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Previewing the Tennessee Titans Defense

While still having talented players, the Tennessee Titans defense doesn't look like the top-10 unit of last season.

Much has been made over the struggles of the Tennessee Titans offense and how running back Derrick Henry no longer looks like the 2,0000-yard rusher of old. 

What's also been true in the first two games of the season is that the Titans defense hasn't resembled the top-10 unit that they were last season. 

It was through their defense last season, ranking sixth in points allowed and No. 2 in the NFL at stopping the run, that the Titans were able to attain the best record in the AFC. 

The Titans had three players who made the Pro Bowl from their defense last year, but the only one who has been able to live up to that level is defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons. 

The former first-round pick broke out in 2021, recording a career-high 8.5 sacks and 54 total tackles. 

Simmons has two sacks in the Titans' first two games, and is Pro Football Focus's second-highest rated defensive tackle. 

What he doesn't have alongside him is Pro Bowl outside linebacker Harold Landry, who had 12 sacks last season. 

Landry is slated to miss this season after he tore an ACL in practice earlier this month. 

Without him, the Titans will need the highly-paid Bud Dupree to return to his previous double-digit sack form, and could use the emergence of players such as rookie Rashad Weaver, who had two sacks against the New York Giants. 

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At linebacker, Zach Cunningham has the resume as a tackling machine, while David Long has battled injuries and inconsistency over his four-year career. 

They have a major strength in the secondary with safety Kevin Byard, one of the best in the game at his position. 

He's coming off a 2021 campaign that saw him be named a First-Team All-Pro.

Byard has a capable running mate in safety Amani Hooker, and at cornerback, the Titans have been able to bring in several talented prospects. 

It's a defense that still has a chance to play up to their potential, but the Las Vegas  Raiders could have caught them at the perfect time. 

It helps that linebacker Jayon Brown played for the Titans for five seasons, and can give a first-hand account of how they run their defense. 

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