In The Bettors Corner: Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee organization made a splash this off-season when they pulled off the trade acquisition of star receiver Julio Jones in return for a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round selection. It has been known for the last couple of seasons that the Titans have built one of the best running attacks in the league behind the sixth-year back Derrick Henry. Henry has been a force to be reckoned with, rushing for 4,053 yards in the last two seasons combined to go along with his 35 touchdowns. Along with Henry, they had a big, physical wide receiver of their own in AJ Brown, who accounted for 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns receiving last year. Brown was a big-play threat all season, racking up about 40 percent of his yardage after the catch (422). The addition of Jones will certainly take some pressure off his new supporting cast and open up more options for others within the offense. During his time in Atlanta, he put up incredible numbers and was among the top of the league for a sustained 6-year span despite having a bit of a down year last year, having 771 yards and only playing in 9 games. It was his first sub-one thousand-yard receiving season since 2013. Before last season after leading Tennessee to the AFC Championship Game, they also re-signed quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a 4-year $118 million contract. Tannehill showed that he was worth the contract last season, throwing for a career-high 33 touchdowns and 3,819 yards. He also added 266 yards and 7 touchdowns rushing to his stat line as well. The team averaged 396.4 total yards per game last season, which ranked 2nd in the league, tied with Buffalo only behind the Chiefs (415.8).

Although Tennessee added more star power to their already strong offensive unit this off-season, the Titans' Achilles heel last year was their defense. They ranked 28th across the league in total yards allowed per game with 398.3. They are the only team that ranked in the bottom 10 in this category and still managed to make the playoffs. They finished giving up 277.4 passing yards on average per game, which was fourth-worst in the league, only ahead of the Lions, Seahawks, and Falcons. The one bright spot of the Titans' defense last year was that they forced 23 takeaways and led them to have a +11 turnover differential which was the best in the league. Tennessee started to address their defensive struggles when selecting Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farely with the 22nd overall pick. They also made some key free-agent signings this offseason, including Bud Dupree and Janoris Jenkins. Before having his season cut short due to injury last season, Dupree recorded 8 sacks in just 11 games. The addition of Dupree will be big this upcoming season as Tennessee ranked 30th in the league in sacks with only 19.

This year the Tennessee schedule consists of 8 games in which they play 2020 playoff teams. After having to face Arizona week 1 at home, the Titans play 7 of their next 9 games against playoff teams from the previous year, including at Seattle (Week 2), at the Rams (week 9), and at home against the Bills on Monday Night Football (week 6). Their bye week comes in week 13, sandwiched between games at New England and at home for the Jaguars. Weeks 6-10, they face 5 teams that were ranked in the top 12 in total offense last season. With the addition of the 18th week to the NFL season, this year adds the week 10 matchup at home against the Saints to their already very difficult schedule. Although they have games against both the Jets and Jaguars in the first month of the season, it is very possible that Tennesee could get themselves off to a good start early but a 4 game stretch that consists of trips to both Indianapolis and LA to go along with hosting last years top two offenses in the Chiefs and Bills will very well be the deciding factor in the Titans reaching their season total of 9.5 wins. Tennessee will for sure follow up with another offensive season among the league's best, but with some new faces, it may take some time for the defensive unit to gel. The 10th win needed to cash this bet very well may come down to the week 18 matchup in Houston.

Tennessee Titans: Over 9.5 wins

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