Last Year: 2-14, Very bad
Key Acquisitions: Marcus Mariota, Brian Orakpo
Key Losses: Jake Locker, Michael Oher, Bernard “Patriots Killer” Pollard
The Titans are Schrödinger’s team. Do they actually exist if no one pays attention to them? Even now, with the most talked about player in the entire draft on the team, the Titans still receive almost no media coverage whatsoever. Maybe it’s because they haven’t been relevant since Vince Young. Maybe it’s because they are another team that wears too much blue. Maybe it’s because nobody cares about Tennessee except for the locals. Whatever the reason, the Titans could move to London, and it would take half a season for the rest of us to notice. “But Dave,” say some, “The Titans aren’t that unknown. Stop exaggerating!”
Name me a Titans defender. No Google. Right here. Can you do it? I listed one up top.
Brian Orakpo is currently the biggest name on the Titans defense, and he wasn’t there last season. Plus, Orakpo has battled injuries and simply hasn’t been all that important for a couple of seasons now, to the point where I bet a fair amount of fans didn’t even realize he left Washington. The Titans get zero coverage. Heads up, NFL criminals, if you want to get away with stuff, go to the Titans. There are no spotlights on you.
Last year started out very promisingly. The Titans clobbered the playoff contending Chiefs in Kansas City. For a moment everyone had to wonder if the Titans might actually be contenders for the playoffs this year. Then the rest of the season happened, and the Titans only managed one single other win, against an equally dismal Jaguars team. They were then victims of the biggest road comeback victory in the history of football. The team that beat them? The Browns. Brian Hoyer’s jersey is literally in the Hall of Fame thanks to this game.
So now they have Mariota, a player who doesn’t really seem to fit coach Whisenhunt’s prototypical QB but was drafted anyway. They didn’t make much of a splash in free agency to fill up their many holes. It’s hard to look at the Titans upcoming season and expect much. But having low expectations can actually make a season fun, so even the depressed fans don’t feel terrible.
Titans Fan Probably Magic fan offers his perspective:
So this year begins the chrysalis of the Tennessee Titans from the ugly caterpillar days of a post-Steve McNair world, right? This time, the rookie quarterback filled with potential won’t be replaced by a 30+ year old mediocre has-been, right? Or have a mental breakdown. Or have a physical breakdown and retire at 27. So a mobile quarterback should be a fun contrast, especially since Ken Whisenhunt is well known for coaching such mobile quarterbacks as Phillip Rivers and Kurt Warner … wait. I may have detected the problem.
Having said that, a lot of the offense should look better, with the offensive line healed up more and some added receiver depth. In fact, DGB could either contend for offensive rookie of the year or go to jail for domestic assault depending on how much time he spends with Perrish Cox, so he’s a coin flip away from being great! On defense, they’ll be acclimating to Dick LeBeau settling in while still largely being the group the loved giving up long bomb touchdowns last year. Definitely not a strength.
The good news is that the team plays in the AFC South. The bad news is that they themselves are an AFC South team. I expect splits with teams that don’t deserve them, an odd NFC South win or so, and for the Browns to still be rotten, which will be enough for 6-11. Making me the typical dour Titans fan, but one who isn’t just dreading another season with Locker for once.
Hey from two wins to six wins is an improvement. All hail Super Mariota.