The Tennessee Titans are set up for future success; it begins in 2017.
The Tennessee Titans have been a popular “breakout” pick to take the next step and make the playoffs in 2017. After going 9-7 with a mediocre roster last season, the team has added a lot of talent over the last two offseasons and looks to be on an upwards path to dominance.
If you’re unaware of the Setting the Edge team, it consists of two of the best football analysts out there: Justis Mosqueda and Charles McDonald. While most of their work centers on edge rushers’ effect on games and how valuable they are in today’s NFL, they’ve been doing in-depth previews on every team in the league during this offseason.
Today, they finally got to the end of the AFC South and focused on the Titans, written by Mosqueda. Their previews focus on statistics of teams’ units, instead of individual statistics and data from other analytical sites. It’s safe to say that the stats favor the Titans in 2017, and the Titans are their pick to be the AFC South champions this year and for the near future.
It helps that the Houston Texans are pretty clearly heading for negative regression in terms of wins. It also helps that the Indianapolis Colts still have plenty of question marks despite some shrewd offseason moves by new general manager Chris Ballard. The Jacksonville Jaguars look to be on the rise, but Blake Bortles is still their quarterback.
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When talking about the Titans, Mosqueda notes that Marcus Mariota is on par with Aaron Rodgers when it comes to limiting interceptions. With Mariota and the running back position set for the immediate and foreseeable future, as well as a great offensive line, the main concern on offense heading into the year was the wide receiver position. They shored it up and then some with three moves at the position during the offseason, and they have made it clear that they weren’t content with the play at the position last season. The passing game was already above-average last year, but Mosqueda says to “expect an improved passing game this year, which should only make Mariota happier”.
On defense, the Titans were one of the best defenses against the run last year. Mosqueda’s concern on defense is the depth at edge defender, which is warranted considering Kevin Dodd hasn’t been able to play consistently and the jury is still out on Aaron Wallace and Josh Carraway. While the secondary still has a ways to go to be an above-average unit, “swapping out Madden-generated names for the likes of Ryan, Jackson and even Cyprien should give the team a boost”.
All in all, the Titans are Setting the Edge’s pick to be the team to beat in the division for the time being. Here’s why.
"After writing these AFC South previews, I feel the most confident in the Tennessee Titans moving forward. These are the boxes they check:One of the best young quarterbacks in the leagueOne of the best backfield duos in the leagueOne of the most improved wide out units in the leagueOne of the best young offensive lines in the leagueOne of the best run defenses in the leagueOne of the most improved secondaries in the league"
It’s an exciting time to be a Titans fan. It’s not just the fans that are optimistic and intrigued about the team either. The national media has Titans Fever. It’s time for the two-tone blue to deliver on the hype.