NFL

Tennessee Titans season prediction: Best and worst case scenario for 2022

Welcome to FanSided’s 2022 NFL preview! It’s time to look into our crystal football and take a glimpse at the Tennessee Titans season prediction.

They are one of the few NFL teams to qualify for the playoffs each of the past three seasons. And only the Kansas City Chiefs have a longer current postseason streak at the moment than the Tennessee Titans. Mike Vrabel owns a 41-24 regular-season record. The Titans are looking for a third straight AFC South title. But the team hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since 1999.

Tennessee owns a combined 23-10 regular-season record the past two seasons. And in 2021, the club captured the top seed in the AFC. But there have now been back-to-back home playoff disappointments in losses to the Ravens and Bengals. Still, this is a quality organization and one that figures to be in the mix of things once again. But there are some big challenges ahead.

Tennesee Titans 2021 season in review

  • 12-5 record
  • 1st place in AFC South
  • Lost to Bengals in AFC Divisional Playoffs

The franchise was coming off its first division title since 2008. And it would be interesting to see exactly what Mike Vrabel’s team could do for an encore a year later. It didn’t start out well as the club was humbled at home on the opening Sunday by the Arizona Cardinals by a 38-13 score. And the Titans had to rally to beat the Seahawks in Seattle in overtime to avoid a 0-2 start.

Tennessee would go on to win seven of its next eight games, putting together a midseason six-game winning streak. But in the club’s eighth outing of the year, running back Derrick Henry was knocked out of action and would miss the rest of the regular season. The offensive pressure would switch to quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who had his issues taking care of the football.

When it was all said and done, the Titans and Chiefs finished with the top record in the AFC (12-5). But Vrabel’s team owned a regular-season win over Kansas City and grabbed the top spot in the conference. The club hosted the Bengals in the divisional round. Henry returned and wideout A.J. Brown had a big outing but Tannehill was picked off three times in a tough loss.

Tennessee Titans NFL Draft class 2022

  • Rd 1: Treylon Burks, WR/Arkansas
  • Rd 2: Roger McCreary, CB/Auburn
  • Rd 3: Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT/Ohio State
  • Rd 3: Malik Willis, QB/Liberty
  • Rd 4: Hassan Haskins, RB/Michigan
  • Rd 4: Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE/Maryland
  • Rd 5: Kyle Phillips, WR/UCLA
  • Rd 6: Theo Jackson, S/Tennessee
  • Rd 6: Chance Campbell, LB/Mississippi

In order to offset the deal that sent 2020 Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles, general manager Jon Robinson used the 18th overall selection in April’s draft to secure the services of University of Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks. There were some early concerns regarding the prospect but the 6’2”, 225-pound target enjoyed a solid summer.

Burks was one of six selections by the Titans in addressing the offensive side of the ball. And it will be interesting to see how the rest of this draft class contributes to an already-deep roster. Will third-round selection Nicholas Petit-Frere push for the right tackle job sooner than later? Could quarterback Malik Willis figure in the Tennessee offense in terms of special packages?

Previewing Titans offense for 2022 season

  • Key offseason additions:
    • WR Robert Woods
    • WR Treylon Burks
    • TE Austin Hooper
  • Biggest X-Factor: QB Malik Willis
  • Squeakiest Wheel: WR Treylon Burks

A season ago, the titans proved they could still run the football without their workhorse back available all season. Two-time NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry got off to a sensational start but was injured and missed the final nine regular-season games. Still, Mike Vrabel’s club finished fifth in the league in rushing yards per game thanks in part to a quality offensive line.
Of course, there was a key departure when it comes to that unit as left guard Rodger Saffold was released this offseason and signed at the Buffalo Bills. But the club has done a good job in recent years replacing key performers. The man on the spot is former undrafted free agent Aaron Brewer. However, it’s the passing game that needs to show some improvement.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill needs to do a better job of avoiding mistakes. The Titans committed 25 turnovers – more than twice as many as the previous year (12) – and Tannehill finished with 18 of those miscues. And he was picked off three times in the playoff loss to Cincinnati. Wideouts Robert Woods and Treylon Burks and tight end Austin Hooper are welcomed additions.

Previewing Titans defense for 2022 season

  • Key offseason additions
    • DE DeMarcus Walker
    • CB Roger McCreary
    • S A.J. Moore
  • Biggest X-Factor: LB Bud Dupree
  • Squeakiest Wheel: CB Caleb Farley

Tennessee’s defense certainly made so strides in 2021. But with the Week 1 opener against the visiting New York Giants on the horizon, the club now knows they will be without their top pass rusher for all of 2022. That’s because outside linebacker Harold Landry III tore his ACL. That means one-time Steelers’ outside linebacker Bud Dupree needs to step up and make an impact.

