Best and worst case for 2022

Welcome to FanSided’s 2022 NFL Preview! It’s time to peek into our crystal clear football and take a look at the Tennessee Titans season prediction.

They are one of the few NFL teams to have qualified for the playoffs in each of the last three seasons. And only the Kansas City Chiefs currently have a longer postseason streak than the Tennessee Titans. Mike Vrabel owns a 41-24 regular season record. The Titans are looking for a third straight AFC South title. But the team hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since 1999.

Tennessee owns a combined 23-10 regular season record for the past two seasons. And in 2021, the club captured the top seed in the AFC. But there have now been back-to-back home playoff disappointments in losses to the Ravens and Bengals. Still, this is a quality organization that once again finds itself in the mix of things. But there are some big challenges ahead.

Recap of the 2021 Tennesee Titans season

  • 12-5 record
  • 1st place in the AFC South
  • Lost to Bengals in AFC Divisional Playoffs

The franchise has won its Premier League title since 2008. And it would be interesting to see what Mike Vrabel’s team could do for an encore a year later. It didn’t start well as the club was defeated 38-13 at home by the Arizona Cardinals on opening Sunday. And the Titans needed to rally to beat the Seahawks in overtime in Seattle to avoid a 2-0 start.

Tennessee would win seven of its next eight games, putting together a midseason six-game winning streak. But in the club’s eighth game that year, running back Derrick Henry was sidelined and would miss the remainder of the regular season. The offensive pressure would shift to quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was having his troubles taking care of the football.

When all was said and done, the Titans and Chiefs ended up with the highest tally in the AFC (12-5). But Vrabel’s team had a regular-season win over Kansas City and clinched first place in the conference. The club received the Bengals in the divisional round. Henry returned and wideout AJ Brown had a big outing but Tannehill was picked off three times in a tough loss.

Tennessee Titans NFL Draft class of 2022

  • Rd 1: Treylon Burks, WR/Arkansas
  • Rd 2: Roger McCreary, CB/Auburn
  • Rd 3: Nicholas Petit-Frere, State of OT/Ohio
  • Round 3: Malik Willis, QB/Liberty
  • Rd 4: Hassan Haskins, RB/Michigan
  • Rd 4: Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE/Maryland
  • Round 5: Kyle Phillips, WR/UCLA
  • Rd 6: Theo Jackson, S/Tennessee
  • Rd 6: Chance Campbell, LB/Mississippi

To offset the deal that sent 2020 Pro Bowl wide receiver AJ Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles, general manager Jon Robinson used the 18th overall pick in the April draft to enlist the services of University of Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks, to secure. There were some initial concerns about the prospects, but the 6ft 2in, 225lb target had a solid summer.

Burks was one of six Titans selections to focus on the offensive side of the ball. And it will be interesting to see how the rest of this draft class add to an already extensive list. Will third-round pick Nicholas Petit-Frere be pushing for the right tackle job sooner than later? Could quarterback Malik Willis show up on Tennessee offense in terms of special packages?

Titans offense preview for the 2022 season

  • Important off-season additions:
    • WR Robert Woods
    • WR Treylon Burks
    • TE Austin Hooper
  • Biggest X Factor: QB Malik Willis
  • The squeakiest wheel: WR Treylon Burks

A season ago, the Titans proved they can still lead football without their workhorse being available all season. Two-time NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry got off to a sensational start but was injured and missed the final nine games of the regular season. Despite this, Mike Vrabel’s club finished fifth in the league in rushing yards per game, thanks in part to a quality offensive line.
Of course, there was one major departure when it comes to this unit, as left guard Rodger Saffold was fired and signed with the Buffalo Bills this offseason. But the club have done a good job of replacing high performers in recent years. The man on site is former undrafted free agent Aaron Brewer. However, the passing game needs improvement.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill needs to avoid mistakes better. The Titans committed 25 turnovers — more than double last year’s 12 — and Tannehill finished the tournament with 18 of those errors. And he was picked up three times in the playoff loss to Cincinnati. Wideouts Robert Woods and Treylon Burks and tight end Austin Hooper are welcome additions.

Preview of the Titans’ defense for the 2022 season

  • Important off-season additions
    • EN DeMarcus Walker
    • CB Roger McCreary
    • S AJ Moore
  • Largest X-factor: LB Bud Dupree
  • Squeakiest wheel: CB Caleb Farley

Tennessee’s defense certainly made such strides in 2021. But with the first week opener against the New York Giants on the horizon, the club now knows they will be without their top pass rusher for all of 2022. That’s because full-back Harold Landry III tore his ACL. That means former Steelers fullback Bud Dupree needs to step up and make a difference.

