The Saints are currently 2.5-point underdogs to the Titans, according to DraftKings sportsbook and one reason for that is their lack of ability to pressure the quarterback so far this season.
Luckily for them, the Titans have had a hard time keeping guys off of their quarterback in the passing game.
The Titans have allowed the 3rd-most sacks (27) so far this season and have the 28th-ranked PFF pass blocking grade (53.1).
The Saints are tied for 18th in sacks (18), which isn’t horrible, but it’s the consistency in pressuring the QB on a game-by-game basis that hasn’t been there yet.
The Saints only have one pass rusher with more than 15 total pressures through eight games this season. That would be Cameron Jordan, who has 30 pressures, but a large percentage of his pressures have come as clean-up or pursuit pressures, rather than simply beating offensive linemen at the point of attack.
And they don’t have a single defensive lineman other than David Onyemata (who’s played two games) with a PFF pass rush grade over 70.
However, the Titans don’t have a single offensive lineman with above a 70 PFF pass block grade. The right side has been especially weak, as right guard Nate Davis and right tackle David Quessenberry have combined to give up 49 total QB pressures this year.
Onyemata will be a huge boost moving forward with his ability to collapse pockets in on opposing QBs, but it will be crucial for the Saints to have more consistent production on the edges.
And it will be especially important in this game, as the Titans are down star running back Derrick Henry. This means likely a more pass-heavy approach from the Titans offense.
If they do try to run, we know the NOLA run defense is stout — #1 in rushing yards allowed per game and rush yards per attempt allowed. It’s the pass D that will have to step up in order to ensure a victory.
This is basically a weakness-on-weakness matchup for these teams going into Sunday, but whoever gets the best of each other could decide the outcome of this game.
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