Tennessee Titans getting serious respect in ESPN’s FPI rankings

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Tennessee Titans members celebrates a defensive stop against Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons late in the fourth quarter of a game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Tennessee Titans members celebrates a defensive stop against Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons late in the fourth quarter of a game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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The Tennessee Titans rank in the top 10 among 32 NFL teams in ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI).

ESPN ranked all 32 NFL teams using its Football Power Index (FPI), and the Tennessee Titans came out smelling like a rose.

For reference, ESPN defines its FPI rating as follows.

"ESPN’s NFL Football Power Index (FPI) is a prediction system for the NFL developed by ESPN’s Analytics Team. Each team’s FPI rating is composed of a predicted offensive, defensive and special teams efficiency, as measured by expected points added per play, and that rating is the basis for FPI’s game-level and season-level projections."

With a total FPI rating of 3.8, the Titans ranked No. 6 in the NFL, according to ESPN’s metrics.

The biggest reason for Tennessee’s impressive ranking?

The defense, of course, which scored a rating of 3.2, the fourth-highest of the 32 teams in the league. Only the New England Patriots (5.6), Chicago Bears (4.4) and Minnesota Vikings (3.3) had a higher mark on defense.

Where the Titans didn’t fare so well was on offense (0.2) and special teams (0.4).

While the Titans have some work to do on offense to really take that next step, the team’s defense has been sensational. Tennessee currently ranks as the fourth-best scoring defense in the NFL, allowing just 15.5 points per game.

That mark could be even lower if not for a few avoidable mistakes in weeks two and three, and a slow start in Week 1.

And because of said defense, ESPN’s FPI gives the Titans a 42 percent chance to beat one of the league’s elite teams, the Kansas City Chiefs, in the pair’s Week 10 matchup. Only the Pats have a better chance among the Chiefs’ next nine opponents (h/t @StevenWHeard on Twitter for the find).

But wait, there’s more…

ESPN’s FPI also projects the Titans to finish with a 9-7 record again, but believes that record will be good enough to win the AFC South, with the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars all projected to finish 8-8.

In all, the Titans are given a 35.9 percent chance to win the division, a 56.8 percent chance to make the playoffs, and a 2.1 percent chance to win the Super Bowl.

Now, this does mean that the Titans would finish with a 9-7 record for a fourth straight year, but I think fans would sign up for that if it meant a division title and a trip to the playoffs.

Next. Titans' top PFF grades and stats from Week 4. dark

Regardless, it’s nice to see this Titans squad getting some respect, which is a far cry from what we’ve seen this year.