clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How it’s going for the 2022 Tennessee Titans

The Titans are poised to make run at a third straight AFC South title

The Tennessee Titans are back-to-back defending AFC South Champions, but you wouldn’t know that if you listen to the national media. They all want to talk about the Indianapolis Colts. In fact, even the oddsmakers like the Colts better. Their win total for the season sits at 10 while the Titans’ win total sits at nine over at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Titans have not won less than nine games since 2015 when Ken Whisenhunt started the season as the head coach. There is no reason to believe they are going to win less than nine this year.

The biggest reason the Titans are being dismissed is the loss of A.J. Brown. There is no doubt that Brown is a big loss for this team, but they should be able to use a committee to replace his production. They traded for Robert Woods, who has had an extremely productive NFL career. They spent a first-round pick on Treylon Burks who had over 1,100 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns last year at Arkansas. Fifth-round pick Kyle Philips has also been impressive in training camp. He brings a shiftiness from the slot that this team has not had in a long time.

People also forget that the Titans were the first seed in the AFC last year after spending the majority of the season without Derrick Henry. What the Titans were able to do after losing the focus of their offensive game plan was nothing short of remarkable. It is a big part of the reason that Mike Vrabel won the NFL Coach of the Year award.

The whole offense is just better with Henry in the backfield. Ryan Tannehill has thrived on play-action during his time with the Titans. There is data out there to show that the run game does not have to be effective for the play-action game to work, but teams played the Titans differently without Henry in the backfield. Having King Henry in the backfield again will open things up for the offense all over the field.

Another story that has been developing in training camp is the emergence of wide receiver Racey McMath as a deep threat for the Titans. This offense has not had a guy that can take the top off the defense the last couple of years. If McMath can translate that to the regular season, this offensive could reach new heights.

Then there is the Titans' defense. It was that unit that kept the team going after Henry went down. They have Jeffery Simmons upfront. He just might be the second-best defensive tackle in the NFL behind Aaron Donald. The ability to create pressure from the middle is key to success in today’s NFL. Simmons and Denico Autry can provide that pressure.

They can also create pressure from the edge. Bud Dupree is another year removed from his torn ACL in 2020. Autry also has the flexibility to come off the edge in passing situations. The multiple ways the Titans can create pressure will cause headaches for opposing offenses.

The secondary also figures to be better with 2021 first-round pick CB Caleb Farley returning from a torn ACL. He has the rare combination of length and speed that you want in an NFL corner. They have also gotten really good play from 2022 second-round pick CB Roger McCreary.

The Titans will win the AFC South for the third straight season. The Colts are media darlings, but they are not any better than the team the Titans swept last season. The Titans will hit the over on their 9 win total finishing with an 11-6 record.