Cover Photo: Andrew Nelles / USA TODAY NETWORK
Welcome back to the 2nd season of the Tales of the Titans! Here you will see amazing defense, kickers galore, and offense that is painful to watch. That is exactly what happened today for Tennessee in the Superdome. The defense was great, holding the Saints to just 16 points, but the offense couldn’t even muster a touchdown, forcing 5 Nick Folk field goals, losing by one.
While I may sound pessimistic, I still believe in the offense. With a new OC in Tim Kelly, a revamped offensive line, and new weapons like WR DeAndre Hopkins, and dynamic rookie RB Tyjae Spears, there are bound to be growing pains. I trust that Mike Vrabel will figure it out sooner rather than later. Starting out with the positives, the defense was lights out. They got huge third-down stops, picked off Derek Carr once, sacked him three times, and forced two fumbles. Nick Folk was 5/5 on field goals with a long of 50, and superstar punter Ryan Stonehouse had a 62-yard bomb as well. Hopkins and QB Ryan Tannehill also seemed to have a solid connection, especially considering it was their first game together. Other than that the offense was horrid. Tannehill had possibly his worst game as a Titan, throwing 3 picks and missing throws left and right. Star RB Derrick Henry had a solid game for a normal player, but not for him, totaling just 63 yards on the ground, but had 2 grabs for 46 yards. Second-year players Chig Okonkwo and Treylon Burks, expected to be focal points of the offense, had a combined 5 targets. Not catches. Targets. Just an ugly game to watch.
I do expect some adjustments though. Tannehill has always responded to adversity well, and Henry picks up steam as the year goes on. Kelly has to dial up more plays for Burks and Chig. They are both young dynamic playmakers with the ball in their hands, and I hope they get plays next week. Because we won’t win if they get the ball thrown to them 5 times combined. Another player that I would love to see involved more is Spears. He has shown flashes of being the perfect Henry complement back, and is another guy who is a threat with a ball in his hands, which is the type of guy that Tennessee has lacked for many years.
Stats and Fantasy Tips
Ryan Tannehill: 16-34, 198 yards, 3 INT, 3 carries, 5 yards
Derrick Henry: 15 carries, 63 yards, 2 catches, 46 yards
DeAndre Hopkins: 7 catches 65 yards
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine: 4 catches, 58 yards
Amani Hooker: 5 Tackles (3 solo), 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 Fumble Recovery
Pick up Nick Folk off of waiver wire of free agency. He put up a whopping 17.00 points which is nuts as a kicker. If this offense can get going, expect PAT’s on top of a good amount of field goals. Also, if they are available, pick up the Titans defense. They got 9.00 points, which is a plus three from their projected score. The front seven is loaded with Jeffery Simmons leading the charge, and are expected to be dominant vs. the run once again. The secondary is deep, and barring any injuries the group should be much better vs. the pass. Don’t sleep on the Music City Maulers. Treylon Burks and Chig Okonkwo could also be valuable down the road, so picking them up after a game like this could be a steal.
It was a bad game, but at the same time, it is just week one. Take the Bengals for example, they lost 24-3, with $55 million-a-year-man Joe Burrow throwing for a whopping 82 yards. They aren’t panicking, and Titans Nation shouldn't either. In Mike Vrabel we trust. In week two, Tennessee travels back home to take on a tough opponent in the Los Angeles Chargers, a hard, but winnable game. #TitanUp