Updated: Sep 20, 2019
According to the ESPN NFL strength of schedule index, the Titans have the 8th most difficult schedule in the NFL next season. Following 3 9-7 seasons in a row, the Titans look to improve to 10+ wins and make it into the post season. Although the Titans offseason did not bring many groundbreaking trades or signings, the team filled holes and improved. There are many questions heading into the season but if they all turn out favorably, the titans could be poised for a breakout season.
My game by game Titans predictions:
Week 1: Browns vs. Titans
The Cleveland Browns are probably the most hyped up team heading into the 2019-20 NFL season. After going 0-16 in 2017, the Browns improved their record to 7-8 after drafting QB Baker Mayfield 1st overall in the 2018 draft. Although I think Baker Mayfield if a good quarterback, I think the Browns are overhyped and will not be as good as many think they will be. The Browns traded for “superstar” wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham who adds to the already good WR cops that the Browns have. Heading into the season, Baker Mayfield will have many quality targets such as Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, David Njoku, and Antonio Callaway. Although they have a seemingly stellar offense, the Browns defense was ranked 30th overall last season and did not make many offseason moves to improve it. In week 1, I think the Titans will beat the browns. I do not think the Browns will have everything together by week 1 and I think the Titans will surprise the league by beating the Browns week 1.
Every year the same problem comes up for the Titans…. Andrew Luck. I think Andrew Luck has the ability to win MVP and I would not be surprised at all if the Colts were to make a deep run in the playoffs and possibly make it to the Super Bowl. Since 2011 the Titans have only beaten the Colts twice, and both wins came when Andrew Luck was injured in 2017. The Titans have never beaten Andrew Luck, and I do not see that changing in week 2. I see Andrew Luck as one of the best Quarterbacks in the NFL and the Colts have done nothing but improve during the offseason.
Since 2015, The Jaguars have only beaten the Titans one time. That win came after Marcus Mariota broke his leg in Week 16 of the 2016 season. After their run to the AFC championship in 2017, the Jaguars fell apart in the 2018 season. The Jaguars went 5-11 last season and moved on from QB Blake Bortles (unfortunately). The Jaguars added to their already fantastic defense by drafting DE Josh Allen 7th overall. I thought Josh Allen would go top 5 and I still think he was one of the best players in the 2019 draft. Additionally, the Jaguars signed Superbowl winning quarterback, Nick Foles. With a big improvement at QB and a few additions to the defense, I still think the Titans will pull out a win in week 3. Despite the game being away, I think Derrick Henry will have a huge game against the Jaguars as he often does. I would not be surprised if this was a very close game because the Titans may not know exactly how to contain Nick Foles but I feel confident that the Titans will win.
After making a Super Bowl Run in 2017 and losing to the patriots in a thrilling overtime game, the Falcons have not made the playoffs. The Falcons have who I think is the best wide receiver in the NFL in Julio Jones as well as an experienced quarterback in Matt Ryan. Although they lost Tevin Coleman to free agency, the Falcons also have a great running game. Devonta Freeman is a great running back when healthy and he is backed up by 2nd year RB Ito Smith. Despite a high power offense, the Falcons had the 5th worst defense in the league last year. I think the Falcons will beat the Titans at home and Tennessee will fall to 2-2. I think the Falcons will put up a lot of points and the Titans will not be able to match it.
Last season the Bills beat the Titans 13-12 in week 5. The Bills win came after former Titans WR Nick Williams dropped a wide open touchdown pass and possession was turned over to the Bills who later kicked a game winning field goal as time expired. I think Josh Allen is one of the better quarterbacks coming out of the 2018 draft class but I think the Titans will take care of the Bills. I don’t see the 2019 Titans putting up 12 points against the Bills like they did last season.
Over the past few seasons, the Broncos have had many questions at quarterback. Since Peyton Manning retired, the Broncos have struggled to find the right Quarterback. The Broncos traded for QB Joe Flacco, and traded away QB Case Keenum this offseason. Despite Joe Flacco winning a Superbowl in 2013, I don’t think Joe Flacco is very good and he is past his prime. The Broncos have a good defense and a few good targets, but I think the Titans will beat the Broncos. I think the Broncos will do better than many people expect, but the Titans defense will hold the Broncos to very few points.
