The Tennessee Titans are 4-4 at the midway point in the season. They currently are on the outside of the playoff race, though it is much too early to be seriously looking at the standings. They have a hard road ahead of them if they want to qualify for the playoffs, but winning two games in a row has helped their case considerably.
I would like to break down the team into two categories: The things we know for sure – good and bad – and the things we think we know. Let’s start with the stuff we know.
What I Know
We have a big enough sample size to say the Titans’ defense is very good. Sure, they have had momentary lapses, but for most of the season, they have made plays. They rank in the top ten in multiple defensive categories: Yards per game, points per game, sacks, and interceptions. There are other advanced analytic stats where they excel as well. Simply put: this defense is very good and should only get better as rookie Jeffery Simmons becomes more acclimated to the game.
Brett “GOAT” Kern
Brett Kern is amazing. You simply have to watch other teams punt to fully understand the weapon the Titans have in Kern. He consistently pins opponents deep, most of the time inside the 10 yard line. So, in the sake of keeping this weapon upright and kicking, please no more stupid fake field goals for Kern, Mr. Vrabel!
The offense is inconsistent. I was hopeful that Tannehill had turned the offense around after his first game against the Chargers. Then, we had the joy of watching the Titans generate less than 80 passing yards through 3 quarters against the league worse Tampa Bay Bucs’ defense this Sunday. Thankfully, Tannehill and company made good by putting together a 90 yard scoring drive in the 4th quarter. Still, this offense is too erratic. If this team has any hope of being a playoff team, that has to improve.
The O-Line is a big part of this problem. Right now, this unit has been a massive disappointment. The good news is, they seem to be playing a little better in recent weeks. A little. WE CAN BUILD ON THIS!
Vrabel’s Gonna Vrabel
I have no idea what this man is going to do in any situation. I’ve heard both Mike Keith and Jim Wyatt explain that Vrabel is aggressive and will always coach aggressively – which is supposed to explain his weird decision-making this season. That doesn’t hold up completely when you recall that he trotted Cairo Santos out for a 4th field goal after that poor man had missed his 3 prior kicks. They were down by 7 and a field goal would still require them to score a touchdown. That was the least aggressive decision available to Vrabel. So, stop with this “he’s aggressive” nonsense. If that was all it was, at least he would be consistent. It’s not. He’s just erratic…much like the offense.
What I Think I Know
I am pretty confident Corey Davis, A.J. Brown, Adam Humphries, Jonnu Smith, Delanie Walker (when healthy), and Derrick Henry are impact-type players. Unfortunately, whether the offensive scheme has let them down, the QB has let them down, or they have underperformed, we haven’t felt their impact consistently enough. We’ve seen it from time to time but this group of players needs to turn those occasional glimpses into weekly occurrences.
QB Play Trending Up
Ryan Tannehill is the better option at QB right now. It would be foolhardy to deny that. Even so, he has not been the savior some fans are making him out to be. He was not sharp against the Bucs. He made the throws he needed to when he needed to but he left a lot of plays on the field that could have ended that game much earlier. I hope he is good enough to make something of this season. But at this point, I am just not sure if he is.
I’m sure some will disagree with this assessment, and I can’t really blame them, but I believe the Titans are good enough to make the playoffs this season. They have too much talent and are too good defensively to not be in the conversation. They have work to do, obviously, but the pieces are there. I’ve placed this in the “What I Think I Know” section because while I have confidence, there are some glaring weaknesses to this team that could derail everything.
What about you? What do you know about the Tennessee Titans? What are you unsure about? Let us know in the comment section below or on social media. Thanks for reading!