity injury. Zaviar Gooden has played okay in his spot but rookie Avery Williamson is breathing down his neck. Williamson played 26 snaps to Gooden’s 17 against the Colts.
Akeem Ayers mysteriously gets demoted and then deactivated and the Titans willingly chose to play Quentin Groves in his stead. Groves has three solo tackles. Add Shaun Phillips to the list of Titans who should be put on a milk carton.
Cornerbacks: Grade D
The Titans secondary is a hot mess as we previously wrote and that number two ranked passing defense we told you was inaccurate showed how bad it was against the Colts. Jason McCourty has been dinged up a bit and insn’t playing lights out but he is an all pro compared to Blidi Wreh-Wilson who has been absolutely terrible replacing Alterraun Verner. Coty Sensabaugh is playing very well right now and grades as the Titans best defensive back right now per Pro Football Focus.
Safeties: Grade B-
Bernard Pollard overall has been good and has done better with the penalties as well. Pollard is also one of the better tacklers on the team and is the reason why this position gets a positive grade. Michael Griffin on the other hand has been terrible this year and leads the team in missed tackles with five. He is ranked in the bottom tier of safeties with the majority of the team’s snaps per Pro Football Focus.
George Wilson is still getting it done even though he rotates in and also plays inside the box in some packages. He also has an interception and two passes defensed and is good in coverage. Daimion Stafford has yet to play a single defensive snap but really looked good in pre-season and camp. It remains to be seen if he gets a shot.
There you have it Titans fans do you agree or disagree? What are your first quarter grades for the defense through four games? Post them in the comments.