Last season, the Tennessee Titans emerged as the top seed in the hotly-contested American Football Conference.
The competition was so tight that more than seven teams still had a chance to clinch a postseason berth in the final week of the regular season.
Despite losing Derrick Henry to a foot injury, the Titans still collected 12 victories.
A year later, the Titans’ narrative has changed, and it might not be for the better, as ESPN’s Sports Analytics Writer Seth Walder shared.
I think the Titans have real disaster season potential.
Run-first offense reliant on an old/declining RB coming off injury behind a bad offensive line, plus a downgrade at receiver after trading A.J. Brown.
And now Harold Landry down, eek.
— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) September 1, 2022
Walder tweeted, “I think the Titans have real disaster season potential. Run-first offense reliant on an old/declining RB coming off injury behind a bad offensive line, plus a downgrade at receiver after trading A.J. Brown. And now Harold Landry down, eek.”
On the flip side, they still have head coach Mike Vrabel who adjusts their game plan according to their strengths.
Likewise, Malik Willis can be a dual-threat quarterback if Vrabel will allow him to play.
Beyond those possibilities, Walder’s concerns are valid.
Henry did return in time for last year’s playoffs but did not play at the high level he used to.
With an offseason of recovery, the Titans hope he will return in peak form.
Unfortunately, running backs do not age gracefully and lose their skills as time progresses.
Titans Not A Playoff Team?
It doesn’t help either that they lost the likes of David Quessenberry and Rodger Saffold to the Buffalo Bills.
Having them at the line of scrimmage gives tons of protection for their quarterback.
Likewise, their passing game must deliver if the other team is defending Henry well.
They are doomed if both aspects of their offense remain stale.
On the other hand, Landry’s absence robs them of their most versatile defensive player.
He could have plugged in several holes to help the Titans win.
Without him, the Titans might find it hard to replicate last season’s success.