The Titans faced the chargers last season in London and lost 20-19 after Mike Vrabel opted to go for two when the Titans were down 1 point toward the end of the 4th quarter. I will not go into depth about this decision but I do not like it. The Chargers have a well-rounded offense lead by QB Philip Rivers who had a great year last year. The Chargers also have a great running game as well as a star studded defense with many young stars. I think the result of the game will be similar to last season but in the favor of the Titans. I think the game will likely be very close as it was in London but I think the Titans will pull it out, and I think the Titans secondary will step up to the task of guarding all the weapons the Chargers have.
Week 8: Buccaneers @ Titans
Jamies Winston and Marcus Mariota were drafted 1st and 2nd overall in the 2015 draft. Since then, there has been constant debate over which quarterback has turned out better. Since they are both going into a contract year, and it is unclear whether they will be with their team next season, I think both Winston and Mariota will be playing at a high level this season. I think the Titans will easily take care of the Buccaneers. Outside of Mike Evans, the Bucs have few targets on offense and the defense was ranked bottom 5 in the NFL last season.
With Cam Newton injured for part of last season, the Panthers finished with a 7-9 record. Newton has pro bowl RB Christian McCaffrey in the backfield but has few proven receivers. Outside of McCaffrey, the Panthers have few offensive weapons and have a mediocre defense. The Panthers did draft defensive end Brian Burns with the 16th pick in the draft but outside of Burns, Luke Kuechly and newly acquired Gerald McCoy, the Panthers do not have many game changers on defense. The panthers have a pretty average schedule and I do not think they will beat the Titans. I would be surprised if the Panthers were to get more than 8 wins and I think the Titans will beat them convincingly.
Week 10: Chiefs @ Titans
Patrick Mahomes threw 50 touchdown passes last season which is tied for the second most passing touchdowns in one season in NFL history. Mahomes has a plethora of weapons including TE Travis Kelce, WR Tyreek Hill, and RB Damien Williams. Although the Chiefs have one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, the chiefs had the 31st ranked defense last year. Although I think the Titans will likely be able to put up a lot of points on the Chiefs, I think the Chiefs offense will simply overpower the Titans in week 10.
Week 11: BYE
The Jaguars have not beaten the Titans since 2016. I do not think that will change with the Titans playing at home. Even if Foles ends up greatly improving the Jaguars and they end up having a really good season, I think the Titans will take care of business at home against the Jags.
Week 13: Colts vs. Titans
I already predicted that the Titans would lose to the Colts at home in week 2. I do not think the second match up will be much different. Last season, when the Titans played the Colts in Indianapolis, the Titans lost 38-10, it was one of the worst games of the season only behind the 20-0 loss to the Ravens. I do not think the game will be a blowout like it was last season, but I’m still not convinced that the Titans can beat Andrew Luck, especially in Indy.
The Raiders had the most hectic offseason of any NFL team. After acquiring Antonio Brown via trade, the raiders had 3 first round picks, 2 of which came from the Khalil Mack trade with the Bears. The Raiders drafted DE Clelin Ferrell 4th overall, RB Josh Jacobs 24th overall, and S Jonathan Abram 27th overall. The Raiders had a good draft but Ferrell was not considered a top 5 pick by many experts. Additionally, the Raiders signed LB Vontez Burfict, LB Brandon Marshall, and WR Tyrell Williams. Many additions have been quite controversial such as the Antonio Brown trade and the signing of Vontez Burfict. Last season, Brown was a very bad teammate and sparked a lot of controversy with some comments he made. Burfcit has a long past of getting a lot of penalties and getting suspensions. Similar to the Browns, I think the Raiders are very over hyped and I do not think Derek Carr is very good. I think the Titans will win convincingly in week 14.
Week 15: Texans @ Titans
The Titans beat the Texans last season in Nashville with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, and without Taylor Lewan, and Dealni Walker. The Texans won the AFC south last season with a record of 11-5. Heading into week 15, I would not be surprised if both the Texans and the Titans are still in contention for the AFC South. I think the Titans will beat the Texans but it will likely be a very close game no matter which way the game goes. The Texans have many big names like J.J Watt, Jadaveon Clowney, and top 3 WR, Deandre Hopkins, but the Texans do not have the defensive depth the Titans do. I think this may prove important because by week 15 it is likely that both teams will have suffered injuries. I think the game will be very close and may come down to the final drive but I think the Titans will win.
