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ESPN calls the Titans ‘a year away’ from contending for a Super Bowl

NFL: AFC Wild Card Round-Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans USA TODAY Sports

Jon Robinson is currently trying to figure out how to get his Tennessee Titans to take the next step. Back to back playoff appearances are one thing, but how can this team topple the Kansas City Chiefs and get to a Super Bowl? That’s a question many in the AFC are currently asking.

Over at ESPN, their beat writers ranked their respective teams in regards to a timeline of contending for a title. The Titans were labeled as a team that was still a year away, citing defensive issues as the reason why.

Strategy for becoming a Super Bowl contender: The Titans’ offense was among the NFL’s best in points per game (30.7, fourth). Most of the key parts are returning in 2021, but they need to make serious defensive improvements to compete with the top teams in the NFL.

It’s tough to poke any holes in that argument. The Titans were a good team in 2020, but anyone that watched this team knew that their clear defensive issues would eventually bite them.

Tennessee had zero answers on the edge, which made things even tougher for a secondary that dealt with injury issues for much of the year. Robinson is now tasked with fixing this issue by way of personnel, after Mike Vrabel kept his defensive coaching staff in tact. Robinson will likely attack his pass rushing issue in both free agency and the draft, as he tries to plug what has been a problem spot for several years now.

The Titans landed in the third tier of these rankings, checking in alongside of the Steelers, Browns, 49ers, Cardinals and Colts. The Chiefs, Bills, Packers and Buccaneers made up tier one, while the Saints, Ravens, Rams and Seahawks landed in tier two.

Are the Titans a year away? Maybe. They certainly could compete with the top teams in the AFC as early as next season if they hit on a pass rusher or two, but that’s up to Robinson, who has really struggled in that particular area of evaluation. That position alone may determine whether or not the Titans can truly contend in 2021.