Tennessee Titans: 2 Worst-case scenarios during their 2021 NFL season

Ryan Tannehill #17, Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Ryan Tannehill #17, Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Often, when you hear professional athletes talk about NFL schedules, it’s done in this way. Before they do anything else, they look at the back half of the journey, in particular, that final month. Guys that play in domes want to know if they’re scheduled for any December games in cold cities. Just about everyone wants to imagine what their travel schedule looks like. Oh, and where’s that bye week? Fans, the Tennessee Titans are not exceptions to that rule.

Last year, on December 27th, the Titans braved cold weather and the snow to battle the mighty Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field to a 40-14 loss. Some Christmas present huh?

The Titans have a December and January team.

Sure, Tennessee wants to run the ball and play great defense, so they’re built for football in December and January. Still, it’s hard not to wonder how that Packers game might have turned out if the two-tone blue got to play that one at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.

Who you play is important, but where you play them and when is equally so. Tennessee gets a few heavyweights in 2021, thanks to a first-place schedule and drawing both the AFC West and NFC West. The 17th game also means they’ll face the New Orleans Saints. That won’t make anyone jealous, but here’s the thing. There are two stretches in which they’ll need to ‘Titan Up’ or shall we say ‘tighten up’.

Here are two stretches that could decide the season and a possible worst-case scenario. Actually, it’s better if you’re given two of them.

Okay Tennessee Titans fans, buckle up for this one.

Have you seen what happens right out of the gate? In weeks one through three, Tennessee gets their mettle tested versus the high-powered Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, and rival Indianapolis Colts.

All are winnable games. Two are at home in Nashville, but all three of those games could wind up as losses too. No one wants to imagine Tennessee stumbling out of the gate to an 0-3 start. It isn’t likely, but anything’s possible. On any given Sunday, anyone can beat anyone.

Here’s something else to chew on. Week 6 through Week 12 is as brutal as any stretch of football for any team. In order, the Tennessee Titans tackle (pun intended) the AFC East Champion Buffalo Bills and AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6 and 7. They then visit the Indianapolis Colts (Week 8) and Los Angeles Rams (Week 9) before hosting the New Orleans Saints in Week 10.

They visit what should be an improved New England Patriots team in 12. Sandwiched between the Saints and Pats are the rival Houston Texans in Week 11 which should be a win, but teams always have to be wary of the trap game. Tennessee can’t look ahead to New England after the Saints game, or the Texans could cause issues.

What’s truly crazy is this. All of these games occur before the bye week, which, in the Titans’ case, isn’t until Week 13. Sheesh. If Tennessee holds serve in Week 1 through Week 3, the argument can still be made that they can be beaten in several of these games in Week 6 through Week 12.

Let’s hope no one gets hurt and they make it through fairly unscathed. A losing streak to begin the season or one in the middle of the campaign (or both) would not be what the doctor ordered.

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Don’t read what isn’t being written. The Tennessee Titans should be fine. They have one of the game’s best, someone who should be considered a legitimate MVP candidate, in Derrick Henry and an undervalued signal-caller, one Ryan Tannehill, at quarterback.

They WILL win the AFC South again, but by the time they reach the finish line, there may be some bumps and bruises. This is a vicious schedule, one they can conquer, but the NFL surely didn’t make things easy on them this time around.