Eagles Defense vs. Titans Offense

The Eagles defense needs a rebound performance after the embarrassing loss to the Packers. Can they find redemption against Zach Mettenberger?


The Titans 16.8 points per game are the third lowest in the NFL. When Tennessee nearly topped the Steelers on Monday night, their 24 points scored were the third highest of the season. In a stroke of 'that's life' for a 2-8 team, their highest output was 28 points, in a come-from-behind loss to the Browns, who Brian Hoyer willed to 29. Behind Zach Mettenberger, the Titans have slumped to 15.7 PPG, though the Steelers loss could be an optimistic epiphany.

Tennessee tanks 26th in rushing yards (925) and worst in offensive third down percentage (30.43%). Ken Whisenhunt's fancied as an innovative offensive mind, but there's still clearly much work to do in the Music City. Searching for their first win since October 12 is next on the team docket.

Zach Mettenberger

As said before, Mettenberger's performance against the Steelers held a lot of promise, even if he and the offense couldn't finish the deal in the fourth quarter. He's completing about 62 percent of his passes, with five touchdowns against four picks across three starts. For a rookie playing with a team that's as put-together as a moth-infested raincoat, you could do worse.

KEY STAT: The 5.18 time in the 40 at this year's Combine gives the Eagles their first immobile QB in a bit; Mettenberger has only one rush for -1 yard this year.

Bishop Sankey

Next up on the list of rookies, the promising Sankey, who hasn't tapped his potential yet. Sankey's started only three games with the Titans, but has seen an increase in his carries in games where Shonn Greene got the nod. The rookie's started the last pair of games, running for 93 yards on 27 carries (3.44 YPA) and a touchdown.

KEY STAT: Sankey has only carried 10+ times in a game five times. His average YPA in those games: 3.82.

Delanie Walker

Walker's the tight-end you pick up in fantasy football after your friends take Graham, Gronk, and Julius, but he's got plenty of value while languishing in obscurity. Walker's 512 receiving yards lead the Titans, while his 38 grabs are second most behind Kendall Wright's 43. A concussion caused Walker to sit out the Steelers game, and his status for Sunday is questionable.

KEY STAT: Walker has the only 100-yard receiving performance of any Titan this year, breaking for 142 against the Cowboys.

Taylor Lewan

The troubled rookie didn't need much time to solidify himself as the team's best overall lineman, starting against the Jaguars in Week 6 and not looking back. Lewan had to fill in at left tackle for Michael Roos, out for the year with a knee injury, and has picked up the slack without missing a beat, doing a quality job of protecting the blindside of whichever quarterback it's been.

KEY STAT: Lewan has allowed seven total QB pressures in five starts, only two of which were for sacks.


So Aaron Rodgers apparently laughed at the Eagles defenders throughout Sunday's game, but really, the situation was about as funny as a million airings of Rodgers' StateFarm ads. Philadelphia went way off course on Sunday, managing just one sack from Vinny Curry, and getting burned badly on the outside (see: Bradley Fletcher).

The optimist would say the Eagles needed an embarrassing loss in order to re-evaluate their most glaring weaknesses, but others will say that such faults are hard to overcome during the course of the season. Rest assured that practice this week was probably as intense as its been this season for Bill Davis' bunch.

Bennie Logan

Logan's never been the strongest pass rusher on the Eagles, but the last few games he's looked like a true liability. The middle pressure hasn't been there for the Eagles, unless Mychal Kendricks bursts through or Connor Barwin loops back in with a spy or stunt. Logan drew a bit of national attention for jawing with the officials on Sunday, and he was mostly invisible otherwise.

KEY STAT: Logan has not registered any form of quarterback pressure (sack, hit, or hurry) in the last three games.

Brandon Graham

The minimal use of Graham unfortunately means he's flying from the nest once his contract expires after the season. Despite great run-penetration and pass-rushing from the outside linebacker spot, Graham's playing minimal snaps, including just 28 out of 68 Sunday against the Packers. It's unfortunate that the man is just finding his niche after years of Earl Thomas references, and he's more than likely on his way to starting somewhere else.

KEY STAT: Despite limited playing time, Graham has recorded 22 quarterback hurries in ten games, getting at least one hurry in all but two games.

Cary Williams

Ever since his complaints about the Eagles fitness regimen, and a poor outing against the Rams, Williams has slowly worked his way back into being the press corner he was brought into town to be. Williams graded highly against the Panthers and, believe it or nor, the Packers, with solid pass coverage and an absolute dearth of mistakes. If Fletcher isn't re-signed after the season, the team will take on Williams' big contract year ($6M) and hope he comes through as the leader.

KEY STAT: Despite Williams' reputation as a defender with more bark than bite, the corner has only missed four tackles all season.

Statistics from Pro Football Focus were used to write this story.

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