The Tennessee Titans are one of only six NFL teams to post a winning record in each of the last three seasons.
With an improved roster heading into the 2019 season, it would be easy for fans to expect the Titans to take a step forward and compete for one of the top playoff spots in the AFC.
But Pro Football Focus doesn’t see it happening. In fact, they think the Titans will take a step back in 2019.
The analytics driven website set the Titans’ over/under win total for next season at eight.
According to Pro Football Focus, the simulations for Tennessee in 2019 has the franchise at 7.7 wins.
The Titans’ tough schedule is the biggest reason for their projected decline next season.
From Pro Football Focus:
The Titans’ defense was pretty good a season ago, but they benefitted from an easy schedule in many ways. This will not be the case in 2019, where their opposing offenses are 13th-best in terms of PFF Masseys (12th overall in terms of PFFELO). We have Indianapolis as the clear favorite to win the AFC South for the first time since 2014 (over 40% of the time), and Houston (despite the league’s toughest schedule) should remain formidable with one of the league’s best young quarterbacks in Deshaun Watson. Nick Foles and the solid defense of the Jaguars are also likely to revert to the mean in 2019 (roughly 15% to win the division), leaving the Titans with a real possibility of finishing in last place in the South, making a 0.500 season a real difficulty.
There are definitely some difficult games on Tennessee’s schedule. The division games will be tough as always. The road games against the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers certainly won’t be easy. And hosting the New Orleans Saints won’t exactly be a treat.
But by now we’ve learned that projecting win totals based on the schedule rarely works out. Take last year for example. The Titans won three of the toughest games on their schedule against the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. But they inexplicably lost to the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens. Every game in the NFL ends up being a battle.
Pro Football Focus is one of the most reliable sources for football analysis on the internet. But no publication has any clue what will actually happen in 2019.
Sure, regression is possible for the Titans next season. However, I think Tennessee, thanks to their off-season additions and strong draft efforts, are much more likely to improve on their win totals from the last three seasons. Marcus Mariota has more offensive weapons to work with, the offensive line was upgraded and Cam Wake should provide the team with a more productive pass rush.
We might not be sure of how many games the Titans will win in 2019, but one thing is certain — the AFC South division battle this season will be entertaining as hell.
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