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CBS Sports makes grim prediction for Tennessee Titans

By Zach Ragan

 

CBS Sports made a grim prediction this week for the Tennessee Titans in 2022.

Tyler Sullivan, an NFL writer for CBS Sports, named five teams that he thinks “could be on a downward swing this season and take a step back from where they were in 2021”.

And the Titans were one of the teams on his list.

 

THE TITANS WERE THE NO. 1 SEED IN THE AFC LAST SEASON AND IT’S HARD TO SEE A SCENARIO WHERE THAT COMES TO FRUITION AGAIN IN 2022. IN FACT, TENNESSEE ISN’T EVEN THE FAVORITE TO WIN THE AFC SOUTH THIS YEAR AFTER THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS WERE ABLE TO UPGRADE AT QUARTERBACK THIS OFFSEASON BY TRADING FOR MATT RYAN.

THIS COULD PROVE TO BE A PIVOTAL YEAR FOR THE TITANS, ESPECIALLY AT QUARTERBACK. DESPITE LEADING HIS TEAM TO A 12-5 RECORD, RYAN TANNEHILL TOOK A STEP BACK IN 2021. HIS PASSER RATING WAS THE LOWEST IT’S BEEN SINCE HE ARRIVED IN NASHVILLE AND HIS 14 INTERCEPTIONS DURING THE REGULAR SEASON WERE THE MOST IN HIS TITANS TENURE AND SECOND-MOST OF HIS CAREER. THOSE TURNOVERS ISSUES ALSO REARED THEIR HEAD IN TENNESSEE’S ONE-AND-DONE APPEARANCE IN THE PLAYOFFS AS HE THREW THREE INTERCEPTIONS IN THE CLUB’S 19-16 LOSS TO THE BENGALS IN THE DIVISIONAL ROUND.

IF TANNEHILL STRUGGLES AGAIN THIS SEASON, THE TITANS DO HAVE AN OUT IN HIS CONTRACT NEXT OFFSEASON WHERE THEY COULD CLEAR JUST UNDER $20 MILLION IN CAP SPACE. TENNESSEE ALSO DRAFTED FORMER LIBERTY QUARTERBACK MALIK WILLIS IN THE THIRD ROUND, STOKING EVEN MORE FUEL TO THE FLAMES OF TANNEHILL ENTERING A MAKE-OR-BREAK SEASON.

 

Oddly enough, Sullivan’s reasoning for why he thinks the Titans will take a step back in 2021 is the exact reason why I think they won’t take a step back.

Tennessee was the No. 1 seed in the AFC last season despite quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s down season and despite not having running back Derrick Henry for half of the season.

Tannehill isn’t Aaron Rodgers out there, but do we really think in one season he regressed that much? I’d say his down year had more to do with Henry’s absence than him forgetting how to play quarterback. Offensive coordinator Todd Downing can shoulder some blame, too (the hope is that the addition of passing game coordinator Tim Kelly will help some of the offensive play calling issues).

The Titans are never the “it” team in the AFC, so it’s no surprise that the national media is down on them in 2022. I’m sure they’ll eventually be right. But so far, the Titans have proven under Mike Vrabel to be a team that’s never truly “out of it”. And I think that will continue to be the case this upcoming season.

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I agree with CBS on this one.  Didn’t the Titans trade their no. 1 receiver too?  I find it hard to believe Henry will be as effective as he has been in the past due to his injury.  Tannehill losing his primary receiver doesn’t help his situation.  Considering all of the improvements the Colts made in the off-season I really don’t see the Titans as being a major challenger to the Colts.  I can actually see the Colts being one of the top seeds in the AFC.

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Really?  

 

Everyone forgets last year when they came to Indy Henry was leading the lead in rushing by 300 yds.  Then he left.  If he does not get hurt he easily gets 2000K because his history shows he gets more yardage the colder it gets and the deeper into seasons.  Despite missing nine games last year, Henry finished 9th in the league in rushing with 937 yards. Let's put this in historical perspective: that's the most missed games by a player finishing a season in the top 10 in rushing in NFL HISTORY. 

 

Moreover, he led the league with 117.1 rushing yards per game, becoming just the third player in NFL history to lead the league in rush yards per game and carries per game for 3 straight seasons.  JT did not lead the league in yds per game.  In game two against Indy, the Colts had a 14 point lead, and Henry had a broken foot in the first Q.  Henry and TN still performed.  JT has a great run blocking OL, Henry doesn't  What he is doing right now is HOF worthy.  

 

I think TN defense is a lot better than last year.  I actually think this board forgets we had an unbelievable amount of TO to help us and we still missed the playoffs.  This highlighted our poor pass blocking OL and our bad QB play.  That TO margin is very unlikely to happen again.  I believe their injury status also won't happen again and that will help them sustain their game.  It sucks to say it, but I think they will be a tougher out.  Our best player on D is a LB and had back surgery and Henry looks like a Tank again in his Youtube videos.  The laws of physics don't favor Leonard's back.

 

Until we stop Henry TN will be a tough out for this team.  

 

I don't think we constructed the D to deal with him.  He killed the Jags with Ngouke more than he harmed us so I don't believe he is a difference maker in those two games.  Leonard is a great MLB but when he was full speed Henry went through this D like a hot knife through butter.

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I agree that reports of the Titans' demise are greatly exaggerated. And with a decent coach, healthier team, and a year of learning under the QB's belt, the Jags could make more noise than most expect. 

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We shall see what we shall see!!

 

I agree that Tannehill likely didn't "regress" as much as he had to take the team on his shoulders for a number of games and that just isn't always a winning formula.  

 

I think the Titans will still make some noise - but - I'm betting the Colts will be much ROWDIER than the Titans this season!!

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On 7/8/2022 at 2:28 PM, jonjon said:

I agree that reports of the Titans' demise are greatly exaggerated. And with a decent coach, healthier team, and a year of learning under the QB's belt, the Jags could make more noise than most expect. 

jags will surprise people like they did us

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On 7/8/2022 at 2:28 PM, jonjon said:

I agree that reports of the Titans' demise are greatly exaggerated. And with a decent coach, healthier team, and a year of learning under the QB's belt, the Jags could make more noise than most expect. 

and ballard gave houston a good rb, mack could make ballard pay

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34 minutes ago, OLD FAN MAN said:

and ballard gave houston a good rb, mack could make ballard pay

“Gave Houston”?      
 

His contract was up.   Mack was going to sign with another team.   A team that will use him. He was not returning to Indy. 
 

Ballard had no control over where Mack signed. 

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If I were Reich I would be taking notice of what Mike Vrabel is saying about the Colts when asked by reporters. Vrabel comes across as very arrogant and almost dismissive of the Colts. That could act as a good motivator for Indy’s players. The Titans still must be respected mostly due to their defense and head coach, but they aren’t nearly as explosive especially on offense so they can be had. 

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7 hours ago, NewColtsFan said:

“Gave Houston”?      
 

His contract was up.   Mack was going to sign with another team.   A team that will use him. He was not returning to Indy. 
 

Ballard had no control over where Mack signed. 

? Ballard could have re-signed him...but in fairness, Mack wanted more opportunity than he was getting here, so maybe not. 

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8 hours ago, OLD FAN MAN said:

jags will surprise people like they did us

The potential is there for sure. And so is the talent, and now with a competent coach, who knows. The lack of a true #1 WR will hold them back some, but they could make some noise. 

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1 minute ago, jonjon said:

? Ballard could have re-signed him, so of course he had control. I


Mack was not going to sign with us because we didn’t have snaps to give him unless Taylor got hurt.   Mack wanted an opportunity to play which is what Houston gives him.   He’s not guaranteed to start, but he’s got a shot, and even if he doesn’t, he might get 2nd string snaps.    He wanted the opportunity.   
 

We were no longer a good fit for Mack.  

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On 7/8/2022 at 6:05 PM, Rhodelesstraveled said:

Really?  

