Will Levis will make his NFL debut this Sunday against the Falcons, who are licking their lips at the thought of facing a rookie quarterback in his first career start. Calais Campbell, who has seen his fair share of firsts, is eager to welcome him to the league.
"There's not a lot of tape. I'm not going to go back and watch his college tape…I want to see him do well, but not this week. I hope to welcome him to the NFL properly." — @AtlantaFalcons DE @CalaisCampbell (and 100 sack man) on facing rookie QB Will Levis in his first start.
— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) October 25, 2023
Whenever you face an offense with Derrick Henry, stopping that refrigerator with legs is the first priority. Ryan Nielsen’s defense ranks 8th in yards per rush (3.7) and yards per game (95.3). If that continues on Sunday, Will Levis is going to be in for a rude awakening.
Atlanta’s defense doesn’t have the gaudy sack totals like the Eagles and other top groups, but they are pressuring opposing quarterbacks at one of the highest rates in the league. The Falcons rank 4th in pressure rate (28.1%) behind the Chiefs, Bills, and Jets, and ahead of the Browns, who many consider to be the top defense in the league.
Calais Campbell, Grady Jarrett, David Onyemata, Bud Dupree, Kaden Elliss, and Arnold Ebiketie have a chance to pad stats this weekend because the Titans have a turnstile of an offensive line.
Tennessee quarterbacks — Ryan Tannehill (19) and Malik Willis (4) — have been sacked 23 times, which is the 4th most in the league. Moreover, Mike Vrabel made a change against the Ravens in London during the Titans’ Week 6 contest, benching Andre Dillard at halftime in favor of Nicholas Petit-Frere.
NPF allowed 2.0 sacks, four pressures, and two hurries via 22 pass-blocking snaps, according to PFF. He finished with a measly 17.4 blocking grade, and he’s apparently an upgrade. Petit-Frere was also whistled for two penalties.
When he was at Kentucky, Will Levis was knocked for his carelessness with the ball. That isn’t going to change all of a sudden in his first NFL start. Rookie quarterbacks haven’t fared well against the Falcons’ defense thus far, and it’s unlikely to be any different this Sunday.
CJ Stroud and Bryce Young combined for 395 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on 54.8% passing. The 1st and 2nd overall picks struggled against Atlanta in their respective matchups. What do you think is going to happen to a second-round pick?
The Falcons should wreak havoc on the Titans’ offense on Sunday, paving the way for another victory. Whether Desmond Ridder and the offense take advantage is another story entirely.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire