The Tennessee Titans started the 2023 season off on the wrong foot and they need to get that corrected as soon as possible.
While the 2022 season seems like it is in the rearview mirror, it won't take many more losses before the all-too-familiar apathy sets in for Tennessee Titans fans.
Heading into the 2023 season, the biggest fear for most Titans fans wasn't having a bad season. Having a bad season means that you get a chance at one of the generational prospects in this draft class, whether that means Caleb Williams or Marvin Harrison Jr.
The biggest fear was that Mike Vrabel and Ran Carthon thought too highly of what this team could be and that they would end up with a mediocre season without any answers for the future.
If they want to get the train back on the tracks, then Mike Vrabel needs to snap out of his eight-game losing streak and win the Tennessee Titans home opener against the L.A. Chargers this weekend.
The team needs more out of Ryan Tannehill and he absolutely needs to play better this weekend if the Tennessee Titans want a chance to win this game. However, everything that Ryan Tannehill has ever done suggests that he will rebound well from Week 1's trainwreck.
The defender who could control the game for the Tennessee Titans
One player who could make a massive impact in the game is Denico Autry.
Historically, Week 2 has been when Autry reminds the football world how good he is. Over the last four years, he has gotten one or more sacks in three of his Week 2 matchups, including both seasons with the Tennessee Titans.
It is hard to say whether he just starts to hit his stride in Week 2 after he has knocked the rust off, or if he starts to get more detailed scouting reports on the offensive linemen that he is matching up against. Either way, his production at this time of year is impressive.
Obviously, this isn't just a retrospective of what Autry has done in the past. Looking back at last week, Autry thrived against the New Orleans Saints where he racked up 1.5 sacks. One of the most important things about his performance was that he lined up 20 times on the left side of the defensive line and 17 times on the right side of the defensive line, and he moved all along the line.
In other action last week, L.A. Chargers left tackle Rashawn Slater continues to be a star, but there were plenty of cracks in the Chargers OL. The weakest links were right tackle Trey Pipkins and left guard Zion Johnson.
With Autry's versatility, he is really the only defensive lineman on the roster who can pick and choose which lineman he wants to attack. Sometimes Pipkins will have to deal with the speed and bend of Harold Landry or Arden Key, only to see Autry on the next snap who hits him with a dose of power.
Same thing with Johnson, who will have to deal with the power of Teair Tart and Jeffery Simmons only to load up and miss on someone as shifty as Autry can be.
Autry started off strong in Week 1 and with added pressure on the defense this week, I expect a big game from him and the rest of the Tennessee Titans loaded defensive front.