2016 NFL Preview: Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans have been in the NFL dumps for close to five years now.

With a new head coach in place. A young franchise QB set to light the world on fire. And what looks to be a pretty good defense, can Tennessee return to the upper echelon of the NFL’s elite teams?

Let’s find out!

 

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Tennessee Titans

The Stats:

Record Last Ten Seasons: 3-13 (2015), 2-14 (2014), 7-9 (2013), 6-10 (2012), 9-7 (2011), 6-10 (2010), 8-8 (2009), 13-3 (2008), 10-6 (2007), 8-8 (2006)

Last Playoff Appearance: 2008 Divisional vs. Baltimore Ravens

Last Playoff Win: 2003 Wildcard vs. Baltimore Ravens

Super Bowl Titles Won: 0

Passing Leader for 2015: Marcus Mariota (2,818 yards, 19 touchdowns, 10 interceptions)

Rushing Leader for 2015: Antonio Andrews (520 yards, 3 touchdowns)

Receiving Leader for 2015: Delanie Walker (1,088 yards, 6 touchdowns)

The Head Coach:

Titans Chiefs football

Mike Mularkey

Overall Record (as a head coach): 18-39

Record With Team: 2-7

Previous NFL Jobs: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tight Ends Coach (1994-1995), Pittsburgh Steelers Tight Ends Coach (1996-2000), Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Coordinator (2001-2003), Buffalo Bills Head Coach (2004-2005), Miami Dolphins Offensive Coordinator (2006), Miami Dolphins Tight Ends Coach (2007), Atlanta Falcons Offensive Coordinator (2008-2011), Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach (2012), Tennessee Titans Tight Ends Coach (2014), Tennessee Titans Assistant Head Coach and Tight Ends Coach (2015)

My Grade: F

The Team:

(Depth Charts will change as training camps progress obviously….)

Player Grade Guide:

Blue = Elite Player

Green = Really Good Player

Orange = Average Player

Pink = Meh

Red = NO THANKS

Gray = Rookie

Offense:

QB: Marcus Mariota

RB: DeMarco Murray

FB: Jalston Fowler

WR: Rishard Matthews

WR: Tajae Sharpe

TE: Delanie Walker

OC: Ben Jones

OG: Quinton Spain

OG: Chance Warmack

OT: Jack Conklin

OT: Taylor Lewan

Defense:

DE: Jurrell Casey

DT: Al Woods

DE: DaQuan Jones

LB: Brian Orakpo

LB: Derrick Morgan

LB: Avery Williamson

LB: Wesley Woodyard

CB: Jason McCourty

CB: Perrish Cox

SS: Da’Norris Searcy

FS: Rashad Johnson

The Schedule:

vs. Minnesota Vikings (September 11)

vs. @ Detroit Lions (September 18)

vs. Oakland Raiders (September 25)

vs. @ Houston Texans (October 2)

vs. @ Miami Dolphins (October 9)

vs. Cleveland Browns (October 16)

vs. Indianapolis Colts (October 23)

vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (October 27)

vs. @ San Diego Chargers (November 6)

vs. Green Bay Packers (November 13)

vs. @ Indianapolis Colts (November 20)

vs. @ Chicago Bears (November 27)

BYE WEEK

vs. Denver Broncos (December 11)

vs. @ Kansas City Chiefs (December 18)

vs. @ Jacksonville Jaguars (December 24)

vs. Houston Texans (January 1)

The Prediction:

3-13

Brief Synopsis

I really want to like the Tennessee Titans. I really do. It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of their young franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota. Not only is the kid a good football player, but he’s a wonderful human being and the exact kind of person you should cheer for to be successful. Unfortunately he’s apart of what is arguably the worst ran NFL franchise. What do I mean exactly? Well, the Titans had a chance this last off-season. They had a chance to make a new head coaching hire that would impact the team for years. Every NFL fan knows the most important positions on the football field are head coach and QB. After Marcus Mariota had a good rookie season (before injuries took him out), the Titans main goal should have been to find a coach who can help Mariota boost his game even more. This was an important hire by the Titans. If they blew this hire, there’s a chance they could corrupt their young franchise quarterback and set themselves back even further as an NFL franchise. Well, blow that hire is exactly what they did. Instead of looking for the right guy for the job, Tennessee was more than content by giving interim head coach Mike Mularkey the job. Ohhhhhhhh boy.

But let’s focus on other parts of the team first. Like the offense. What are we going to see from the Titans on the offensive side of the ball this year? Well, if Mike Mularkey is a man of his word. We are going to see an old school RUN-FIRST offense in Tennessee. Yep. Because after you spend the #2 overall pick on a quarterback in the NFL Draft in a PASSING LEAGUE, the best option is to change up your offense and go run-heavy. Please. I know Marcus Mariota was a little inconsistent last season, but he showed glimpses that he has what it takes to be an NFL franchise QB for years. The Titans need to turn him loose to see what he can do. Tennessee is likely tempted to go to a run-heavy offense after bringing in DeMarco Murray and drafting Derrick Henry in the second-round of the draft. In my opinion, neither one of those guys will set the world on fire this year and the Titans may be tempted to abandon their new gameplan quicker than they think. When you have a player like Mariota with weapons like Delanie Walker, Rishard Matthews, Murray, and newcomer Tajae Sharp (who is looking GOOD right now), it only makes sense to throw the ball downfield.

On the defensive side of the ball, I actually like what the Titans are bringing to the table. The Titans defense was actually ranked pretty high as far as yards allowed last season and if they can continue that trend this year, this unit may see some vast improvement. The front-seven is really good with 3-4 players that I would welcome on my team any day of the week. Tennessee also has a decent secondary with really only one player that arguably needs to either improve or be replaced (looking at you Jason McCourty). Like I said, the Titans should be pretty good on the defensive side of the ball this year and may actually surprise some people. If Tennessee has a better record than I’m predicting they finish with, there’s a good chance they’ll have the defense to blame for that one.

So is it possible for the Titans to go back in time and make a better coaching hire than Mike Mularkey? No, unfortunately it’s not. The Titans and Marcus Mariota are stuck with a re-trend head coach who has already failed at two previous jobs (maybe the third time is a charm?). That’s the main reason I have them going 3-13. It doesn’t matter how powerful your country’s army is, if you have an incompetent guy running the show, it’s going to be a circus. Unfortunately for Titans fans, it’s probably going to be a circus this year and you guys will be wearing the biggest pair of clown shoes.

2 thoughts on “2016 NFL Preview: Tennessee Titans

  1. Pingback: Casual Fan Preview: AFC South – The Ultimate Sports Blog

  2. Pingback: Full NFL Coverage – The Ultimate Sports Blog

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