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The Tennessee Titans went 9-7 in each of the last four seasons with two playoff appearances. Head coach Mike Vrabel has an 18-14 record in his first two seasons. All six years of his coaching experience in the NFL comes on the defense side of the ball. Vrabel played in the league for 14 seasons. His ties to New England and three Super Bowl titles were a big part of his path to a head coaching job.
Tennessee worked their way to 10th in points scored (402), and 12th in yards gained. They scored more points than in 2018. The Titans haven’t had a top ten offense since 2003.
Arthur Smith shined in his first season running Tennessee’s offense. He worked in the Titans’ system since 2011 with a variety of jobs on the offensive side of the ball. From 2016 to 2018, Smith held the tight end coaches job.
This season the Titans won’t add a defensive coordinator, which puts Vrabel in the power position on that side of the ball. After making strides in 2018 in points allowed (303 – 3rd) and yards allowed (8th), Tennessee regressed in both areas (331 points allowed) and (21st in yards allowed) last year.
The change to Tannehill at QB for the Titans led to 234 points (33.4 per week) over the final seven games. Over this stretch, he gained 2,270 combined yards with 21 TDs and four Ints. His best value came in Week 12 (299 combined yards with four TDs) and Week 14 (410 combined yards with three TDs). He had two touchdowns or more in 12 of his final 13 starts, which included the playoffs.
Despite his high level of success, Tannehill still averaged under 30.0 passes per game while Tennessee piled up rushing yards (1,916) and TDs (14) on the ground.
The Titans signed him to a $118 million deal in March. Based on receiving weapons, WR A.J. Brown is a stud in the making, but WR Corey Davis continued to underachieve his first-round draft value.
A real tricky player as his 2019 success rated well, and Tennessee should be able to build on that path this year. My conservative projections for Tannehill in May came to 4,041 combined yards with 28 TDs and 12 Ints. I’ll go out on a limb and say he sets a career-high in both passing yards (4,208 in 2015) and TDs (28 in 2014). Fantasy owners have him priced as the 17th quarterback option in the early draft season with an ADP of 109.
Henry was more steady than explosive over his first nine games (806 yards with eight TDs and 11 catches) in 2019, while averaging 3.9 yards per carry. The change to Ryan Tannehill led to an incredible run over his next eight games (203/1273/11 with ten catches for 71 yards). Over this span, Henry had six games with 149 yards rushing or more and four games with multiple TDs.
He had two highlight three-game stretches (532 combined yards with five TDs and six catches and 67 combined yards with four TDs and three catches). Henry had the most success in Week 17 (32/211/3).
His only weakness when matched up with the big boys at RBs is the lack of value in the passing game (18/206/2). Power runner with a chance to push over 375 touches this year. I have projected for 1,741 combined yards with 17 TDs and 31 catches with 325 combined touches. Fantasy owners have him priced as the sixth running back drafted with an ADP of eight.
I’m a fan of RB Darrynton Evans, who may work his way into a third-down role in the passing game.
Brown was my favorite rookie receiver in 2019, and I drafted in almost every league. Unfortunately, he was a tough start over the first 12 games due to the Titans only looking his way 54 times (4.5 targets per week).
Over this stretch, Brown shined in three contests (3/100, 3/94/2, and 4/135/1). His season ended with three stellar games (5/153/2, 8/114/1, and 4/124/1) over the final four weeks while averaging 9.3 targets in these showings.
Despite his explosiveness, defenses did take him away in the playoffs (1/4, 1/9, and 3/51). There is a lot of intrigue here supported by his league-high in yards per catch (20.2) and catches over 40 yards (8). The trick is getting him closer to eight targets per game, which would give him about a top-12 WR opportunity.
When doing the first run of the 2020 projections, Brown ranked as the tenth wide receiver in PPR leagues with 82 catches for 1,228 yards and nine TDs. His early ADP (39) paints him as the 14th wide receiver drafted. An outstanding player who looks to be an upside WR2, especially if other owners overlook him on draft day.
Corey Davis & Adam Humphries
With Delanie Walker out of the picture for more of 2019, Smith secured over 70 percent of the playing time at tight end for the Titans.
Unfortunately, his bump in snaps led to about 46 percent of the catches (76) and receiving yards (948) while ranking lower (42.1 percent) in overall targets (107) for the TEs on Tennessee.
Smith teased in Week 8 (6/78/1) but followed up with only nine catches for 48 yards on 13 targets over his next four games. Tennessee gave him over five targets in just two contests.
Improving for sure, but his ceiling doesn’t look high enough to project over a mid-tier TE2 at this point in his career. I expect 54 catches for 613 yards and four TDs while being drafted as about the 16th TE in the early 2020 draft season with an ADP of 143.
The Titans climbed to 12th in rushing yards allowed (1,672) in 2019 while allowing 14 TDs and six runs over 20 yards. Ball carriers gained 4.0 yards per rush while averaging only 25.9 rushing attempts per game.
Tennessee fell to 24th in passing yards allowed (4,080) with QBs tossing 25 TDs and 41 Ints. Their defense had 43 sacks while holding offenses to 7.3 yards per pass attempts.
In the premium outlook, on defense you’ll find write-ups for DE Jeffery Simmons, DT DaQuan Jones, DE Isaiah Mack, LB Vic Beasley, LB Jayon Brown, LB Rashaan Evans, LB Harold Landry, CB Malcolm Butler, CB Adoree Jackson, S Kevin Byard & S Kenny Vaccaro.
Team Defense Outlook
Tennessee has talent at linebacker and with one top player on the defensive line. I don’t trust their cornerbacks while their safeties should add value to their defense. Viable top 12 defense, but they don’t have enough playmakers in their secondary.
Free Agency, Draft, Offensive Line, Offensive Schedule & Defensive Schedule
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