Super Bowl lesson: The Tennessee Titans need to load up on offense

Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: The Tennessean)
Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: The Tennessean) /

The Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers franchise has been built around running the ball and playing great defense for as long as they have existed.

No one has a history of great running backs that stacks up with what this franchise has in Earl Campbell, Eddie George, Chris Johnson, and Derrick Henry, but it hasn’t been enough.

While a good defense and a solid running game can help the Titans win many games, if your goal is winning a Super Bowl then Mike Vrabel, Ran Carthon, and the rest of the franchise need to adapt to the times.

Marcus Mosher had a nice thread on this topic this morning where he looked at the teams that have won titles over the last seven years and brought up how each one had a top-7 scoring offense.

The sad truth is that the Tennessee Titans have to see this and make a hard decision. They can’t go into this offseason trying to build an offense around pounding Derrick Henry into a brick wall and trying to win games 20-17.

From here on out, everything that the Tennessee Titans invest in on offense should be focused on trying to score more points and supporting the quarterback. Whether it is Ryan Tannehill in 2023 or whether you are setting the groundwork for another quarterback in the future, investing in weapons and offensive linemen is the smartest strategy.

Tim Kelly can be the start of this change for the Tennessee Titans

I believe that Tim Kelly can be a good OC for the Tennessee Titans. With the Houston Texans, he elevated players with his play calls and those players suffered for it when he was gone. Last year, Davis Mills was getting praise like Brock Purdy received this year, but without Tim Kelly, all of that hype evaporated.

Kelly can make some great calls, but he needs more weapons. Treylon Burks, Chig Okonkwo, and Kyle Philips can be a very nice trio of weapons, but a receiver with elite speed would change what the Tennessee Titans looked like.

He had that in Brandin Cooks who had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with Kelly calling the plays in Houston. The question is whether that comes from Cooks next year or whether the Tennessee Titans need to find that guy in the draft.

It is also absolutely essential that the Titans upgrade their offensive line this offseason. Nicholas Petit-Frere will have a starting spot on the line, and then there are questions.

Two players that had a starting spot on the offensive line last year were Taylor Lewan and Nate Davis.

Lewan could come back on a cheap deal and at the very least he would lock down the left tackle spot while he was healthy. Money is going to be an interesting talking point this offseason because all signs are pointing toward Nate Davis leaving in free agency.

Dillon Radunz should find a starting spot on the offensive line this season when he is ready to play, but the question is whether that is at guard or tackle. Speaking of players with positional versatility, Corey Levin was very good at center this year and a smart staff would give him a deal and let him fight for a spot at center or guard.

Ran Carthon is going to have to have a very clear idea of what he can get in free agency and in the draft because he has a lot of decisions to make on those players this offseason.

Either way, the Tennessee Titans need to add players on the offensive line as well and they need to be players who are equally as good in pass protection as they are as run-blockers. That is something that Mike Vrabel hasn’t prioritized in the past.

This offense isn’t that far away from being good and some pieces are in place. Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry have shown that they can put up 30 points per game, now the Titans have to see the importance of surrounding them with the talent to do it again.