The Titans are different, for the better, than all of the other teams in the AFC South. A major question has already been solved by the Titans. They have their quarterback of the present and the future in Marcus Mariota. The rest of the division is a mess. Andrew Luck in Indianapolis is a complete question coming off of another injury rehab. The Texans have to decide whether to give the reigns of their team to either mediocre veteran Tom Savage or rookie Deshaun Watson. Lastly, Blake Bortles has lost the starting job in Jacksonville, showing the Jaguars are lost in their rebuild. With complete chaos erupting throughout the division, I expect the Titans to make great strides this year. Last year, they missed the playoffs due to tie breakers not falling their way against the Texans. Also, the Titans have added offensive weapons alongside Mariota and their elite run game, while bolstering their secondary. Expect great things from this young team.
The biggest strength of this team is that they are finally rounding out the team. There has been blatant weaknesses over the past few years. Finally, they have not only built an offense or defense, but they have built a team. They have Marcus Mariota, 22 years young, running the offense under center. He had a stellar second half last year, and will look to continue to improve. Among all the mobile quarterbacks in the NFL, I’d rank Mariota towards the top only behind Russell Wilson and Cam Newton. Mariota has also been successfully surrounded with weapons. The Titans drafted Corey Davis fifth overall this past year and signed Eric Decker. They will join a receiving corps of Rishard Matthews, Tajae Sharpe, Harry Douglas, and Delanie Walker. This pass game will be complemented by the one-two punch of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. DeMarco Murray has been an elite running back for the past few years. Henry can also make a major impact with him being an Alabama product.
The biggest weakness that the Titans have is their secondary. Last year, the Titans gave up the 13th most yards overall, and had the 3rd worst pass defense, yardage wise. They have looked to improve on this by adding various new faces in their secondary. They added established veterans in Logan Ryan and Jonathan Cyprien, while also continuing to build through the draft with a first round pick spent on Adoree Jackson. Besides the defense, the biggest problem the Titans face is growing pains. They are a very young team overall. With people being continually added through free agency, the draft, and trades, players must develop chemistry with one another to allow for the team to take the next step. There is a lot of talent on this team, they just have to bring it all together.
I see the Titans going 10-6 and winning the AFC South. There is not much competition within the division, which could allow for the Titans to win a majority of the divisional games throughout the year. Don’t be surprised if the Titans sneak their way into contender status if the team continues to grow.
Photo Credits: LV Journal Review