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The Titans Still Have a Major Issue

There is no doubt about the quality of the Titans defense.

Last season, they held the eventual Super Bowl champions to 20 points despite completing 5 passes, finished as the top rush defense in the league, and had the 4th fewest points against in the NFL.

While the defense has gotten even better heading into 2023, the Titans historic 2022 collapse stemmed from the other side of the ball.

The offseason has signaled an unreasonable amount of trust in the Titans current offense. Rather than going out and acquiring a pass-catcher to help the pass game or an established lineman to protect Tannehill, the team has become too reliant on current players taking big leaps.

In recent years, the Titans have moved contrary to much of the league, doubling down on their run-first offense. This has had great success but at the same time, depends on at least some passing threat.

The Titans offense was the only in the NFL that failed to score 28 or more points in a single game last season. This came despite Derrick Henry rushing for 1,538 yards and the team starting the season 7-3.

Even with everyone healthy early in the season, there was not enough firepower to win against the league's best offenses that simply outscore their opponents.

Barring an unexpected DeAndre Hopkins acquisition, the 2023 Titans will be very reliant on Treylon Burks to step into the WR1 role and remain healthy and on Chig Okonkwo to replace Austin Hooper's production as well as continue to be a versatile threat across formations.

I have no doubt about either player's athleticism or potential but without help, Tannehill will struggle to get them the ball and they will struggle to carry the load of the passing game.

The team's biggest issue from last season, a lack of depth at receiver and overall weakness in the passing game, is not nearly enough of a concern for the front office. Surely, they cannot believe that Kyle Philips and Racey McMath returning from injury are equal to signing a proven threat.

The team used every one of their 2023 draft picks on offensive players but many, like Will Levis, will not come in and contribute immediately.

The offensive line, which ultimately contributed to Ryan Tannehill's ankle injury last year, was graded 32nd in the league by Pro Football Focus.

The Titans used their top draft pick to address Left Guard and I am very confident in Peter Skoronski's ability to step in immediately.

However, 2022 stalwarts Nate Davis and Nicholas Petit-Frere are notably absent from the depth chart, Davis after signing with the Bears and NPF after being suspended for sports betting.

The Titans line feels too makeshift and does not inspire confidence. Derrick Henry's 2022 was among his most impressive seasons yet given his lack of help across the board.

Henry was tackled for a loss a league-leading 34 times and still led the league in broken tackles with 35. In the final 4 games of the season, where the Titans needed just 1 win to secure a playoff berth, the offense produced just 167 passing yards per game.

Henry is entering his 8th season and while he will continue to produce, he cannot do it alone.

In 2020 and 2021 when he was nearly unstoppable, the entire offense was firing and was playing complimentary football.

Even if the defense is great and wins Tennessee games in 2023, there are parts of the offense that are of major concern. While you can rely on Derrick Henry to keep games close, 2022 proved that the team could really be limited with their current personnel.

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