Will the Titans look for secondary help at the trade deadline?
If you are a hardcore Tennessee Titans fans like me, you were probably screaming bloody murder at your TV as the Titans secondary failed to cover the Pittsburgh Steeler wide receivers for the majority of the game last weekend.
Ben Roethlisberger didn't have a great game by any stretch of the imagination - he went 32 of 49 with three interceptions - but the offensive gameplan exploited the Titans' biggest weakness to perfection. Of course, I am talking about the secondary's inability to cover in the passing game and get off the field on third down.
Shortly after the draft after the Titans signed Jonathan Joseph, got rid of Logan Ryan, and drafted Kristian Fulton in the second round, I said Tennessee's secondary improved drastically. They sure have proved me wrong through these first six games.
Not having Adoree Jackson has been crippling to this defense and as it stands right now, the Titans have the worst third down defense in the league by a longshot. It's historically bad, in fact.
According to statistics gathered by TitansWire and Scott Kacsmar of Captain Comback, the Titans are allowing a conversion on 61 percent of third downs. That is the highest conversion rate the NFL has seen in nearly 30 years. Here are the worst of the worst in that category over the same period of time:
- 2020 Titans: 61%
- 2018 Falcons: 56.2%
- 2019 Falcons: 56.0%
- 2007 Dolphins: 53.8%
- 2020 Giants: 53.8%
- 2020 Bills: 53.5%
This really goes to show how great Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, and the rest of the Titans' offense has been all season. They have scored enough and possessed the ball long enough to keep the defense on the sideline, thankfully.
So, do the Titans make a big splash ahead of Tuesday's deadline to bolster the secondary?
From what I have seen this season, I would if I was in General Manager Jon Robinson's shoes, but knowing him and how he goes about acquiring players, it seems unlikely. The Titans are a very good team, that much is for sure. I would go as far as saying this is the best roster the franchise has had since the days of Steve McNair and Eddie George.
Robinson is likely hesitant to give away draft picks and I don't think anyone on the 53-man roster would be considered expendable at this time. Plus, I don't know if there is a corner who the team could/would trade for.
Adding a guy like Stephon Gilmore is nothing more than pipedream and the only cornerback that has any value on his name is Eli Apple and he has now been cut by three different teams, so he probably isn't up to snuff. The Titans are going to have to hope that Adoree returns this week and Fulton's stay on the injured reserve is not longer than three weeks.