The Titans enter the 2022 season as a bit of a question mark. They won the AFC crown in 2021, albeit as the worst #1 seed in NFL history. They beat very good teams like the Bills, Chiefs, and Rams. Yet they dropped games to teams like Jets and Texans. Brent Sobleski has the Titans thinks the Titans are set up to be the biggest dud of 2022. The team lost its top pass catcher A.J Brown and didn’t seem to do much to get getter in the offseason. Is all really doom and gloom in Nashville?
It’s true, the Titans lost their top receiver in A.J Brown. Brown also struggled to remain healthy for an entire season and was constantly battling injuries that caused him to miss games and hindered his playmaking in several others. That’s not to say losing A.J Brown doesn’t hurt the offense – it does. However, the Titan’s brought in Robert Woods, who has had seasons that have exceed Browns best seasons so far. Woods combined with promising rookie Treylon Burks and offseason addition Austin Hooper should provide some consistency for Tannehill. Third year receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine is also intriguing. He doesn’t get as much love as other receivers on the roster, but he should. He ended his sophomore season just under 500 yards and showed signs that he could be a solid slot receiver for the Titans.
The Titans offensive line is up in the air. The squad was one of the best on the ground but struggled with pass protection. Rodger Saffold also left in the offseason due to financial constraints. The Titans could very well find their offensive line on the wrong side of the league. There is also the yearly speculation that Derrick Henry is running out of juice. They’ve been saying that for two years, so take it with a grain of salt. The Titans staff has also indicated they plan to lighten his workload going forward, although Henry remains adamant that he welcomes the workhorse title.
Whatever it takes to win. My mindset has always been the same. If it’s going to be that type of game, it’s that type of game. Then go from there.
What About Tannehill?
The criticism surrounding Ryan Tannehill is deserved, and most fans wouldn’t argue that. He took a step back in 2021 and threw 3 interceptions in a close postseason loss to the Cincinatti Bengals. However, some of that criticism may be overblown. Tannehill had two previous seasons with the Titans that saw him as a consistently efficient field general. He even looked good for some stretches during 2021. However, the team struggled with weapons, and it showed. Julio Jones and A.J Brown battled injuries and Derrick Henry missed the second half of the season with a broken foot. Of course, Brown and Jones were both playing against the Bengals, and a rusty Henry still carried the ball 20 times. The Titans also had one of the worst pass protection rates in the league.
We have seen this from Tannehill before, though. He put together a few good seasons in Miami before ultimately getting the boot after a pair of down seasons. He went on to give the Titans two good seasons in 2019 and 2020. If Tannehill can use 2021’s criticism to get back to his former self with more help from a consistent offense, the Titans will be fine on offense. Don’t count him out, yet Titans fans.
Can the Defense Get Better in Time?
There’s a detailed breakdown of what the Titans’ defense has to do here. The team has to find a way to overcome losing top edge rusher Harold Landry III. They still have Kevin Byard, the best safety in the league, and two promising young cornerbacks in Roger McCreary and Caleb Farley. Kristian Fulton also improved last year, albeit in inconsistent spurts.
Titans Win the AFC South
Great, the Colts picked up Matt Ryan in an offseason trade. Titans also beat the Colts both times last year, including a nailbiter in week 8, with a depleted offense. The Titans offense will find consistency and Tannehill will prove he was never going to sit by and let last season’s 3-point loss to the eventual Superbowl Champions ruin his career in Tennessee. Henry will remain King, and the defense will rally around Byard.
For a more detailed breakdown of how the Titans can remain contenders, check out this article.
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