The Titans are solid along the defensive front. Jeffery Simmons started all 17 games for the club, finished with 54 tackles while placing third on the team with 8.5 sacks. The three-year pro was named to his first Pro Bowl. The club finished second in the league in run defense in 2021. And one-time Colts’ end Denico Autry finished with nine sacks in his first season with the club.

Even with an improved pass rush a year ago, Shane Bowen’s defensive unit was spotty against the pass. Safety Kevin Byard is the clear leader in the second, finishing with five of the club’s 16 interceptions. But the Titans must do better than 25th in the NFL in pass defense, as was the case in 2021. Rookie cornerback Roger McCreary and safety A.J. Moore (Texans) should help.

Tennessee Titans coaching staff overview

  • Head Coach: Mike Vrabel
  • Off. Coordinator: Todd Downing
  • Def. Coordinator: Shane Bowen
  • 2023 Head Coach Candidate: Pat O’Hara

Mike Vrabel took over as head coach in 2018. The 2021 NFL Coach of the Year has posted four straight winning campaigns and the club has reached the postseason each of the last three years. The club has also won two straight AFC South titles. Todd Downing returns as offensive coordinator while Shane Bowen helped the defense improve dramatically after a rough 2020.

Tennessee Titans Awards Watch

Mike Vrabel comes off winning NFL Coach of the Year in 2021. If safety Kevin Byard turns in a big year in terms of interceptions, he could be looking at Defensive Player of the Year accolades. Of course, running back Derrick Henry is capable of putting up big numbers and is always a threat for NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year honors.

RB Derrick Henry, MVP

He was in the running for honors in 2020, when he ran for 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns. Workhorse Derrick Henry was off to quite the start a year ago before missing the final nine games. The two-time Pro Bowler racked up 937 yards and 10 scores on 219 carries in only eight outings. Can he become the first NFL player ever to run for 2,000-plus yards twice?

CB Roger McCreary, Defensive Rookie of the Year

Defensive coordinator Shane Bowen is certainly looking for additional help in the secondary. Roger McCreary played all four seasons at the University of Auburn. The Titans made him the 35tt overall pick in April. He finished his career with the Tigers with six interceptions and 30 passes defensed. In 2021, he picked off two passes and was credited with 14 passes defensed.

QB Malik Willis, Offensive Rookie of the Year

There was talk that the former Liberty University product could have been a first-round pick. But when it was all said and done, quarterback Malik Willis wound up slipping to the third round and general manager Jon Robinson scooped him up. Yes, there’s no indication that he is ready to replace Ryan Tannehill anytime soon. But he’s capable of adding a spark to the Titans’ offense.

Biggest game on Tennessee Titans schedule

There’s a chance at revenge for Mike Vrabel’s team as they host the reigning AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12. A year ago, the Titans fared very well in their meetings with defending divisional champions – defeating the Bills, Chiefs and Seahawks while losing only to the Steelers. A win over Joe Burrow and company could pay dividends come playoff time.

Tennessee Titans season prediction: Best case scenario

The Titans take care of business early in the season against the team that many think could supplant them as AFC South champions. The club travels to Indianapolis in Week 4, head to Washington, have an off-week and then host the Colts in Week 7. Mike Vrabel’s team plays five of its first eight games on the road and that’s not been a bad thing for this team as of late.

Tennessee Titans season prediction: Worst-case scenario

What would happen if running back Derrick Henry goes down again for a substantial period of time? Can the Titans absorb a major absence by their workhorse runner for a second straight year? It also looks like both the Texans and Jaguars looked like improved teams. Keep in mind Houston beat the Titans in Nashville last season. And the AFC appears to be loaded again.

Tennessee Titans season prediction for 2022

  • 9-8 record
  • 2nd place in AFC South
  • Playoff Prediction: Will not qualify

The Titans have been a steady ship the last four seasons under Mike Vrabel. But they have struggled to recapture that postseason magic from 2019. And in recent years, they have lost some key players along the way. A healthy Derrick Henry makes a world of difference and it will be interesting to see how long it takes quarterback Ryan Tannehill to adjust to his new pass-catching targets. But can the defense and most notably the pass rush overcome the loss of top sack artist Harold Landry III to injury? There will be a little bit of a slide in Nashville this season.

Read more from FanSided’s 2022 NFL Preview here. For more Tennessee Titans coverage, check out Titan Sized