In L.A., swarming Titans' defense led the way to another surprise

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The big names are really on offense, starting with the shelved Derrick Henry, but with A.J. Brown and Julio Jones and Ryan Tannehill also as headliners and Taylor Lewan and Rodger Saffold certainly notable too.

The money is there as well, with five of the top eight cap hits on the 2021 Tennessee Titans on offense.

Every NFL team aims for balance, but most are better on one side of the ball. That’s certainly been the case for the Titans since Tannehill took over as quarterback in Week 6 in 2019 and Henry really got chugging consistently later that season.

Jeffery Simmons and Matthew Stafford

© George Walker IV / / USA TODAY NETWORK

Last year’s defense was generally a miserable unit, allowing opponents to convert over half their third downs and sacking quarterbacks a grand total of 19 times.

But in completing a marvelous month with a 28-16 win over the Rams, the Titans defense did the hard work against a team that averaged 31 points.

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