The NFL announced the 2019 schedule for the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday evening. This is what it looks like:
— Luke Worsham (@luke_worsham) April 18, 2019
There are several games on that list that have the potential to be really entertaining, for a number of reasons. These are the five most intriguing games on the Titans’ 2019 playing schedule, ranked from #5 to #1.
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5. Titans vs. Chiefs
Week Ten (Sunday, November 10)
Kansas City was one of the AFC’s powerhouses in 2018, and they look to be heading toward a similar outcome in 2019.
With reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes at the helm and incredible weapons like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, the Chiefs’ offense is very difficult to stop. While their defense has lost a lot of pieces since the end of last season, such as Dee Ford and Justin Houston, their offense scores so many points that the lack of defensive production may not matter a ton.
Facing Kansas City will be a major test for the Titans. Luckily, they will get to do so on their home turf instead of having to travel to the famously difficult Arrowhead Stadium.
The Titans are 2-0 in their most recent meetings against the Chiefs, but those both came with Alex Smith at quarterback. Facing Mahomes might yield a different story.
It will be fun to watch the Titans go up against one of the truly elite units in the NFL.
4. Titans @ Browns
Week One (Sunday, September 8)
It seemed last season as if the Titans were going to get a chance to face star receiver Odell Beckham as the team prepared for a matchup with the Giants. Beckham, however, missed the game with an injury, and Titans fans missed an opportunity to see how the defense could step up against an elite talent on the perimeter.
This year, the Titans are getting another chance to face Beckham. Barring a freak injury in Training Camp or the preseason, this one should follow through
Not only will the Titans be facing Beckham, who safety Kenny Vaccaro referred to last season as a “great one,” but they will be the first team to face him following his trade from the Giants to the Browns.
The Titans will have a tall task in stopping the Browns offense, as they have plenty of talent in addition to Beckham. Receiver Jarvis Landry, tight end David Njoku, and running back Nick Chubb are all big-time scoring threats, as well.
While a game so early in the season won’t do anything to drastically affect the standings, watching the Titans go up against a team as talented as Cleveland should be a good gauge right up front for what they are made of.
3. Titans @ Jaguars
Week Three (Thursday Night Football, September 19)
Ah, yes, everyone’s favorite divisional rivalry from the AFC South!
In all seriousness, there are really only two things that need to be understood about the recent history between the Titans and Jaguars. First, Tennessee and Jacksonville have faced off on Thursday Night Football in four out of the last five NFL seasons. The matchup is becoming a bit stale.
Second, the Titans have completely owned the Jaguars over the last two seasons. That’s how long it’s been—over two seasons—since Jacksonville last beat Tennessee. The Titans know that they have the Jaguars’ number, and it always provides some fun locker room fodder in the week leading up to the game.
This year’s Titans/Jaguars TNF matchup will give the Titans their first opportunity to see new Jaguars QB Nick Foles, someone who they should expect to see a lot of over the next few seasons.
The Titans defense always fared very well against Blake Bortles, and they will need to show that they can have similar success against their rival with a better player under center for Jacksonville.
2. Titans @ Texans
Week Seventeen (Sunday, December 29)
Recently, the Titans have been absolutely pitiful in their trips to Houston. They have lost the last 7 games they’ve played on the road against the Texans.
Their next opportunity to end the streak will come in the very last week of the 2019 season. In each of the last two seasons, the Titans have been faced with a “win-and-in” situation in Week 17.
If this matchup between the Titans and Texans were to become a deciding factor in the AFC South, Houston would be the major favorites to win.
At home last season, the Titans made the Texans look silly. With underwhelming backup Blaine Gabbert at the helm due to a Marcus Mariota injury, the Titans held their own and sent the Texans home with a second straight loss to start the season.
In Houston, things were much different. The Titans were dominated for almost the entire game, falling 34-17.
Whatever it is about NRG Stadium that keeps the Titans from winning, they better figure it out by season’s end. Otherwise, they could be watching the postseason at home for a second straight year.
1. Titans vs. Colts
Week Two (Sunday, September 15)
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has been in the NFL since 2012. The Titans have never beaten him. Thus, the narrative for the Titans’ second game of the 2019 season pretty much writes itself.
The Titans had a seemingly legitimate opportunity in Week 17 last year to finally defeat their neck-beared nemesis in a game that would’ve put the Titans into the playoffs with a win. Instead, it was more of the same.
Players in the Titans’ locker room are surely tired of answering questions about their repeated inability to get anything done against the Colts when Luck is at the helm. But, it’s their own fault that they’ll continue to have to answer them.
A Titans win in Week 2 would finally put this story to rest, and what better time to do it than in their home opener? Alas, we shall see if the Titans are actually up to the task this time. If history is any indication, they won’t be.
Cover image: USA Today/Christopher Hanewinckel