This week the talk has been, first and foremost , about Derrick Henry–and rightfully so. Then there’s been a lot of talk about A.J. Brown and his strong outing against the Bills–and his bout with, according to him, Chipotle induced food poisoning.
Heading into Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, everybody’s talking about how to slow down Patrick Mahomes and how to minimize WR Tyreek Hill and T E Travis Kelce. There’s also been a lot of buzz about injuries, about overcoming a short week and maintaining intensity after an emotional big win.
And every Titans fan, pundit and ne’er-do-well alike, is wondering/opining, will Julio Jones play? And if he does, will he finish the game with out another annoying, game steeling injury?
For all that–and all that’s important, very important–nobody’s really talking about Kendall Lamm, the backup tackle that will be playing LT against the Chiefs in place of the oft injured Taylor Lewan. Lamm, a 2015 undrafted free agent from Appalachian State, will face off against one of the highest paid defensive players in the league, DE Frank Clark.
The 6’5″ 310 lb. Lamm has a total of 27 starts in 80 games with the Texans and the Browns. He signed a two year deal with the Titans worth 6.8 million dollars in March of this year. Lamm’s most productive year was 2018 where he logged 13 starts for the 11-5 Houston Texans. This season he has played a total 45 snaps, allowing 1 sack and 2 false start penalties.
Conversely, Clark signed a huge five year 104 million dollar contract, 44 million of it guaranteed, with the Chiefs in 2019. The enormous contract was inspired by his 2018 season with the Seattle Seahawks where he recorded 41 combined tackles, 13 sacks, two pass deflections, one interception, and three forced fumbles through 16 starts.
Though Clark made the pro bowl in 2019 and 2020, he has not lived up to the expectations that his contract affords. This season he has been plagued by legal troubles steaming from two illegal possession of a firearm charges this summer and he’s been frequently sidelined due to a hamstring injury. So far Clark has 5 tackles, zero sacks and no forced fumbles. On the other hand, back up DE Mike Danna has recorded 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 15 tackles in his stead.
If you believe, as I do, in the old adage that “all NFL games are won in the trenches,” the battle between Kendall Lamm and Frank Clark/Mike Danna will be the victors bellwether.