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Tennessee Titans 2016-17 NFL Team Preview

Tennessee Titans 2016-17 NFL Team Preview

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2016-2017 Tennessee Titans Preview

Key Additions: RB DeMarco Murray, WR Rishard Matthews, C Ben Jones, ILB Sean Spence, OT/G Jack Conklin, DE Kevin Dodd, NT Austin Johnson, RB Derrick Henry

Key Subtractions: NT Sammie Lee Hill, DT Mike Martin, ILB Zach Brown, CB Coty Sensabaugh, S Michael Griffin.

Strengths

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There’s not much to look forward to with the Tennessee Titans. They are still searching for their identity, and next season will be relatively the same with their 2015 campaign, where they won just three games.  But the rebuilding Titans might be more fun to watch this time around with quarterback Marcus Mariota likely to improve upon his rookie numbers of 2,818 passing yards, 19 scores and 252 rushing yards with two touchdowns.

Tennessee fans can also expect a respectable ground game from their beloved squad. The Titans did well in addressing that need, as they now have a promising running back duo in DeMarco Murray and 2015 Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry (+3,000 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year).

Both should be able to at least do a better job in helping out Mariota engineer the team’s offense, which ranked 30th in the league in total offense (311.8 yards per game) last year.

Tennessee is priced at +5,000 to win the AFC title.

Weaknesses

The Titans may have solved their issues on the ground, but right now, their passing game remains a glaring problem. Yes, they managed to sign Rishard Matthews in the off-season and drafted Tajae Sharpe in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, but neither is proven enough to make a strong impact next year.

It sure looks like that tight end Delanie Walker, who caught 94 passes for 1,088 yards with six TDs in 2015, will have to continue being Marcus Mariota’s only reliable target.

Key Player – Marcus Mariota

Marcus Mariota is the obvious answer here. He’s Tennessee’s franchise quarterback and there’s certainly tons of pressure surrounding the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner. But basing on his sensational rookie season, he’s in line for better numbers and should be even more comfortable playing under the system of Mike Mularkey, who’s hoping to have more success in just his second year as the head coach of the Titans.

Mariota is pegged at +7,000 to finish with the most passing yards in the upcoming season.

Key Game – vs. Minnesota Vikings (September 11)

The Titans will already have their backs against the wall in the opening week versus the visiting Minnesota Vikings. A win against one of the best defensive teams in the league would be a perfect way to kick off their 2016 campaign, but a fairly close game should actually suffice as a victory for Mariota and co., too. Ultimately, it will serve as a good measure in finding out if Tennessee is heading towards the right direction.

2015 Team Stats

Category Stat (Rank)
Points per game 18.7 (#28)
Passing yards per game 218.9 (#25)
Rushing yards per game 92.8 (#25)
Scoring defense 26.4 (#27)

Writer’s Prediction

Tennessee, which is priced at +10,000 to win Super Bowl 51, finishes with a 5-11 record.

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Bief
Written by Bief

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