The Tennessee Titans come into the 2019 season with a veteran group that looks to follow the lead of quarterback Marcus Mariota.
The Tennessee Titans Will Need a Better Mariota
Marcus Mariota has not improved enough for the Tennessee Titans. Since coming into the NFL, the native of Hawaii isn’t much better than he was in his rookie season. Before we can talk about his game, we need to talk about his health.
Even when he is 100% healthy which doesn’t seem to be often these days, he hasn’t looked up to par. He has never played 16 games in a season with his high being 15 twice. When he is healthy he simply hasn’t shown the ability to process opposing defenses the way he should at this point in his career.
He is far too comfortable settling for the check down option and that isn’t good enough for a franchise quarterback. Coming out of college he was known as a dual threat QB but that has not been the case either. This looks like a make or break year for the former Oregon star.
The Running Game Will Carry the Tennessee Titans Offense
This offense will lean heavily on running back Derrick Henry and this very good offensive line. Until Mariota shows that he can finally take that next step, this will be the bread and butter of this team. Last season Derrick Henry was extremely impressive and looks to be ready for more of the same this year.
This offensive line is led by Tyler Lewan who is one of the best in the NFL. This group has been solid for a while and will look to continue their physical brand of football. The Tennessee Titans running game isn’t only Henry with Dion Lewis providing a nice change of pace with his elusive running style.
The wide receiver position is still a bit of a weakness for this team. Mariota has never had an elite number receiver to throw to. That isn’t enough to justify his struggles but it has to be taken into account. He does however have an elite tight end in Delani Walker but how long can he remain at this level before he starts to show some decline?
The Tennessee Titans Defense is One of the Toughest in the NFL
It starts up front with Jurrell Casey on the defensive line. He is an elite defensive lineman and sets the tone for the Titans up front. This defensive line has some solid depth behind Casey and will be tough and physical as usual.
Harold Landry has shown some elite potential as a pass rusher. If he continues to develop, that could take this defense to another level. They also acquired Cameron Wake to help improve their pass rush although he is on the down side of his career at this point. Wesley Woodyard rounds out an impressive group of linebackers.
Secondary Is Still a Very Strong Group
The secondary is led by safeties Kenny Byard and Kenny Vaccaro. Byard is probably the best defensive player on this team which is saying something. At corner this group is led by Malcom Butler and Adoree Jackson. While Butler hasn’t been as good as he was in New England, he is still a solid number two corner behind Jackson.
Overall Outlook for the Tennessee Titans
The only question mark this team has is at QB. That is not the one thing you want to be unsure about heading into any season. The talent is there so the real question is can he or can’t he. If Mariota can’t, then this may be his last season in Tennessee unless he takes a massive discount to stay. For this reason, the Tennessee Titans come in at No. 20 in our 2019 NFL Team Previews.