With the acquisition of one of the biggest names in football over the last decade in Julio Jones, the Tennessee Titans have forced the national media to finally give the Titans some overdue attention. In past seasons, the national media has had mixed opinions on the run-first offense in Tennessee, but by adding Jones to an offensive core of Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, and Ryan Tannehill, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to leave the Titans out of the Super Bowl conversation for the 2021 NFL season.
ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins, an opinionated and outspoken NBA analyst and former player, has the most optimistic view of the Titan’s prospects this year. In fact, on Wednesday, Perkins made a fiery prediction that the Tennessee Titans will win the Super Bowl in the 2021-2022 season.
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) June 9, 2021
While Perkins has a history of making bold statements, there are plenty of reasons to believe he has an argument in this particular instance.
The Titans finished fourth in scoring offense in 2020 (30.7 PPG), but just 23rd in passing offense (228.3 YPG). The wide receiver corps was not at 100 percent throughout the year. After the season, Brown admitted to playing with knee injuries that required surgery in the offseason. In addition, Corey Davis had an up-and-down year dealing with personal matters in a contract season.
Tannehill did enough through the air to lead the Titans to an 11-5 record, but in the AFC Wildcard game, it was Tennessee’s offense that let them down. After jumping out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, the offense stalled out, scoring just three points the rest of the way. Davis exited the game with an injury of his own contributing to Tannehill’s subpar performance of 18/26 for 165 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Most of the offense’s struggles could be attributed to Baltimore’s game plan, which revolved around slowing down Henry and daring the Titans to beat them through the air with Brown, Anthony Firkser, and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.
Needless to say, that worked swimmingly for Wink Martindale’s defense.
With the addition of Jones, defensive coordinators across the league will now have to pick their poison. If they attempt to take Henry away, the Titans should be able to win through the air, something the franchise hasn’t had the talent at the wide receiver position to do since the early 2000s.
Perkins isn’t the only member of the national media who is expecting big things from the Titans this season, either.
It's Bur-Lesson time. pic.twitter.com/2cpPO8Rife
— GMFB (@gmfb) June 11, 2021
"Julio Jones is going to be amazing in Tennessee… this AJ Brown, Julio Jones combination… Ryan Tannehill is going to think he is heaven and oh by the way this is still Derrick Henry's football team."@AdamSchein believes that Julio Jones to the Titans is the perfect fit. pic.twitter.com/810hjxAD2z
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) June 10, 2021
By no means does adding Jones guarantee a Titans parade down Broadway with the Lombardi Trophy in February, but the trade certainly gives the Titans an offense capable of outscoring anybody in 2021.
Cover image: George Walker IV/The Tennesseean