Tennessee Titans Need Two Critical Players to Step Up

Kristian Fulton #26 Tennessee Titans
Kristian Fulton #26 Tennessee Titans / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

The Tennessee Titans season has not started off well, as they are 1-2 and just got blown out 27-3 by the Cleveland Browns. They have failed to score touchdowns in two of the three games, and it is especially concerning for a team that had questions on offense going into the season.

With the front-loaded schedule, the Titans were expected to start the season fairly slow. Throw in a brand new offense with a brand new and suspect offensive line. It is very possible that both issues get better over time and improve the season, so it makes sense to not fully panic at this point.

That being said, there are two players who have not played up to expectations and are contributing to the season's slow start. The Titans were depending on them to have stellar years in order for them to be a threat, so safe to say they need to get things together quickly.

Tennessee Titans have gotten nothing from two highly talented players

While most of the Tennessee Titans' struggles so far are on the offensive side of the ball, the defense has continued to show a clear weakness in the secondary. In particular, Kristian Fulton has had a brutal showing up to this point.

It started in Week 1, when he allowed big plays on the very first and very last drives, and essentially cost the team the game on the latter. It was even worse in Week 3, as he was a liability all game and blew a coverage assignment to allow a touchdown to Amari Cooper.

This has been by far the worst stretch of Fulton's career, who has gotten absolutely torched when he has been healthy. Yes, that is when he has been healthy because he sat out Week 2 with his usual hamstring injury.

It is such a disappointment for someone who had everything to prove to the Titans coming into a contract year. It is even harder to accept because he was supposedly looking great in training camp, and there was a belief that this was the year he could be truly consistent.

That has not even remotely happened, and it further reinforces the thoughts that he is not a dependable player. Now, this is the worst Fulton has looked since he has been starting and he has been a tremendous player at his best, so he is likely to return to at least being solid soon.

But unfortunately the coverage lapses are nothing new, and between those and the injuries, the Titans have not seen his best nearly enough.

The other player who the Titans have not seen nearly enough from is Treylon Burks, who came into the year with high hopes for a breakout season. He had a strong end to the 2022 season and an even better training camp, so there were high expectations from him. Fairly or unfairly, he will also always be linked to A.J. Brown since he was selected with one of the picks that the Tennessee Titans got back in the Brown trade.

That has not happened at all, and while other offensive issues have not helped him out, he has still been a disappointment. His stats so far are abysmal, as he has six catches for 99 yards, being virtually invisible except for the admittedly huge 70-yard catch that sparked the offense in Week 2.

They could be better than that, but he has had a few inexcusable drops which have cost the Titans fairly big plays each time. The offensive line or new offensive system cannot be entirely blamed for Burks' problems, as even in the game against the Chargers, he was not consistently making plays.

Now, one possible explanation for his slow start is a knee injury sustained in training camp, as he has clearly not fully recovered from it and will miss this week's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. But that does not explain the drops, and while taking a week off to further heal and essentially reset, the bottom line is he just has to be better.

Make no mistake, the Titans wide receiver room was dependent on Burks breaking out and strong play from Fulton was needed to solidify a secondary that has oftentimes struggled. There is still plenty of time left in the season, but the team needs both players to rebound or they will not reach their full potential.