Devastating. Crippling. Disappointing. However you want to describe the Tennessee Titans’ historic injury problems in 2021, you probably can’t adequately cover just how bad it was.
The good news is that the Tennessee Titans’ 2022 schedule is set up so that every month features a bye week or a “mini-bye” to help manage any injury problems that will come up.
To illustrate just how important those breaks are, look at the two games that the Tennessee Titans played last year with extra time for rest and recovery. In one of those games, the Titans shut out the Jacksonville Jaguars and picked off Trevor Lawrence four times.
In the other game, the Titans beat the Miami Dolphins by a score of 35-3, ending a seven-game winning streak and Tennessee turned out to be the only team that would beat the Dolphins in November, December, or January.
Keep in mind that I’m not including games where the Titans get an extra day of rest/work, but if I was then I could include the Titans’ win against the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football last year to further emphasize just how much these extra days of rest mean for the Titans.
Breaking down the Tennessee Titans schedule month-by-month
September: vs New York Giants (9/11), @ Buffalo Bills (9/19), vs Las Vegas Raiders (9/25)
I’m fudging this just a little bit, but technically every team gets two weeks off between the final preseason game and the first game of the season. That means that the Titans will have two weeks to prepare for the New York Giants and then an extra day to prepare for the Buffalo Bills.
October: @ Indianapolis Colts (10/2), @ Washington Commanders (10/9), BYE (10/16), vs Colts (10/23), @ Houston Texans (10/30)
October should be a pretty straightforward month for the Titans with every game being played on a Sunday, but it is a pretty big month for Tennessee. Half of their division games will be played in this five-week stretch which makes it even more important that the Tennessee Titans get an extra week to make adjustments from their previous gameplan as they go against the Colts in Week 7.
November: @ Kansas City Chiefs (11/6), vs Denver Broncos (11/13), @ Green Bay Packers (11/17), vs Cincinnati Bengals (11/27)
It is always nice to host Denver instead of going to Mile High, but it is going to be tough to get ready for the Packers on a short week. The good news is that the Tennessee Titans have actually played them recently and they haven’t made any big changes on offense, but there is a reason why the Packers have won more games than anyone over the last three years.
The good news is that they are the only NFC team on the schedule and the Titans get a mini-bye week before hosting the Cincinnati Bengals which should be an important game for everyone.
December-January: @ Philadelphia Eagles (12/4), vs Jacksonville Jaguars (12/11), @ L.A. Chargers (12/18), @ Houston Texans (12/24), vs Dallas Cowboys (12/29), @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1/8)
The Tennessee Titans have a straightforward schedule for the first three weeks of this stretch and then it gets really weird. They travel to Houston on Saturday to play on Christmas Eve, then they come back home and have a short week of practice before playing the Cowboys.
The most interesting thing during the stretch is that the Titans are actually sneaking in an extra day of rest/practice before hosting a Thursday night game. Historically the home team has had the advantage on Thursday Night games, especially if it is an uncommon opponent so getting an extra day off when the assumption is that most teams are going to give their players the day off on Christmas, seems like an advantage for Tennessee.
Then they get another mini-bye before finishing the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road. This should mean that they either have more time to get their backups ready to take additional snaps if the Titans want to rest starters before the playoffs, or if the Titans need to win this game for seeding or to secure the AFC South then it gives them the mini-bye advantage.
Getting an extra break in every quarter of the season is a big deal and last year the Titans didn’t get a bye or a mini-bye until December and by then the roster was decimated by injuries.
If the Titans have a schedule like this, maybe they are able to give Julio Jones and Bud Dupree a little bit more time earlier in the season. Maybe the offensive line doesn’t have to start a different five-man combination literally every week.
Even if they sustained injuries at the same rate, these mini-byes and consistent breaks would have given the receivers and running backs that the Titans pulled in off the street/elevated from their practice squad, more time to understand the offense so that there isn’t a route running disaster like what happened in the Houston Texans game.
There are several ways that this schedule can help the Titans, and a little help could mean the difference between repeating as the top seed in the AFC or barely winning the division.