Did you realize that the past few weeks, you could’ve turned on your tv and seen REAL NFL football?!? Well, not exactly real football, it doesn’t count, it is just preseason after all, but it was actual dudes in pads throwing a football and tackling each other and scoring touchdowns!! If you’re anything like me, you’ve been dying to watch any sort of football since February 7th, have no fear, this week there will be legit football games played by the starters – and the games actually matter!
That being said, these camps and preseason games do matter a whole lot to a significant group of individuals looking to make their way onto an NFL starting roster. The NFL organizatinos will be continuing to make roster cuts and every team is required to be down to the max allowable roster size of 53 starting players by Aug 31st. To everyone trying to make a roster, I wish them luck, football is a tough sport and it makes it tougher if you put it all on the line and don’t get a job at the end of the day. I have enjoyed watching these preseason games and see guys play their absolute hardest trying to get a contract and it has made for some awesome game-watching experiences. So again, to all those fighting for a spot, good luck and thank you for your contribution to the game.
Now onto the guys we are all excited to talk about, the world-famous Tennessee Titans. The Titans finished last season on top of the AFC South with a record of 11-5, but lost to the Ravens in the Wild Card round. The will look to repeat their division dominating performance, and are hoping to progress further into the playoffs and hopefully earn a (whispers) Championship berth. The team has made some aggressive moves in the offseason to hopefully help achieve that.
I guess to start we should talk about some minor news that may help the team. In June, the Titans traded a 2022 second round pick and a 2023 fourth rounder for wide receiver Julio Jones. That’s right, JULIO JONES!!, the elite 10-year veteran receiver formerly of the Atlanta Falcons is now on the Titans’ squad, rocking number 2. Jones will play opposite A.J. Brown – giving Ryan Tannehill one of the best receiving duos in the league. While arguably past his absolute peak production, the 32 year old future hall of famer is absolutely going to demand dedicated coverage in games which is going to cause huge problems for opposing defenses. The opposing team is now going to have to decide whether they’re going to sell out to stop the run and leave two elite pass catchers on the outside with less coverage, or double team Brown and Jones and leave gaps in the middle of the field for the freight train affectionally monikered Derrick Henry, to run through. I expect this year to see some explosive offensive performances which can hopefully be backed up by steady defensive outings.
Last year, the bane of the Titans’ fanbase was the seeming ineptitude of the Titans defense. There was a lot of promise to start the season, and with a defensive minded head coach, the appearance of a lockdown D was in place but never really came to fruition. There were times watching games when I would pull my hair out watching the defense run around and cost the team the game. That being said, they did only lose 5 games throughout the regualr season, so the defense wasn’t the worst out there, but it was frustrating to see how much work the offense had to do to stay in games instead of being able to get a lead and maintain it and run down the clock. There have been some additions to the defensive side of the ball through offseason transactions as well as some picks in the NFL draft that were focused on the defensive side of the ball. Hopefully this year we can see some more solid end zone protection and enabling of the offense to maintain the lead and run out the clock.
If the defense can put up a stronger effort this year, and Julio Jones is merely half of what we expect he is, then this year’s Titans squad is poised for a solid 2021 outing. I am very excited for the first game of the season versus the Cardinals on September 12th. We will keep an eye on the next few weeks to see how the final roster shapes up and how the team enters the regular season. Football is almost here!