Titans' improved offense should shine a spotlight on Nick Folk

The kicking game should play a significantly larger role on the 2024 Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

After the Tennessee Titans cut Ryan Succop in 2019, they wandered the wilderness trying to find an appropriate kicker to fill his shoes.

Fans spent 2020, 2021, and 2022 praying for mediocrity at kicker, but they never got it. Then in 2023, GM Ran Carthon traded a seventh-round pick for Nick Folk as the Titans acquired one of the best kickers in the league.

Last year, Folk was the most accurate kicker in the NFL, converting 29 of 30 attempts with his lone miss coming from furter than 50 yards (he was five of six on 50+ yarders for the season). That is an amazing accomplishment, and fans should have been thrilled with Folk's season.

Unfortunately, his dominance was barely noticed because the Titans were so bad, specifically on offense.

Because the Titans struggled to consistently get in field goal range throughout the season, Folk's accuracy didn't result in as many points as it should have. Despite having the most accurate season of his career, Folk's 29 makes ranked 17th in the NFL, which means that the Titans' offensive struggles likely cost him his first potential Pro Bowl appearance since 2007.

But that was last year, and things are wildly different in Tennessee now.

Offensively, the Titans have shifted to a team that will lean on the passing game more and evolve with the times. That means that Folk should have more opportunities than he did in 2023 when the Titans finished 28th in total yardage.

On defense, the Titans are going to be aggressive and that is going to lead to some great days and some days where other teams find ways to take advantage of that aggressiveness. There is a good chance that the Titans get into more true shootouts this season than they have in a very long time.

That means that there could be games that come down to which quarterback has the ball in their hands at the end of the game, and which kicker can rise to the occasion in the clutch moments when the game is on the line.

In many ways, having confidence in Folk could embolden first-time head coach and offensive play-caller Brian Callahan and first-time defensive coordinator Dennard Wilson. Knowing that you have a guy that can get you out of a pinch allows you to be more aggressive, and that is what both of these coaches want to do.

Despite a low profile, it might be fair to say that Folk is quietly one of the most important players on the entire roster.