The Titans are solid on the defensive front. Jeffery Simmons started all 17 games for the club, finishing with 54 tackles and finishing third on the team with 8.5 sacks. The three-year-old pro was named to his first Pro Bowl. The club finished second in the league in run defense in 2021. And the Colts’ one-time end Denico Autry ended his first season with the club with nine sacks.

Even with an improved pass rush a year ago, Shane Bowen’s defensive unit was spotty against the pass. Safety Kevin Byard is the clear leader in the second round, finishing with five of the club’s 16 interceptions. But the Titans need to do better than No. 25 in the NFL in pass defense, as they did in 2021. Rookie cornerback Roger McCreary and safety AJ Moore (Texans) are expected to help.

Overview of the Tennessee Titans coaching staff

  • head coach: Mike Vrabel
  • Out of. Coordinator: Death Downing
  • Def. Coordinator: Shane Bowen
  • 2023 Head Coach Candidate: Pat O’Hara

Mike Vrabel took over as head coach in 2018. The 2021 NFL Coach of the Year has four straight wins and the club has reached the postseason in each of the past three years. The club has also won two consecutive AFC South titles. Todd Downing returns as offensive coordinator while Shane Bowen helped the defense improve dramatically after a tough 2020.

Tennessee Titans Awards clock

Mike Vrabel named 2021 NFL Coach of the Year. If safety Kevin Byard has a big year in terms of interceptions, he could be looking at the Defensive Player of the Year award. Of course, running back Derrick Henry is capable of fielding big numbers and is always a threat for NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards.

RB Derrick Henry, MVP

He was in the running for honors in 2020 when he rushed for 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns. Workhorse Derrick Henry got off to a good start a year ago before missing the last nine games. The two-time Pro Bowler rushed for 937 yards and 10 scores on 219 carries in just eight outings. Can he become the first NFL player to run for 2,000 yards twice?

CB Roger McCreary, Defensive Rookie of the Year

Defensive coordinator Shane Bowen is certainly looking for some extra help in the secondary. Roger McCreary played all four seasons at the University of Auburn. The Titans made him their 35-tt overall pick in April. He ended his career with the Tigers with six interceptions and 30 pass defenses. In 2021, he made two passes and was credited with 14 passes defended.

QB Malik Willis, Offensive Rookie of the Year

There was talk that Liberty University’s former product could have been a first-round pick. But when all was said and done, quarterback Malik Willis slipped into the third round and general manager Jon Robinson got him up. Yes, there’s no indication he’s ready to replace Ryan Tannehill any time soon. But he’s able to add a spark to the Titans’ offense.

Biggest game on the Tennessee Titans schedule

Mike Vrabel’s side have a chance for revenge when they host reigning AFC champions Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12. A year ago, the Titans performed extremely well in their encounters with the defending champions – defeating the Bills, Chiefs and Seahawks while only losing to the Steelers. A win over Joe Burrow and company could pay off in playoff time.

Tennessee Titans Season Prediction: Best Case Scenario

The Titans deal early in the season against the team many believe could replace them as AFC South champions. The club travels to Indianapolis in Week 4, heads to Washington, has a week off and then hosts the Colts in Week 7. Mike Vrabel’s team plays five of their first eight games away and that hasn’t been a bad thing for this team lately.

Tennessee Titans Season Prediction: Worst Case Scenario

What would happen if running back Derrick Henry was out for an extended period again? Can the Titans handle a major absence from their workhorse for a second straight year? It also looks like both the Texans and Jaguars look like improved teams. Remember that Houston defeated the Titans in Nashville last season. And the AFC seems to be loading again.

Tennessee Titans season prediction for 2022

  • 9-8 record
  • 2nd place in the AFC South
  • Playoff Prediction: Will not qualify

The Titans have been a stable ship under Mike Vrabel for the last four seasons. But they struggled to recapture the magic of the 2019 postseason. And in recent years they’ve lost some key players along the way. A healthy Derrick Henry makes a big difference and it will be interesting to see how long quarterback Ryan Tannehill takes to adjust to his new pass-catching goals. But can the defense and especially the pass rush cope with the injury-related absence of top sack artist Harold Landry III? There’s going to be a little slide in Nashville this season.

Read more from FanSided’s 2022 NFL Preview here. For more coverage of the Tennessee Titans, Check out Titan Size. Best and worst case for 2022

John Verrall

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