Look, there is reason to doubt whether the Titans can make the playoffs this season, that is true. They are in a division with a lot of young talent, and they face an always tough AFC North. However, with some people saying that they are going to be one of the bottom five teams in the NFL, that is just absurd.
Now obviously this is too early to seriously debate how teams are going to end their 2014 season, but with free agency, the Draft, and injuries teams have made serious changes. The Titans schedule isn't that tough.
Week 1 at Kansas City
Kansas City lost key pieces on their offensive line including left tackle Branden Albert who went to the Miami Dolphins. Eric Fisher is set to take over that position after one of the worst rookie campaigns that I can remember watching.
The Chiefs are a team that is overly dependent on running back Jamaal Charles both in the passing and running game. With a new offensive line facing a defense that has committed to getting bigger in the trenches, the Chiefs may have tough sledding.
Also, don't forget that the Titans almost beat the Chiefs last year with Ryan Fitzpatrick, and had it not been for a terrible call on now-replaced linebacker Moise Fokou, the Titans would have won.
Week 2 vs Dallas
Dallas was literally the worst defense in the league last year and that was with Sean Lee and Demarcus Ware. With their best two defensive players now gone, how can an intelligent offensive mind like Ken Whisenhunt not put up a good game?
Week 3 at Cincinnati
The Bengals are a very good team, but they face a similar problem to what the Titans face: uncertainty at quarterback. Andy Dalton has had some terrible games in the past and against Cleveland (where Ray Horton coached) last year. Dalton averaged just 150 yards, a 1:1 TD to INT ratio, and a 52% completion percentage against the Browns.
Facing a defense with more talent, Dalton's numbers should only go down and if Geno Atkins isn't at 100% after his injuries, the Titans could be facing a very winnable road game.
Week 4/17 at/vs Indianapolis
With sub par coaching and bad backup play at quarterback, the Titans only lost by an average of 5.5 points in their two meetings last year. With Donald Brown (aka Titans Kryptonite) gone and Robert Mathis suspended for game one, the Titans should have a great chance of splitting with Indy.
Week 5 vs Cleveland
Cleveland will likely be starting Johnny Manziel at this point, and there are big question marks on how he will play without elite help. With Josh Gordon gone, the Titans will be able to focus on a Jordan Cameron in the passing game, and they can pick apart a defense that Ray Horton knows everything about.
Week 6/16 vs/at Jacksonville
No Justin Blackmon, no MJD, a rookie quarterback, and a rookie wide receiver that struggled with the injury bug in college, should not scare the Titans.
Week 7 at Washington
Defensively, the Redskins have serious holes at a lot of positions including a secondary that will be easy to pick apart. On the other side, will the Titans be facing RGIII or will it be Kirk Cousins? Either way, the neither have proven themselves to be consistently scary quarterbacks and with only one pace at RB it shouldn't be hard to slow down that offense.
Week 8/13 vs/at Houston
Clowney and Watt is scary, but what else do the Texans really have? Johnson is threatening to sit out, and doesn't appear to be all in with this team. Arian Foster has hit the decline that all running backs hit, and he shows no signs of pulling out of that dive. Tom Savage/Ryan Fitzpatrick could be the worst one-two quarterback punch in all of football. Defensively Cushing is likely to miss at least one of these games, and they moved on from Wade Phillips who made this team a playoff caliber team.
All in all that offense just looks so weak that they shouldn't intimidate the Titans. If Tennessee can put up three touchdowns that should be game over.
Week 10 at Baltimore
The Titans are facing a bye week in Week 9 before they face the Ravens, but Baltimore is not so lucky. Baltimore will be coming off of a Week 9 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a game that always sends both teams reeling the next week. The Titans should be able to take advantage of all of this and get a win.
Week 11 vs Pittsburgh
The Titans have had the Steelers number the past few times that they have matched up. Big Ben is not as great at making plays with his legs anymore and the rest of that Steelers team hasn't aged well. While the defense has added some young pieces, the offense still lacks any teeth and Tennessee has made them pay the past two years.
Week 12 at Philadelphia
This is going to be an interesting game. The Eagles don't have a great defense, but they have an exceptional offense. The Titans have the fact that they were one of the best teams at preventing passing touchdowns last year, which will be put to the test against the Eagles. This will be the true marker of what kind of team this is both offensively and defensively.
Week 14 vs New York Giants
Eli Manning was a turnover machine last year, and he doesn't really have that much more to work with this year. Sure, Odell Beckham will probably be a good rookie receiver, but what does that mean? Generally rookies don't exactly blow it up at the receiver position, and the Titans have talented cornerbacks to deal with he and Victor Cruz.
A diminished pass rush without Justin Tuck and a middling defense should make for a nice day for the Titans whether through the air or on the ground.
Week 15 vs New York Jets
The Titans had their best game of the year last year against the Jets at home, and why should this year be any different. The Jets added a very good rookie safety in the draft, but they lost their best corner so that is a wash. The Titans have gotten better on offensive line so that shouldn't be as big of an issue in 2014, and the Jets added Chris Johnson. One thing we know is that Chris Johnson does not run well at L.P. Field and he will be facing a defense that knows exactly what his style of play looks like once you hit him a few times.
The Titans aren't going to be gunning for a championship, but they don't exactly face the hardest teams this year. Last year the Titans faced the Broncos, Seahawks, 49ers, (a better) Chiefs, and Cardinals and still ended up with a 7-9 record. That is a pretty great job, so saying that they are going to do worse with more talent, better coaching, and an easier schedule doesn't make sense.
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