 

Everyone forgets last year when they came to Indy Henry was leading the lead in rushing by 300 yds.  Then he left.  If he does not get hurt he easily gets 2000K because his history shows he gets more yardage the colder it gets and the deeper into seasons.  Despite missing nine games last year, Henry finished 9th in the league in rushing with 937 yards. Let's put this in historical perspective: that's the most missed games by a player finishing a season in the top 10 in rushing in NFL HISTORY. 

 

Moreover, he led the league with 117.1 rushing yards per game, becoming just the third player in NFL history to lead the league in rush yards per game and carries per game for 3 straight seasons.  JT did not lead the league in yds per game.  In game two against Indy, the Colts had a 14 point lead, and Henry had a broken foot in the first Q.  Henry and TN still performed.  JT has a great run blocking OL, Henry doesn't  What he is doing right now is HOF worthy.  

 

I think TN defense is a lot better than last year.  I actually think this board forgets we had an unbelievable amount of TO to help us and we still missed the playoffs.  This highlighted our poor pass blocking OL and our bad QB play.  That TO margin is very unlikely to happen again.  I believe their injury status also won't happen again and that will help them sustain their game.  It sucks to say it, but I think they will be a tougher out.  Our best player on D is a LB and had back surgery and Henry looks like a Tank again in his Youtube videos.  The laws of physics don't favor Leonard's back.

 

Until we stop Henry TN will be a tough out for this team.  

 

I don't think we constructed the D to deal with him.  He killed the Jags with Ngouke more than he harmed us so I don't believe he is a difference maker in those two games.  Leonard is a great MLB but when he was full speed Henry went through this D like a hot knife through butter.

All of Henry’s yards are because of the amount of carries he gets. After game one he had nearly 30(28.9!!) carries per game. That’s insane. The Titans are wearing him out and I doubt we’ll see a full season of play from Henry again. 


Not saying he won’t be a factor, but my best guess is the Titans season(s) will look like last year. Ride Henry early, he gets injured, have to rely on Tannehill midway through the season, crash and burn. 

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I believe the notion that Tennessee declines this year is based entirely on their offense. Their defense will be top notch. On offense, though, they certainly have question marks. AJB is gone, who steps up at WR? Does their OL improve in pass protection this year? After last season’s injury, can Henry still be relied upon to tote the ball 350+ times? 
 

The Colts have a perfect opportunity this season to ascend back to the top of the division.

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On 7/9/2022 at 3:29 PM, BProland85 said:

If I were Reich I would be taking notice of what Mike Vrabel is saying about the Colts when asked by reporters. Vrabel comes across as very arrogant and almost dismissive of the Colts. That could act as a good motivator for Indy’s players. The Titans still must be respected mostly due to their defense and head coach, but they aren’t nearly as explosive especially on offense so they can be had. 

Agree.  I think Indy needs to be more like TN and run the ball 40 times a game with all their RBs.  This is especially true when you consider that Ryan is a statue and our OL is horrible in pass blocking.  They get their rep in the run game so we should run it all day long.  

 

Looking at TN WR critically, if you add up what Julio and AJ Brown gave them production wise last year, I do not think that production will be hard to replace if Henry is putting a 100 yds a game on defenses.  

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14 minutes ago, Rhodelesstraveled said:

 I think Indy needs to be more like TN and run the ball 40 times a game with all their RBs.

It is my opinion that the Colts run/pass ratio or decisions therein, will be decided upon by what the other team throws at at us, not always by what we have.  Out of the gate, it's my guess that defenses will try to limit the ground game until the Colts can prove their new offense, can move the chains through the air. 

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I fell like Tannerhill rolling out off PA hurts us more then Henry imo, but now Tannerhill has lost all his weapons. No A.J Brown. No Jonnu Smith. No Corey Davis. No Julio Jones.

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Colts are going to have to prove it first. Titans have beat the Colts the last 4 out of 5 games they have played.

 

Titans are a good football team. I also believed the Jags will be more competitive this year as well. Colts are going to have to go out and prove they deserve the division title. Sure not a cake walk.

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