Part two of a three-part preview of the 2017 Tennessee Titans.
Tennessee Titans fans, this year is our year to make a statement to the NFL that we are back to relevancy! Here is my 2017 three-part preview of the Two-Tone Blue; as for part two, I will give my analysis of the Titans 2017 schedule.
Analysis of the AFC South
Tennessee seems to consistently struggle within their division. Tennessee was 2-4 in the division in 2016 and 1-5 the year before. The Titans have not won a game against the Indianapolis Colts since 2011 while also not sweeping the Jacksonville Jaguars when the talent was clearly there. As a result, Titans fans have to be honest with themselves here as Tennessee will likely struggle in the AFC South.
Needless to say, my prediction is that the Titans will go 4-2 in the division this year. That’s generous to say given the Titans’ struggles of the past. Jacksonville is improving, but the Titans will finally get over the hump of losing to the Jaguars this season. This will also be the year the Titans finally beat the Colts, at Nissan Stadium on Monday Night Football. However, Tennessee will likely lose once to the Colts on the road. Also, I believe the Titans can beat the Texans, but the Texans will split with the Titans between home and away.
It’s always gloom and doom in the Titans franchise when they play the AFC South. If there ever is a time for the Titans to win the division, now is the time to do so.
Analysis of the AFC North
This season, games in the AFC North are very favorable for the Titans. Tennessee will go on the road to play the Steelers in a Thursday Night Football game in Pittsburgh. This is a big-time matchup. If the Titans can win that game, Tennessee could potentially put themselves on the map as an AFC or Super Bowl contender. This would be a great win for the Titans.
The Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens are a little behind the Titans on paper; however, these are dangerous opponents for Tennessee. If the Titans want to win, they will have to bring their A-game to both of these matchups.
The Cleveland Browns are still rebuilding. However, the Titans have struggled against the Browns in recent years. If Tennessee wants to win, they must prepare themselves for war. Ultimately, the Browns are fierce competitors, but the Titans are far more talented.
Analysis of the NFC West
After taking a close look at the NFC West, I am of the belief that the Titans could possibly split between the four teams.
The Seattle Seahawks are coming to Nashville in week three of the regular season, and this is an advantage for the Titans. The Seahawks seem to struggle on the road with the hot weather in the early season and the Titans are on home turf. The Titans have the potential to upset the Seahawks in Nashville.
Seattle has losses to the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams in warm weather early in the season over the past couple of years. However, it will be a significant challenge to win over a team that has made the playoffs multiple times in recent years.
Also, Tennessee plays the Arizona Cardinals on the road late in the season. The Cardinals are filled with talent and will be fighting to win the NFC West by this time. This game will ultimately determine if the Titans can finish strong for the remainder of the season.
Along with the Cardinals, the Titans have the San Francisco 49ers and Rams in back-to-back weeks. The trajectory of the Rams and the 49ers is rising with the offseason transactions both teams made, but the Titans should be taking care of business and have an eye on winning the division by this time. Tennessee needs to win both of these matchups to secure a division title.
Analysis of the 2016 2nd Place Concurrent Divisional Placers of the AFC East and West
Finally, Tennessee plays against the Oakland Raiders at home and the Miami Dolphins on the road, as they finished concurrently with both teams in their respective divisions last season.
The season opens with the Raiders in week one at Nissan Stadium. A win over the Raiders will give the Titans a boost of confidence to start the season. Tennessee is a team who has been known to start slow for the past couple of seasons. Can Tennessee finally beat the Raiders? The past two meetings between the two have been very close and have had controversial finishes. This game should be an exciting way to start the season.
Tennessee will also meet Miami on the road again for the second consecutive season. Miami is a different team with Adam Gase, as they made the playoffs last season. This game is a toss-up.
The Titans’ 2017 Schedule should be interesting and exciting! Nissan Stadium will be the place to be for Titans fans. I can’t wait to see how the Titans step up to their challenges this year.
Will the Titans finally win the AFC South for the first time since 2008? Stayed tuned for part three of “This is the Tennessee Titans’ Year”, where we will give three bold predictions, best and worst case scenarios, and an overall prediction!