After starting the 2019 season with a 2-4 record, the Tennessee Titans made a quarterback change and went on an incredible run that left the team one game short of a Super Bowl appearance.
There will likely be some NFL analysts/publications this upcoming season who view the Titans’ success in 2019 as a fluke.
Pro Football Focus isn’t on that list of publications.
In recent early NFL power rankings, PFF has the Titans ranked No. 6 overall, just behind the Green Bay Packers and just ahead of the New England Patriots.
It’s pretty easy to see Ryan Tannehill, who led the NFL in positively graded throw percentage in 2019, regressing toward the league average a bit. But even if he’s 70 percent of what he was down the stretch in 2019, the Titans will be in their best spot at the position since Steve McNair in the mid 2000s.
It’s hard to see a problem here. The Titans were one of the final four teams standing last season. I guess you could make an argument that Tennessee should be ahead of the Baltimore Ravens (who are at No. 2), since the Titans won the head-to-head matchup in the playoffs. But the Ravens had a better body of work in 2019 than almost any team in the league.
I mean, Baltimore also lost to Cleveland, and no one would consider putting the Browns above the Ravens.
(By the way, the next AFC South team in PFF’s power rankings is the Houston Texans at No. 16.)
Right around No. 6 seems fair for the Titans. In fact, it’s a bit unusual to see Tennessee receiving pre-season love from the national media.
But after Derrick Henry’s dominance down the stretch, and in the playoffs, it would be awfully difficult to ignore the Titans.
The 2020 season will be the first time the Titans have to deal with a bullseye on their back. It will certainly be interesting seeing how Mike Vrabel and company handled being the team chased instead of the team doing the chasing.
Featured image via Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports