Tennessee Titans: Playoff bound?

Tennessee Titans: Playoff bound?
Reading Time: 3 minutes.

The Titans, despite a winning record of 9-7 in 2018, only first 3rd in a very competitive AFC South. They will be looking to push forward in a division where every team will think they have a legitimate shot at top spot and a guaranteed playoff spot. 

Coach Mike Vrabel is now well settled into the role, and starting to imprint his vision onto the team. The Titans has depth on both sides of the ball, with both their D-line abd O-line looking reasonably strong. 

But with Jacksonville making moves at QB, The Colts looking to continue the form they showed on the second half of 2018 and The Texans looking to hold onto their divisional crown, do the Tita s have what it takes to make the post-season

Off-season moves

In: Ryan Tannehill (QB), Cameron Wake (DE), Adam Humphries (WR), Roger Saffold (G), 

Out: Blaine Gabbert (QB), Brian Orakpo (OLB), Josh Kilne (G), Quentin Spain (G) 

Key Draft picks: Jeffrey Simmons (DT), AJ Brown (WR), Nate Davis (G) 

Key player: Taylor Lewan (OT) 

Standing 6ft 7in, and weighing in a shade over 300lb, Lewan is a mountain of a man. Slowly growing into the league in his first 2 season, he has made the Pro Bowl in each of his last 3 seasons. Despite allowing only 2 sacks last season, it is in the run game where Lewan really excels. If the Titans lean heavily on Derrick Henry, Lewan will be vital to the Titans game plan. 

 With the news last night, released by Lewan himself on social media , that he is to be suspended for the first 4 games of the season due to a PED violation, we may just see how vital he is to the Titans in his absence. 

Key Addition: Adam Humphries

The Titans didn’t add much in the offseason, save for a couple of ex-Dolphins veterans in ageless pash rusher Cameron Wake, and QB Ryan Tannehill. However, signing slot WR Adam Humphries from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may just be an underrated master stroke. 

 Tennessee’s wide receiving corps underwhelmed last year, with Corey Davis leading the way with 891 yards and 4 TDs. Noone else contributed over 500 yards or more than 2 TDs. 

 An undrafted free agent on entering the league, Humphries has emerged as one of the leagues most dependable slot receivers. So much so that he was 1st in receiving first downs, and 2nd in yards after catch (behind only JuJu Smith-Schuster) in all receivers lining up in the slot in 2018. 

 If he can replicate this form in 2019, Mariota may just have a favourite safety blanket.

Rookie to watch: AJ Brown

With 1st round pick Jeffrey Simmonds likely to miss all of his rookie year with an ACL tear, this honour falls to 2nd round pick out of Ole Miss, AJ Brown. 

 Displaying high end run after catch ability, as well as good route running, Brown mainly operated from the slot, but with Adam Humphries also on board he may operate from various places across the formation. His willingness to assist with blocking in the run game will also be of benefit to the Titans and their RB squad. He will be expecting to make a big impact from day one and could outperform more heralded rookie receivers

With a retooled Browns on week 1, followed by divisional games at home against the Colts and a trip to the Jaguars in the searing Floridian heat, the Titabs certainly don’t have an easy start and they will need to get off to a flyer to beat their 2018 record. With the 9th toughest schedule on paper, it will be a tough ask, but the Titans may just shock a few teams this year

Image Titans Wire – USA Today

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