Season Preview: Tennessee Titans

The Titans bandwagon is slowly gaining momentum and they are being tipped for big things this season. The AFC South is a weak division and Tennessee are an emerging force. Could this be their year? James Long writes…

What should we expect from the Titans?

The Titans have been in the football wilderness for some years now but recently they have become the NFL media darlings with many experts tipping them to go far this season. They are certainly in the hunt for the AFC South crown and have a roster that is more than capable of winning it.

Did the Titan address all of their needs this offseason?

Yes, a promising 9-7 season last suggested that only minor adjustments were required and the areas of need have been addressed in free agency and the draft. The two 1st round draft picks were wisely spent on wide receiver, Corey Davis and corner, Adoree Jackson, two areas where the team needed upgrading. The addition of Logan Ryan will beef up the secondary and I really like the late signing of Eric Decker. He will be a valuable veteran helping out a young receiver group.

Who should Titans fans feel most excited about?

Marcus Mariota. Simply put, this man is vital to any hopes of success. The season will hinge upon his ability to stay injury free and play the entire season, something he has failed to achieve in his first two seasons.

The one two punch combination of Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry will hopefully go from strength to strength and the offensive line will be desperate to once again cement themselves as one of the best groups in the league.

Second year Running Back Derrick Henry is a big assett

Were there any surprise departures?

Not particularly. The writing was always on the wall with the release of wide receiver, Kendall Wright. Everyone desperately wanted to see him succeed but his injury record and questionable work ethic meant it was hardly a surprise. His media interviews blaming the Titans management for his on field failings means he certainly won’t be missed.

I was a little surprised to see that WR Harry Douglas is still hanging around. His output was average at best last year. He must be doing something right on the practice field.

What is the biggest strength of the Titans?

As strange as it is to say, the Titans strength is that their divisional rivals are so weak. The Titans are the only team without any real questions marks around their QB.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has not played or even practiced this summer. The words shambles and Blake Bortles go together quite nicely in Jacksonville and the Texans are relying on backup Tom Savage until rookie Deshaun Watson is ready. The AFC South is there for the taking for the first time since 2008.

And the biggest weakness?

The secondary. The Titans allowed the third most passing yards per game in 2016 and have tried to address this area in the off-season. However, there will be a lot of questions as to whether the new look secondary will be a success. The depth of quality is limited and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will be hoping it remains injury free.

Breakout star to watch?

All eyes will be on 1st round draft pick, wide receiver Corey Davis. A hamstring injury during pre-season means he hasn’t taken the field yet but big things are expected of him. Rookie tight end, Jonnu Smith has been creating some serious buzz in pre-season so keep an eye out for him.

Finally, I’m also hoping that second year running back Henry gets more reps this season. Yes, he is playing second fiddle to Murray who racked up some serious yards last year but I feel that Henry always shone when given an opportunity.

What will the Titans record be?

The Titans have a very favourable schedule and so I am going out on a limb and predicting a 11-5 season. Call me crazy but if this team continues to grow throughout the season they could go far. Things are heating up in Nashville!

 

James Long

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James Long
A lover of all things Tennessee Titans.
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