Titans linebacker duo rank 2nd in NFL with 17 combined sacks
Derrick Morgan is having the best season in his seventh year in the NFL, while Brian Orakpo on the other side of Tennessee’s defensive line is just two sacks shy of matching his career high. Together, the Titans linebackers are taking down quarterbacks as good as any duo in the NFL. Morgan has eight sacks, while Orakpo has nine for a total of 17. Only Cliff Avril (10) and Frank Clark (71/2) of Seattle have more combined sacks, and that’s by just a half sack.
“Those two guys right there are game-changers, and when those two are rolling there’s nobody out there that can stop them,” Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey said. “So it’s really hard for an offensive line to contain either one of them. And when you get guys like that rushing off the edge, it makes the game a lot easier for the guys in the middle and for the secondary, makes the game 10 times easier for them.” Morgan, the Titans’ first-round pick in 2010 out of Georgia Tech, and Orakpo now find themselves in a race to see who can become the first Tennessee player to pile up double-digit sacks since Casey had 101/2 in 2013.
“That’s any edge defender’s goal is to get to double digits,” Morgan said. “That’d be something special if we were both able to get to double digits and finish off the year strong.” Orakpo had 11 sacks as a rookie with Washington in 2011 and had 10 in 2013 also with the Redskins. This already marks his best season since then, and Orakpo already has 32 quarterback pressures with five games left - five shy of what he totaled all of last season. Padding the sack level to 10 or higher is much more special since the quarterback winds up on the ground. “Oh, that’d be huge not only for me and him because of how hard we work together since day one, but for this franchise and organization.” Orakpo said. “I love working with the guy. We both bring it. We both complement each other very well.” The Titans (5-6), who visit Chicago (2-8) tomorrow, haven’t had this kind of production from a defensive duo since 2010 when Jason Babin (121/2) and Dave Ball (seven) combined for 191/2 sacks. Defensive end Jevon Kearse (141/2) and linebacker Eddie Robinson (six) combined for 201/2 sacks in 1999 when this franchise reached its lone Super Bowl. — AP