The Tennessee Titans offensive line has been a point of concern for most of the season, with a host of different players rotating in to fill holes left by injury. The trouble began when the team lost three-time Pro Bowler at left tackle in Taylor Lewan for the season, then had his backup, Ty Sambrailo, go down for the season after five starts in relief duty. These calamities were compounded when left guard Rodger Saffold had to deal with his own injury troubles, causing many to wonder what the Titans have to do to get rid of its snake-bitten luck.
We won’t even mention “he who shall not be named” still not being ready after the Titans spent a first-round pick at right tackle.
After beginning the season with a slogan like “Run Left,” it has been the right side of the offensive line that has been the most consistent through 11 games in the 2020 campaign.
Nate Davis has been a pleasant surprise at right guard for the Titans. Lining up in between Ben Jones at center and Dennis Kelly at right tackle, Davis continues to shine week-in and week-out. His most recent example comes in the form of a career best 86.7 PFF grade.
In just his second season in the NFL, after being selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Davis’ development is beginning to raise eyebrows at the national level.
The second-year interior offensive lineman was considered to be one of the better run blockers in last year’s drafts, but it was his pass protection that needed some improvement.
Davis has been an integral piece of an offensive line that has not only been able to pave the way for running back Derrick Henry to win the NFL’s rushing title for the second consecutive season, but to also keep quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s jersey clean.
Davis is yet to allow a sack on the season, which is especially impressive considering he has participated in every offensive snap for the Titans.
Tennessee’s offense has reached new heights since Tannehill took over in 2019. With playmakers such as Henry, A.J. Brown, alongside some of the highest paid linemen in the NFL in Lewan and Saffold, it is easy to see how Davis might slip under the radar.
But when the ball is snapped on Sunday and Tannehill turns his back to the defense to give way to Henry, you don’t have to look far to see the fruits of Davis’ labor. While just 24 years old and possessing what still is a small sample size of starting experience in the NFL, it will not come as a shock when Davis breaks someone’s bank for his second contract.
TEN fans need to give OL coach Keith Carter some love, especially since they were once campaigning for him to be fired.— Nick Lombardi (@NF_Lombardi) November 30, 2020
His OL has overcome multiple injuries to pave the way for one of the best offenses in the NFL.
He also should get some credit for the development of Davis.
Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Titans/Donald Page