The Tennessee Titans are not ready to contend. They are set up to be in the mix in the AFC South. With that being said, this team is not ready to any further beyond winning the division. The Tennessee Titans are a good team, they are not a great team yet. I’ll explain.
Same Old Story
How to stop the Titans offense – step one, stop Derrick Henry. There you go. Believe me, it won’t be easy. But all defenses have to do is stack the box. The passing offense of the Tennessee Titans until they prove otherwise is not good enough. Ryan Tannehill has been good in the system. But the system isn’t built to come from behind. If Henry is getting stopped, then what? AJ Brown is amazing. He has proven so far that he can be a number one receiver. However, the Titans still believe they can solely ride Derrick Henry to victory. That is just not true.
The Rest of The Offense
Julio Jones at this point is a possession and jump ball receiver. He has been having issues with his foot and ankle. That has lead to some issues cutting when running routes. Not to mention the soft tissue problems to go along with that. Now to be fair, he will likely get one on one matchups against a number two corner with AJ drawing double coverage. There are no doubts Julio can still win those kind of battles. Other than that, don’t expect much. Josh Reynolds is a good receiver with speed that will be used in the slot. The Titans haven’t used slot receivers a lot with Henry. Maybe that will change, but there hasn’t been any evidence of that happening yet. Don’t be surprised if sixth round pick Racy McMath from LSU doesn’t play a lot.
Tight end Anthony Firkser has been solid. Behind him, there is not a lot of depth. The Titans did not draft one either. The offensive line is aging. Dillon Radunz was drafted in the second round from North Dakota State. He will serve as the right tackle. Taylor Lewan is coming back from a torn ACL. At age 29, hopefully this doesn’t accelerate hs decline. Other than Radunz, right guard Nate Davis is the only young player on the line. Left guard Robert Saffold is 33, center Ben Jones is 32.
Lack of Defense
There was not enough work done to fix the defense. It actually got worse. That secondary especially is questionable. Free safety Kevin Byard is by far the best player. It gets dicey after that. Janoris Jenkins, really? I’m not wasting words on why that is a bad idea. First round pick Caleb Farley from Virginia Tech has upside, but is still somewhat of an unknown. We’ll see if strong safety Amani Hooker can get four picks again, or if it was just a flash in the pan. He also needs to get some sacks, he currently has zero. We’ll also see if Elijah Molden, a third round pick from Washington can outst Jenkins. Brady Breeze, who was drafted in the sixth round from Oregon, will likely have to start on special teams before making an impact defensively.
Some Good and Bad News
There is reason to be optimistic about the linebacker core. Newcomer Bud Dupree had an eight sack season. On the other side, Harold Landry has turned into a good player. On the inside of the 3-4 front, inside backers Jayon Brown and Rashaan Evans are solid tackling machines. The Titans drafted some insurance and rotational players when they took Monty Rice in round three from Georgia and Rashad Weaver in the fourth round from Pittsburgh. He is listed as an end but he will probably play linebacker.
The defensive line is a mess. Jeffery Simmons needs to get more sacks. Teair Tart is the starting DT. Who is that? Denico Autry is coming off a 7.5 sack season, but at age 30, that probably won’t happen again since decline will begin. Because it’s a weak division, the Titans will have some success. But until the offense is balanced and until the defense improves, they won’t go anywhere beyond that.
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