Tennessee Titans ranked as one of least improved teams by ESPN
The Tennessee Titans were ranked No. 24 on ESPN’s “most, least improved NFL teams” list.
ESPN ranked all 32 NFL teams based on how much or little they improved, and the Tennessee Titans came in on the bottom half of the list.
The Titans were ranked No. 24 on ESPN’s list, but were given a mostly positive review for their offseason moves.
Here’s how ESPN describes the way the list was compiled:
"This ranking does not consider how good or bad a team actually is, but rather only how the roster changed since last season. Though the Patriots likely outrank the Bills in nearly everything else, Buffalo rates way higher than its division rival here because it has a much better roster than it did at the end of the 2018 season. The defending Super Bowl champions, meanwhile, did very little during the offseason and lost some important players."
Mike Clay was responsible for the blurb on the Titans:
"Big additions: EDGE Cameron Wake, OG Rodger Saffold, WR Adam HumphriesKey losses: LB Derrick Morgan, LB Brian Orakpo, OG Quinton Spain, OG Josh KlineDespite constant quarterback headaches, Tennessee has managed to stay competitive during the Marcus Mariota era thanks to a strong defense and a stable offensive line. Both units initially took a hit during the offseason, but the team upgraded at left guard with Saffold and signed Wake to team up with 2018 second-round pick Harold Landry in place of Morgan and retired Orakpo. Ryan Tannehill supplies the team with a capable backup behind injury-plagued Mariota."
The Titans were already a good team after going 9-7 and still almost making the playoffs in 2018 despite having an injured Marcus Mariota for much of the season. That forced Tennessee to run backup Blaine Gabbert out there far too often.
As far as that goes, the Titans added a more capable backup in Ryan Tannehill. That’s one heck of an insurance policy for Mariota.
One of the contentions with the ranking is that ESPN isn’t giving the Titans enough credit for addition by subtraction. Linebackers Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo were both great players for this franchise throughout their respective careers; however the fact is that last season both only combined for two sacks with a full season of starter’s snaps.
Unless his game totally falls off a cliff, the Titans should be able to count on edge-rusher Cameron Wake for more than that by himself. When you add the potential of linebacker Harold Landry, who totaled 4.5 sacks (two in three starts over the last three weeks) last season, he and Wake could be a significant improvement from the production the Titans got in those spots in 2018.
The offensive line was another issue, but that was addressed also. Not only did the Titans sign left guard Rodger Saffold, the team also drafted right guard Nate Davis, who will compete with fellow guard Kevin Pamphile for a starting spot in training camp.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota has posted a poor passer rating to the slot during his career, which can’t really be blamed on him based on the receiving corps. he has worked with in the past.
With the addition of slot receiver Adam Humphries, Mariota now has a proven player in the slot who should bring that rating way up. Second-round pick A.J. Brown gives Mariota yet another weapon to work with in what has become an impressive group of pass-catchers.
There’s a lot to like about these offseason moves by general manager Jon Robinson. The Tennessee Titans took care of multiple concerns from 2018 and only improved the roster. Based on that, they should be ranked higher here.