Titans officially rule out critical piece for Falcons game

NFL: DEC 18 Titans at Chargers

Leading up to the Falcons contest in Nashville against the Titans, Ian Rapoport reported that Tennessee would likely be without Ryan Tannehill this Sunday. Now, it’s been made official as Adam Schefter reports Tannehill has been ruled out.

The Falcons defense has to be licking their lips at the thought of drawing a rookie second-round pick in his NFL debut. Will Levis is expected to get the start, but Malik Willis is also expected to get some burn. Either way, Atlanta’s defense will be the benefactor.

When it comes to the Titans, the defense’s most important task is stopping Derrick Henry. Ryan Nielsen’s defense ranks 8th in yards per rush (3.7) and yards per game (95.3). If the Falcons can slow Henry, the Titans will have to rely on Levis’ arm, which is exactly where Atlanta wants to be.

The Falcons rank 4th in pressure rate (28.1%), and the Titans’ quarterbacks — Ryan Tannehill (19) and Malik Willis (4) — have been sacked 23 times, which is the 4th most in the league.

When at Kentucky, Will Levis was knocked for his turnover-prone way of playing the position. 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.

Photographer: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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