Rookie receivers showed they belong
Undoubtedly the big story of the Titans’ offseason was trading AJ Brown and drafting Treylon Burks to fill his void. This was a stunning move and one that was destined to doom the team and their chances of doing damage in this league.
After the first game, maybe this will not be a problem like everyone thought it would. He and Kyle Philips showed out, and even though their base stats — three receptions for 55 yards and 6 receptions for 66 yards respectively — do not blow your mind, again realize that they did that on a highly limited snap count.
And when you dig deeper, it is easy to see just how much they maximized their opportunities. Burks led all NFL receivers in average yards after the catch, and whatever conditioning issues he had at OTA’s seem to not matter at all now because he had no problem creating separation on Sunday.
Despite being a fifth-rounder, Philips had hype coming into the season after training camp and proved it, starting the game off with an electric punt return and showing his ability to get open for Tannehill. The two of them have built some nice chemistry, as evidenced by the play that got the Titans into field goal range on Sunday.
In fact, Philips and Burks have a chance to be some of the better rookie receivers, as they were second and third respectively in receiving yards among the 2022 draft class in Week 1. And again, that was with both of them essentially playing only half of a game.
Of the many problems on this Titans team, lack of playmakers and explosiveness is not one of them, as many thought going into the year and might still think. The real issue is that the playmakers are not being used enough, which figures to change as the season goes on, but is still a very big problem right now.