SEATTLE — The Tennessee Titans sure like to make their fans sweat, huh? Lost in the stressors and joys of their 33-30 overtime victory at Seattle on Sunday was a critical performance by corner Kristian Fulton.
All due respect to the one they call “Fat Randy.”
Much has been made about Tennessee’s lack of contributions from both its 2020 and 2021 rookie classes. Rightfully so. Last year’s group saw first-round pick Isaiah Wilson already out of football. Third-round selection Darrynton Evans’ health consistently keeps him from contributing. Fellow defensive back Chris Jackson and defensive lineman Larrell Murchison are finding their slowly.
Only 2021 third-round corner Elijah Molden has had an immediate impact. Fulton’s progress has been a slow burn for Titans fans, but one that looks well worth the wait.
Kristian Fulton looks like the Titans CB1
Tennessee’s secondary was far from perfect against the Seahawks.
“I think we weren’t proud of how we played in that first half,” said safety Kevin Byard. “Obviously we feel like we played pretty good, but there were big plays. We gave up three big plays, and if you look at those plays that we don’t give up it’s a totally different ball game.”
The three plays that Byard referenced were three Seattle pass completions that went for a combined 182 yards and two touchdowns.
While receivers Tyler Lockett and Freddie Swain were ravaging the rest of the Titans defense, stud wide out DK Metcalf was held relatively in-check. A.J. Brown’s Ole Miss counterpart caught six passes for 53 yards, but was targeted 11 times with little success. Metcalf was Fulton’s primary Seahawks assignment on Sunday and did well not to give the former 64th overall pick much ground.
Metcalf managed only one catch for eight yards on five targets when the Tennessee’s 2020 second-round pick was in coverage on him, per Pro Football Focus.
“Being confident and comfortable,” said Fulton when asked about his newfound consistency. “I feel like the game has slowed down for me a lot this year. The coaches have been helping me with film. I’m just trying to make plays and I’m just trying to make sure I build up on my games throughout the week in practice.”
That stabilizing force comes not a moment too soon for a still-shaky Titans defense.
Featured Image: George Walker – USA TODAY Sports.