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2019 NFL Power Rankings: ESPN ranks the Titans 17th

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Too high? Too low? Just right?

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 NFL season has officially drawn to a close with the New England Patriots once again coming out on top. Patriots and Rams fans can now join the rest of us in looking ahead to the 2019 season.

ESPN released their way-too-early power rankings yesterday, polling their own writers, editors and TV personalities to slot 32 teams. The Titans, as you probably suspected, checked in mid-pack.

Tennessee ranked 17th in the poll, following their 9-7 2018 season. The Titans missed out on the playoffs after losing the season finale to the Colts, but endured and overcame several obstacles throughout the season to get to that point. By the end of the year, the Titans found their identity as a run-first team with a pretty stout defense.

Of course, the question mark is Marcus Mariota. But if the Titans can win nine games with a clearly unhealthy Mariota for much of the year, what could they do if Mariota stays healthy? Let’s hope we find out.

Is this ranking accurate? It’s basically in line with what Vegas thinks (19th). We can argue over a couple of spots here or there, but the Titans are in the correct range here. There’s simply too many question marks surrounding Mariota right now to put the team much higher than this.

Bottomline — the Titans are a fringe playoff team as is. The good news is, Jon Robinson has a chance to go put some veteran playmakers around Mariota in 2019, which would go a long way towards getting more consistency out of the offense.

The Titans have some upside to them, but it’s up to Mariota to unlock that next level.