A year ago, the franchise captured its first division title since 2008. Are the Tennessee Titans now primed for much bigger things in 2021?
It is one of the bigger trades of the NFL offseason and it has the potential to reap big benefits for the defending AFC South champions in 2021. But does the addition of one of the most prolific wide receivers of the past decade mean the Tennessee Titans are on the road for Los Angeles and an appearance in Super Bowl LVI?
Julio Jones is making the sort trip from Atlanta to Nashville (via Albert Breer of MMQB). The deal also involves draft picks for 2022 and 2023. The 10-year pro
Well, it’s early June and there’s a long way to go before the start of the league’s new look in terms of 17 regular-season games. Mike Vrabel’s team finished fourth in the league in scoring a year ago with 491 points. Only the Kansas City Chiefs amassed more total yards per game and only the Baltimore Ravens ran the ball for more yards.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has put up imposing numbers since taking over as the starter in October of 2019. Running back Derrick Henry has been a freight train and emerging wide receiver A.J. Brown now has a mentor of sorts in Jones.
Can the Titans win the Super Bowl with Julio Jones now on board?
But what about stopping the other team? Tennessee surrendered 439 points, the most of any of the 14 playoff teams from 2020. The Titans were 28th in the league in total yards allowed, managed only 19 sacks and gave up an astounding 54 offensive touchdowns – 36 through the air. And things could have been worse if it wasn’t for 23 takeaways.
There has been an overhaul on the defensive side of the ball, most notably in the secondary where cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Adoree’ Jackson and safety Kenny Vaccaro were released. The former pair are now with the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants, respectively. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney played in only eight games with the Titans in 2020 and is now a member of the Cleveland Browns.
True, the addition of Jones makes this a very formidable Tennessee offense. But are the signings of such players such as defensive end Denico Autry, outside linebacker Bud Dupree, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and the first-round selection of cornerback Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech) enough to make a difference?
Could the Titans indeed reach Super Bowl LVI with that kind of offensive firepower? Absolutely. Can the franchise escape from Los Angeles with a Lombardi Trophy? History tells us that the 12 highest-scoring teams in NFL annals for a season didn’t win an NFL title. So Vrabel and company have a lot of work to do on defense to make the addition of Jones worthwhile.