The Saints were on the wrong end of one of the worst calls in NFL history in last years NFC title game. The Saints were likely one bad call away from playing the Patriots in the super bowl and they deserved it much more than the Rams did. The Saints have many weapons on both sides of the ball such as RB Alvin Kamara, and CB Marshon Lattimore. Despite the game being at home I give a slight edge to the Saints. Although the Titans have a history of shocking some of the leagues best teams when playing at home, I still think Drew Brees and the Saints will beat the Titans. I would not be shocked if the Titans pulled this game out, but I am picking the saints to win.
This game between AFC south rivals could be the difference between making the playoffs or not for both teams. I think this game is the definition of a toss up. The game will likely depend on injuries, and momentum heading into week 17. If it were not for the injury of Marcus Mariota last season, The Titans definitely could’ve competed against the Colts in week 17 last season. I think this game will be similar to week 17 the last two seasons. Although this game is a complete toss up and will likely go down to the wire, I think the Texans will win because they are playing at home and the Texans could likely be in a win and in scenario as the Titans were in the last two season.
Titans Final record: 10-6
I think 10-6 is a very fair record, I think this will be the year that the offense clicks and that will lead to at least one more win for the Titans. Despite the Titans getting into the playoffs with 9 wins in 2017, with the strength of the AFC south, it is unlikely that will happen again. I think at 10-6 the Titans will just sneak into the playoffs and earn a wild card spot.
Each season the Titans lose at least 1 or 2 trap games that they should not lose, such as Buffalo last season and the 49ers the year before. I think that the Titans will lose at least one game like that. I think if the Titans were to lose one of those games it could be more likely that they’d win a game like the Chiefs or Saints game.
Here are some other predictions unrelated to the record:
1. Marcus Mariota will earn himself a new contract and throw for 25 touchdowns
I think Marcus Mariota will have a season similar to his second year in the league. With all the weapons the Titans have added, I think Mariota will have a great season and earn himself a new contract. Mariota was at his best when the Titans had a good running game with Demarco Murray. I think Derrick Henry can provide a similar effect and it will greatly help Marcus. When Henry is on the field, and teams overplay the run, it will open up the passing game. With Humphries, Davis, and Brown as Mariota’s top 3 receivers, and Delani walker, Mariota’s favorite and most consistent target, returning from injury, I think Mariota is poised for a breakout season and a new contract.
2. Derrick Henry will lead the AFC in rushing touchdowns
Last season Derrick Henry was 2nd in the league in rushing touchdowns with 12. Henry showed that when he got a high volume of attempts, he had the ability to change any game. When last year’s OC Matt LaFleur realized the value that Henry could bring, he began to emerge as one of the best RBs in the NFL. I see Henry has one of the best players on the team and one of the best players in the division. I think Henry will certainly out-rush AFC south RBs like Lamar Miller, Leonard Fournette, and Marlon Mack.
3. The Titans will have one of the best linebacking corps in the league
Although this is an unpopular opinion, I think the Titans MVP last season was LB Wesley Woodyard. He led the team in tackles and he was a leader on the field. The Titans lost LBs Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo in the offseason but added veteran LB Cameron Wake. In addition to Wake and Woodyard, the Titans also have multiple young linebackers who could breakout. Last year was incredible for Jayon Brown and he surprised many people with his play, and he could be even better next season. Harold Landry and Rashaan Evans could also have an important role next season. I think Harold Landry could surprise a lot of people and rack up a lot of sacks. I think with all the high tier players the Titans have playing linebacker, the linebacking corps could be one of the best in the league.
4. Corey Davis will have over 1,000 receiving yards
I have been going to training camp every year since Corey Davis was drafted 5th overall in 2017 and this camp he looks better than ever. He has made some incredible catches and it seems that he feels little to no pain from his lingering hamstring injury. I am not basing my prediction completely off camp, Davis clearly made a lot of improvement from is 1st to 2nd year and if it were not for his hamstring injury, he could’ve had a lot more yards last season.
I think everything is falling into place for Davis to have a big season.