Photo credit: Stacy Revere / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
The Tennessee Titans made huge strides from the 2015 season to the 2016 season. In 2015 the Titans were abysmal and recorded a 3-13 record, 2016 was the exact opposite though the Titans improved to 9-7 and were suddenly playing winning football. That’s because Head Coach Mike Mularkey has came in and put an emphasis on fundamentals (running the football, and playing solid defense) and it’s also because Titans General Manager Jon Robinson has done an excellent job maneuvering for the Titans. Robinson robbed the Los Angeles Rams blind when he traded the number 1 pick in the 2016 Draft for 5 of the Rams’ draft picks. Those picks will be used to shape this roster to Mularkey’s vision and these picks aren’t the only trick up the Titans’ sleeve. Tennessee also had a terrific off-season signing Logan Ryan, John Cyprien, Sylvester Williams, and Tim Lelito. Those players should help boost Tennessee’s overall talent level, which should give this team exactly what it needs to make a push for the AFC South title. Last year the Houston Texans (AFC South Champion) and Titans tied record wise with both teams finishing 9-7. So far the Titans have had a much better off-season and that should be enough to give this team the edge when the regular season rolls around. Keep in mind the Texans lost Brock Osweiler as well, and now Houston doesn’t know who their starting quarterback will be come week 1? All of those factors benefit the Tennessee Titans and now you have to believe that this team is best in their division. Roster wise they have the best players and when it comes to football philosophy the football goods have to appreciate the Titans’ smash mouth approach. Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry are two outstanding running backs who set the tempo for this team, those two players alone can overwhelm a defense. The ground game will be the recipe for success in Nashville and Marcus Mariota will have to evolve while handing the ball off. For Mariota that means staying healthy above all because when he is on the field he usually does make plays. However Mariota has missed five games in two years so he has to get a little bit tougher and he has to find a way to stay on the field. If Tennessee plays their cards right they should be in the playoffs when the season comes to an end and they could be a serious contender. Remember they had 9 wins last year and that was before the Titans made a series of great roster moves.
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