Every year there are teams who made the playoffs the previous season who people doubt can make it back. The Tennessee Titans are falling into that category already, as CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora has them missing out on the postseason in 2021.
La Canfora had this to say as to why he included the Titans on this list:
"They seem to be preordained to win nine games or so a year and get into the big dance. But that run ends now. Too many questions about that defense — which was already poor a year ago — and too much brain drain from recent coordinator defections and too many departures and injury questions on offense. This ain’t the same group up front or on the outside that helped Ryan Tannehill revive his career, and the loss of Arthur Smith drawing things up will prove massive. Will struggle to defend the big play, and also struggle to produce as many of them as they once did. Derrick Henry’s workload will catch up to them at some point, too."
While La Canfora makes good points in his write-up, the Titans play in the not-so-great AFC South, which is almost always wide open. Yes, the Colts got better this offseason but the Jaguars are still the Jaguars and the Texans could very well be the worst team in the league this year if Deshaun Watson doesn’t play. That should be four easy wins right there.
La Canfora notes that the defense was bad last year and it was, but the Titans added Bud Dupree and Denico Autry, both of whom will help get that unit improve. They also drafted cornerback Caleb Farley in the first round and he’ll be a great addition to the secondary.
The Tennessee Titans aren’t a playoff team, writes Jason La Canfora.
Something I do agree with La Canfora on is that losing Arthur Smith to the Falcons will probably set this offense back significantly. Not to mention the Titans have lost Corey Davis, Adam Humphries, and Jonnu Smith in free agency, leaving Ryan Tannehill with A.J. Brown, Dez Fitzpatrick, and Josh Reynolds as his main weapons.
Offensively, the Titans are going to lose a step and that was their strength a year ago. Defensively, they should be better, but will it be enough to offset the offense taking a step back? That’s what remains to be seen.
The other playoff teams from a year ago picked to miss out were the Bears, Packers, Saints, and Steelers. These all make way more sense than the Titans, as the Bears are in a quarterback flux, the Packers might lose Aaron Rodgers, the Saints don’t have Drew Brees anymore, and the Steelers came crashing down after an 11-0 start a season ago.
Tennessee Titans fans are hoping La Canfora is wrong with his assessment.