The NFL released the 2019 schedule Wednesday night, and the Tennessee Titans have an interesting lineup
NFL fans across the globe were all over the internet Wednesday night as the NFL released the 2019 schedule for every team, giving fans a reason to get excited for football season. The schedule was released at 8pm, and here is what the Tennessee Titans will have in store this year:
Unfortunately, the NFL didn’t see the Titans fit for more prime time games other than the seemingly annual Thursday Night Football matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. They are also slotted to play in four late day games, with the rest being the usual noon start. 2019 will bring them a full slate of games against the AFC West and the NFC South, with 3 playoff teams from 2018 combined between the two.
Based on the 2018 results, they currently have the 9th most difficult schedule in the league largely in part to division rivals Indianapolis and Houston, who both made the playoffs last year. Below, I will take a look at some of the key games for them this year along with a prediction.
Week 2: Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
This is a huge game very early on in the season. Not only is it the Titans home opener at Nissan Stadium, but it comes against a team that they have had very little success against in the past.
The Colts rocked the Titans in both matchups in 2018, the second of which came in the final week of the season with a playoff spot on the line, where they were thoroughly picked apart by Andrew Luck and company and sent packing on their home turf. I expect the crowd to be in full force for this one, and they must finally find a way to beat Luck, who owns an 11-0 record against them. With a home opener against a strong division rival, it is important for them to play well and find a way to overcome the Colts and build an early lead in the division.
Week 3: Titans @ Jaguars (Thursday Night Football)
Following a big home opener, the Titans will be forced to travel and play on a short week quickly. This is the Titans lone prime time game in 2019, and it’s another division rival. Unlike playing the Colts, the Titans have had extraordinary success against the Jaguars, including sweeps of the series the past two years.
This means that the Jags will be hungry and determined to beat the Titans, especially in a prime time home game. The difference this time around is the fact that Blake Bortles is a goner and Nick Foles is a new comer. With a new QB and possibly a new look offense in Jacksonville, this will be an intriguing game and important for both sides that could set the tone early on in the season.
Week 10: Kansas City Chiefs @ Tennessee Titans
This is a game that will be a test to see where the Titans really stand in the AFC. Of course, that could be evident by the time this game rolls around; but this is the first time the Titans will see defending MVP Patrick Mahomes and his Chiefs, who were one incredible mistake away from playing in the Super Bowl. I like the fact that this game is at Nissan Stadium, where the Titans have played well over the last couple of years.
If they find themselves near the middle of the pack when this game comes, a victory over a team of this caliber could define their season or at least give them the confidence to make a run later in the season, where they will still have two games against Houston and one more against the Colts after the bye week.
Weeks 15-17: Houston Texans @ Titans, Titans @ New Orleans Saints, Titans @ Texans
Woof. Talk about a brutal finish to the regular season. Of course, this is only based on last year. I have never been on the Texans hype train as many others seem to jump on every year, a team that seems very inconsistent at times and capable of losing games they should win. Drew Brees will be playing at 40 years old this year, and it’s not unheard of for talented players to suddenly lose it with old age. But for the time being, this is probably the most important stretch of the Titans schedule.
Picking up 2 wins over the Texans would help the Titans immensely in division standing, and beating the Saints on the road would be a big win for them. I don’t see it happening, but if they could win all three of these games and have a strong enough record to make the playoffs, this could be the fuel needed to send them on a great playoff run.
We’ve seen teams win Super Bowls after looking average throughout the season due to strong finishes in the regular season.
This is probably slightly biased, but I have the Titans finishing 10-6 this year. Many will likely look at this schedule and have the Titans finishing no better than .500, but I like what GM Jon Robinson did in free agency, and I also believe that this is the year Marcus Mariota is able to stay healthy behind a revamped offensive line and find his game with his favorite target Delanie Walker returning after missing almost all of 2018 and new addition Adam Humphries proving to be a huge signing. Of course, we still have to wait and see what they do in the draft, which could play a large role in their outcome this year.