The Tennessee Titans are 3-6 and they are nearly mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. On top of that, they haven't won a road game in over 365 days, so this fan base shouldn't be brimming with optimism that they will win in Jacksonville on Sunday.
While this game won't tell us much that we don't already know about the Tennessee Titans, there is one thing that the game on Sunday can tell us and that is just how inept is this offensive coaching staff.
Look at it like this, the Jacksonville Jaguars are the 30th ranked defense when it comes to passing yards allowed and they are bottom five in the NFL at getting to the quarterback with just 18 sacks this season.
If Mike Vrabel, Tim Kelly, and Jason Houghtaling (offensive line) can't figure out a way to put up points against this defense, then that is a massive red flag going forward. Similarly, if they look at this game as a chance to "reestablish their identity" then they simply don't get it.
Sure, in the future it will help to have more talent on offense, but if you need more talent than Derrick Henry, Tyjae Spears, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Levis, and Kyle Philips (who has had back-to-back games with two 20+ yard receptions), to put up points on one of the worst defenses in the NFL, then that is a problem.
With a rebuild coming, ownership needs to decide whether the coaches in place are getting the most out of a roster with clear limitations, or if they are also a part of the problem and this game is a great test for that.
What would a successful day look like for the Tennessee Titans on offense
Here is a look at what visiting quarterbacks have done to the Jacksonville Jaguars defense this season:
Week 2, Patrick Mahomes: 29 of 40, 305 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Week 3, C.J. Stroud: 20 of 30, 280 yards, 2 TDs
Week 4, Desmond Ridder: 19 of 31, 191 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
Week 6, Gardner Minshew: 33 of 55, 329 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs
Week 10, Brock Purdy: 19 of 26, 296 yards, 3 TDs
So, the average stat line for a quarterback visiting Jacksonville is 24 of 36 (66.7%), 280 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT.
So far this season the Tennessee Titans have yet to score a passing touchdown in a road game. If Mike Vrabel and company can't rectify that this week, then they will place themselves in a unique tier of ineptitude and it is something that ownership (and the fan base) has to take note of at the very least.
Just to make sure that I am being perfectly clear, as soon as Will Levis became the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, the entire mission of the season changed. 2023 isn't about the playoffs or getting Derrick Henry his stats for the Hall of Fame, or any of that. The sole mission for 2023 is to make sure that you have a blueprint for turning Will Levis into a franchise quarterback in 2024.
So far, DeAndre Hopkins, Tyjae Spears, Peter Skoronski, Aaron Brewer, Daniel Brunskill, and Kyle Philips are all almost certainly part of that plan, and those are all average to very good players. However, with all of the Vrabel trade rumors and the lack of production from the offense over the last two games, no one should be locking this coaching staff into that decision.
If the Tennessee Titans keep going on the road and settling for field goal attempts and slightly less embarrassing losses like they did last Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then no one should be safe. We know that everything is easier at home and this team still has some highlights left in them, but if the Titans go out there on Sunday and can't put together a good offensive performance against one of the worst passing defenses in the league, there should be consequences.