The Titans finished last season just one victory shy of playing in the Super Bowl. After an amazing run, through the second half of the regular season and a pair of upset victories over the Patriots and the Ravens in the playoffs, the Titans have to be very optimistic heading into this season.
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First and foremost for this team as the offseason began was hoping to lock up both quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry. In addition to accomplishing both of those priorities, the Titans addressed their pass-rushing need in signing former Falcon Vic Beasley. They also remain on free agent edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney‘s shortlist of suitors, which would be a game-changer for this team.
Heading into the season, the offense is expected to be more of the same. A heavy dose of last season’s NFL Rushing Title winner Henry. Along with more smart quarterback play from Tannehill.
A.J. Brown will be looking to improve on his impressive rookie campaign. Corey Davis not getting his fifth-year option picked up by the team may add a chip to his shoulder. He may finally look like a receiver drafted in the top five.
Tight end Jonnu Smith is coming off of a solid season as the number one on the depth chart as his position. He was even used on a few option plays and displayed impressive speed for his size.
The defensive front for the Titans will look a little different. Jurrell Casey is now in Denver. Last season’s rookie Jeffery Simmons will be ready for week one, after coming off IR halfway through his rookie season and playing well.
Predicting the 53 Man Roster
QB (2) – Ryan Tannehill, Trevor Siemian
Up until this past week, seventh-round pick Cole McDonald was foreseen as Tannehill’s backup. Instead, former Broncos and Jets quarterback Siemian will win the number two spot
RB (4) – Derrick Henry, Darrynton Evans, Khari Blasingame, Senorise Perry
Henry is the workhorse. The others will spell him when he needs a breather. The rookie Evans will likely be the number two back on the depth chart.
WR (8) – A.J. Brown, Corey Davis, Adam Humphries, Kalif Raymond, Cameron Batson, Rashard Davis, Kristian Wilkerson, Cody Hollister
The receivers have a chip on their shoulders. Brown, like many, felt he shouldn’t have won the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award that went to Kyle Murray. Davis, after the team, declined his fifth-year option will look to prove he belongs in the NFL in 2021. Humphries battled injuries to stay in the field in his first season in Tennessee. Raymond and Davis will split time at the slot receiver.
TE (4) – Jonnu Smith, Anthony Firkser, MyCole Pruitt, Geoff Swaim
With Henry, the Titans run quite a bit of three tight end sets. Smith, Firkser, and Pruitt each contributed when needed last season in the passing game as well.
OL (9) – Taylor Lewan, Isaiah Wilson, Dennis Kelly, Nate Davis, Ben Jones, Rodger Saffold, Jamil Douglas, David Quessenberry, Ty Sambrailo
Former starting right tackle Jack Conklin is now in Cleveland. Lewan won’t miss the first four games due to suspension this season as he did a season ago. Wilson, the rookie, will be under the microscope as well as the second-year man Davis who had an up and down rookie campaign.
DL (5) – Jeffery Simmons, DaQuan Jones, Matt Dickerson, Isaiah Mack, Jack Crawford
Big Jeff (Simmons) and Jones will have the biggest task of any group on the team. With the veteran Casey no longer in Nashville, they will have to create their own mismatches upfront.
EDGE (2) – Vic Beasley, Harold Landry
Beasley was brought in for the team’s pass-rushing need. Landry is one of the best young rushers in the NFL. There is also still a chance they bring in one more edge rusher in Clowney as well.
LB (6) – Rashaan Evans, Kamalei Correa, Jayon Brown, David Long, Nick Dzubnar, D’Andre Walker
Evans under coach Vrabel’s tutelage has blossomed into a solid run-stopping linebacker. Brown and fan-favorite Correa have also been solid for this team.
CB (5) – Malcolm Butler, Adoree Jackson, Kristian Fulton, Jonathan Joseph, Chris Milton
Jackson will have a breakout season and Butler will play like the guy the Titans thought they were getting when he came over from New England. Fulton will see a bit of action in his rookie season. And veteran Joseph is a solid Corbett who’s familiar with the division and it’s opponents.
SAF (4) – Kevin Byard, Kenny Vaccaro, Amani Hooker, Joshua Kalu
Byard will have his impact on just about every game this season. Vaccaro is also a solid safety.
ST (4) – Dane Cruikshank, Beau Brinkley, Brett Kern, Greg Joseph
Brinkley, Cruikshank, and Kern are the stalemates on special teams.
Joseph will hopefully be the answer to the kicking woes that plagued this team last season, where they had a carousel of kickers miss crucial field goals.
COVID (1) – Anthony McKinney
Coach Vrabel’s offense will be just as good as the one that landed the Titans in the AFC Championship Game, if not better, as the team on that side of the ball is just about the same.
Defensively, the handful of tweaks made in the off-season have this defense in great shape heading into the season.
If they stick to that same game plan they will be even more successful than last season. While the three other teams in their division have made roster changes of their own, the Titans were successful with the core roster that is still in place.
Season Prediction: 11-5 AFC South Division Champions
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