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Tennessee Titans 2023 Season Preview

Tennessee Titans 2023 season preview
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Tennessee Titans 2023 Season Preview & Record Prediction

2022 Record: 7-10

The Tennessee Titans were on the verge of winning the AFC South title for the fourth straight season until they went into a critical matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12. The Titans fell short to Cincinnati 20-16 and would eventually lose control of the division lead. At the time, the Titans had a record of 7-3 and were in the position to hold one of the top playoff seeds in the conference. They would close out the 2022 campaign with a record of 7-10. The team had many changes regarding the coaching staff and the front office. Before the season ended, the Titans parted ways with General Manager Jon Robinson.

What was intriguing about the move was that the team still had a winning record when owner Amy Adams-Strunk decided that the franchise should go in a different direction. The team hired former San Francisco 49ers director of player personnel Ran Carthon to replace Robinson. As for the coaching staff, offensive coordinator Todd Downing was fired, and they promoted passing game coordinator Tim Kelly to the same position.

Previewing the Titans’ Offense

The Titans’ loss to the Bengals in Week 12 shifted the course of their season, but what was more alarming was their inability to throw the football. Tennessee would finish fifth worst in points, third worst in total yards and passing yards, and tied for last in first downs. The drop-off starkly contrasted when the unit was ranked second in the league in total offense in 2020 and fourth in scoring. Many league analysts point to the Titans trading star wide receiver AJ Brown during the 2022 NFL Draft as one of the main reasons the passing game regressed. Brown was shipped to the Philadelphia Eagles for a first and third-round pick.

Tennessee would use the selection to select Arkansas wide receiver, Treylon Burks. In his first season with the Titans, Burks didn’t replicate Brown’s production, but he has a ton of upside. He closed the season with 33 receptions for 444 yards and one touchdown. The Titans’ offense was unwatchable for most of the season, but Derrick Henry remained at the forefront of being their most reliable weapon. The two-time rushing champion finished the year second in the league with 1,538 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Regarding the quarterback position, Ryan Tannehill is projected to be the man under center despite the team drafting the University of Kentucky’s Will Levis in the second round. When the Titans were on their losing streak last season, Tannehill suffered an ankle injury, eventually leading to him being done for the year. As for the future of the running game, we all know that Henry is their number one option, but it does not hurt to have another contributor that can be effective. That’s where former Tulane running back Tyjae Spears comes in.

Spears was an integral part of the Green Wave’s successful season. He led the program with 1,837 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. His potential as a playmaker can take the tone of pressure off Henry going forward. Before the selection of Spears and Levis, the Titans selected offensive tackle Peter Skoronski in the first round. Skoronski, paired with free agent Andre Dillard should form a formidable offensive line for the Titans. The most significant impact on the Titans’ offense in 2023 will be the presence of DeAndre Hopkins. The All-Pro receiver signed with the Titans a few weeks before the start of training camp. The move to sign Hopkins signifies that the team is going into a partial rebuild, but they plan to contend for the AFC South title.

Previewing the Titans’ Defense

Last season the Titans’ defense was formidable in specific categories, such as defending the run. The unit finished first in the league by only allowing 76.9 rushing yards per game. However, Tennessee’s D was not equal to the total team. They ranked 23rd overall in total defense and were at the bottom of the league against the pass. To shore up their woes in the secondary, the team signed former Buccaneers cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting. Murphy-Bunting is not recognized as an upper-echelon corner, but he has experience playing at the highest level and has performed well against good receivers.

Also, on the defensive line, they added edge rusher Arden Key, previously a member of the Titans division rivals, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The former LSU Tiger possesses a unique ability to come off the edge as a pass rusher and use his speed, athleticism, and long arms to get after opposing signal callers. All-Pro defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons shut down every rumor about him being traded after he signed a four-year $94 million-dollar extension. With Simmons returning to the fold to go alongside Arden Key and the return of stout linebacker Harold Landry, who is coming off a season-ending injury in 2022, the Titans’ defense should return to their elite status.

Important Games

Chargers: (September 17)

Browns: (September 24)

Bengals: (October 1)

Ravens: (October 15)

Steelers: (November 2)

Jaguars: (November 19, January 7)

Projected Outlook

The Tennessee Titans find themselves at a crossroads entering the 2023 season as they aim to regain their AFC South throne or secure a wild-card playoff berth. The roster has been meticulously assembled, and the signing of DeAndre Hopkins adds a formidable weapon to their offensive arsenal. With the talent at their disposal, particularly after acquiring Hopkins, the Titans should be in contention for the division title or a postseason spot. However, a critical factor in their success will be the development of Treylon Berks in his second year as a wide receiver. Berks, lining up opposite Hopkins, has the potential to form a dynamic receiving duo, provided other elements of the offense come together seamlessly.

Interestingly, despite not being the favorites to win the division, the Titans still have a relatively more straightforward path to reclaiming the AFC South title. Aside from the Jacksonville Jaguars, the division is populated by quarterbacks entering their first season as starters, potentially giving the experienced Titans an advantage.

However, there’s an alternative scenario to consider. The Titans could face a substantial rebuilding phase if the current roster fails to achieve the desired success. This could lead to decisions like potentially moving Derrick Henry if the right offer presents itself. While Henry’s age might be a factor, his value as a playmaker remains significant. The outcome of the 2023 season could shape the franchise’s trajectory in the coming years.

Predicted Record: 9-8 (Potential Playoff Contender)

Show Your Support

If you’ve enjoyed reading our comprehensive season preview for the Tennessee Titans, we’d greatly appreciate your support in keeping our coverage alive. As passionate game fans and dedicated writers at Strike 7 Sports, we strive to provide insightful content. If you’re a Titans fan, you might be interested to know that the team will be donning the throwback Houston Oilers uniforms as one of their alternates for the 2023 season.

To support our work and your team, consider purchasing an officially licensed Derrick Henry Throwback Oilers Jersey by Nike. This item is a genuine NFL product, and a percentage of the sale generated will contribute directly to the funding of the Strike 7 Sports brand. Your support allows us to continue delivering high-quality sports content. Click on the jersey image below if you are interested in today’s offer. You will be redirected to the Lids website to buy the item.

Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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