At the start of every year, my hopes for the upcoming season is always high. And at the end of every season, things never seem to go as planned. So here is how I believe the Titans can finally take the step forward i have been hoping for.
First a quick recap on the 2018 season. After losing the their first three games of the year, the Tennessee Titans went on to win the next three games against the Texans, Jaguars and Eagles. Defeating the defending champions in over time was a positive way to end September. After the horrific game that occured the week before against the Jaguars (a rip roaring end score of 9-6), Mariota threw for 344 yards and 2 TDs while running in for another. Corey Davis caught 9 passes for 161 yards and a TD. A young team was on display that can finally put Titans fans out of their misery. And then off to Buffalo to face the all conquering Buffalo Bills and Mariota struggles to throw an almighty 129 yards. Hey what is another years in this hell?
Follow that up with a matchup with the Ravens, where the Titans can’t even put up a single score on the board. Not a single point. And two weeks later, go to Dallas and beat the Cowboys. Then beat the Patriots. And all the run in of the season ended in a must win game to make the playoffs. One big game was need and instead they shit the togs. Another year of ups and downs.
Marcus Mariota was expected to be the franchise quarterback for years to come. Yet, four years after being drafted, I still find myself questioning this. His passing touchdowns to interceptions is a big concern. So too is his inability to play an entire 16 game season thus game due to injury. Personally, I don’t blame all his issues on him. For the majority of his time in Tennessee, he has been without go to players in some key positions as well as a carousel at offensive coordinators. And yet, I still feel the Titans need more security at quarterback. I would be looking for a draft pick to be spent on a quarterback who has the potential to be his successor down the road.
The other player that needs to prove himself next year is Corey Davis. Davis has incredible potential but has yet to make the break through that he could make. I woke up the other morning to a notification on my phone; “Review Corey Davis’ break out year highlights”. Was that a breakout year for him? For a number 1, I would imagine at least 50 yards a game is a standard with the odd exception due to match up or injury related. Davis had 10 games under 50 receiving yards, just 4 over 60 yards and 2 over 100 yards. He has an average of 7 targets a game catching an average of 4. That ranks outside the top 100 in catch rate in the league in 2018.
If Mariota is to progress, I think a veteran wide receiver from the free agency is needed. With rumors continuing to circulate that Antonio Brown wants out of Pittsburgh, he must be viewed as a potential target. He is still playing at a level where he is consider one of the best in the league. With the projection of the fourth most cap space next year, this move could make sense. And for me, it will fix the most glaring issue on the team. If Brown isn’t willing to go to Tennessee, another veteran should be targeted.
Else where I like the roster as a whole. The defense has proven itself to be a formidable defense particularly in the running game. Derrick Henry came into his owe in the final run in of games. Dion Lewis is still there as a change of pace back. Delanie walker will return next year. A new Offensive Coordinator will be on board and hopefully the Titans can secure him for a few years to allow stability for Mariota. The defensive and offensive front seven can be reinforced in the draft. All in all, I will be going into another off season feeling frustrated at the Titans yet encouraged that next year can be truly a big year for Tennessee.