Team Preview: Tennessee Titans
The Titans were the #1 seed in the AFC with a 12-5 record in Mike Vrabel's 4th season as the Head Coach. Despite injuries to key players Derrick Henry and AJ Brown, losing them both for portions of the season, the Titans took advantage of a weak division and slow starts from the Bills and Chiefs to put themselves in the best possible position to make the Super Bowl. What followed was one of the oddest statistical anomalies I have personally ever seen, as the Titans lost their first playoff game despite sacking the opposing Quarterback nine times, in part due to their own QB, Ryan Tannehill throwing 3 interceptions to a Bengals defense that would end up falling just short of a Super Bowl title. They now head into the 2022-2023 season with optimism they can have another division-winning season despite losing A.J Brown and not getting the production that they wanted in camp out of Treylon Burks, his replacement.
Depth Chart Strengths
Defensive Line: With Denico Autry, Jeffery Simmons, Bud Dupree, and Harold Landry, this unit is not strapped for talent or athleticism in the slightest. Simmons needs to provide a large majority of the run-stuffing, but this is a solid group, most of whom have experience in this system and with one another.
Secondary: Caleb Farley, Kristian Fulton, and Roger McCreary were all drafted in 2020 or later in the top 2 rounds and now find themselves as the top 3 corners on the team. Normally I'd say this is a recipe for disaster but they have a great safety pairing behind them in Kevin Byard and Amani Hooker who should be able to cover whatever mishaps they have, at least vs division opponents.
Tight Ends: The addition of Austin Hooper is going to help out Tannehill after losing A.J Brown and will eat up some of those open receptions, Geoff Swaim is also a solid pass catcher and both are decent blockers that should help with the run game.
Running Back: Derrick Henry is still here, and as long as he is and is still in relatively good health, that will remain a strength of any team he plays on.
Depth Chart Weaknesses
After losing A.J Brown, the Titans chose WR Treylon Burks in the first round of the draft, and his performance so far in camp has been...underwhelming to say the least. Burks has been taking reps with the 2nd and 3rd teams and is reportedly having trouble learning the offense although many reporters from camp have been quick to calm rumors that Burks is running the wrong routes, labeling it as misinformation. Regardless, a player like AJ Brown is very difficult to attempt to replace, and the likelihood that Burks can produce in a similar fashion in year 1 is low. Their other possible targets will likely go to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Robert Woods, who is returning from a torn ACL last season, this WR core will be much less of a threat this season and I also see this leading to a downgrade in Tannehill's production.
RB Depth: I understand it seems contradictory because RB is listed as a strength, but that is simply because of the starter, Derrick Henry. Henry missed 9 games last season, he is now an RB on the wrong side of 27 (usually a big landmark in an RB's career) and also now has lower leg/knee issues. If he is not able to play the whole season, the next RB on the depth chart is 4th round rookie Hassan Haskins and the team is effectively toast, as Haskins will not be able to produce like Henry (obviously) and the Titans succeed through the run game, if they don't have that, they won't have any offense.
Treylon Burks: We already know what Tannehill is and with no weapons he is not much of anything, Burks has to be the threat he was drafted to be but so far in camp reports have been mixed. To succeed, this offense has to be two-dimensional and that only happens if Burks becomes a weapon that opposing defenses have to plan for every week and is a viable outside option for his QB.
Team Grades*A higher schedule grade means an easier schedule
Receiving Options: C
Schedule Predictions: 6-11
Week 1 vs NYG: Win Week 10 vs DEN: Loss
Week 2 @ BUF: Loss Week 11 @ GB: Loss
Week 3 @ LV: Loss Week 12 vs CIN: Loss
Week 4 @ IND: Loss Week 13 @ PHI: Loss
Week 5 @ WAS: Win Week 14 vs JAX: Win
BYE Week 15 @ LAC: Loss
Week 7 vs IND: Loss Week 16 vs HOU: Win
Week 8 @ HOU: Win Week 17 vs DAL: Loss
Week 9 @ KC: Loss Week 18 @ JAX: Win