The Titans made the playoffs last year, beat Kansas, lost to New England and then sacked their head coach Mike Mularkey. To be honest, the Titans were pretty uninspiring, and it was no great shock that Mularkey departed. Mike Vrabel takes up the helm in 2018 and the former defensive coordinator has made his presence felt already
Reasons to be cheerful?
The Titans spent their first and second round pick on linebackers. Rashaan Evans comes in to play inside and Harold Landry will be rushing the passer from the outside. I liked both these picks and look forward to seeing them solidify what could be a stout defence under the leadership of Vrabel. Superbowl 51 hero, Malcolm Butler joined from free agency as well as Kenny Vaccaro and suddenly the backfield, along with former first round pick Adoree Jackson and ball hawk safety Kevin Byard looks really good.
Corey Davies began to look like a good receiver towards the end of the year. Indeed he made a great touchdown grab in the playoff loss to New England. It’s important that he continues to develop as the receiver corps lacks depth. Dion Lewis will provide a receiving option out of the backfield with Derek Henry likely getting more touches of the rock in the absence of DeMarco Murray who retired at the end of the last year
Reasons to be fearful?
I’ve mentioned the lack of quality of the receiving corps but what worries me more is the fitness of quarterback Mariota. He’s struggled to make it through a 16-game season in one piece. If he does go down, then Blaine Gabbert needs to step in – hardly someone that would fill anyone with any confidence.
The other thing to be fearful of? The rest of the AFC South. If DeShaun Watson and Andrew Luck come back from their respective injuries, then every team in the division will be fancying their changes. For the Titans, a lot will be dependant on how this new look defence operates.
How does the season shape up?
I think the Titans will be disappointed if they’re not at least in the hunt for a playoff place, but I think it’s a long shot. They should use the season to gel as a new team and look to next year to make a big impression
Playoffs? Not this year.