2020 Titans

Will the 2020 Titans Avoid a Fate Similar to The 2018 Jags?

  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Tennessee Titans
By TreJeanWatkins September 4, 2020 0 Comment
Please Share!

The 2019 Titans and the 2017 Jaguars both had similar runs to the AFC title game. Can the Titans avoid the same misfortune that plagued the 2018 Jags?

Throughout much of the offseason, the Tennessee Titans have been hit with a number of questions. Can Ryan Tannehill repeat the success he achieved in his masterful 2019 season? Will the offense as a whole get off to a faster start in 2020? How much should the team lessen Derrick Henry‘s carries?

Most of these are the obvious sorts of questions that’ll be brought up, especially considering the nature of how the Titans’s 2019 season played out.But one question has somewhat stood out more than others.

Can the Titans avoid a fate similar to the one the 2018 Jacksonville Jaguars faced?

Overview

The 2017 Jaguars were one of the more surprising stories of the 2017 season. The team employed a physical, run first mindset on the offensive side of the ball, leaned on the back of their dominant defense, and fought their way to a division title.

The success didn’t end there either. Not only did the AFC South crown find its way back to Jacksonville, the team almost made it to the Super Bowl, losing in close fashion to the New England Patriots in the AFC title game.

However, that success was short lived. Not only have the Jaguars not made the playoffs ever since that improbable AFC title game run, they haven’t won 7 games in a season since then.

Almost all of the impact players from that team, ended up leaving Jacksonville in future seasons. Guys like Jalen Ramsey, who is now a Ram, or Calais Campbell, who is now a Raven. The team even released Leonard Fournette, who recently signed with the Buccaneers. The only player left from that 2017 run is Myles Jack, and even he has ran into some problems during his last 2 seasons in Jacksonville.

To put it simply, it’s a complete mess down in Duval county, and there’s no immediate way to fix it.

How the 2019 Titans and the 2017 Jaguars Are Similar

Breaking this down is pretty easy in nature, just because both of these squads have a simple variable that gifted them a lot of success in their respective seasons. When one sits down and dissect these 2 squads, they would find one common similarity that fueled both team’s individual success: the run game.

2020 Titans, Jaguars

Both teams finished top 3 in rushing yards per game, and both ran out imposing defenses full of veteran leadership and young talent. Now obviously everything isn’t 100% identical, but the most important aspects of their winning formulas have some connection in terms of similarity.

Have The 2020 Titans Done Enough to Avoid A Big Let Down?

The short answer is a strong yes, but there’s still some uncertainties.

You Can’t Rely on Derrick Henry to do Everything

First off, how will this offense handle the expected lessened workload for Derrick Henry? Henry is coming off a 2019 regular season in which he accumulated a staggering 303 carries. Add in the whopping 83 carries Henry received in the playoffs, and it’s easy to see why the Titans are making sure Henry’s workload receives some sort of decrease.

To cope with the decrease in carries, the Titans’s passing game must be up to the task. They’ll have to find some sort of rhythm in the passing game, and they’ll have to find it early.

The team can’t afford to start out slow on offense again. The Titans won’t receive the fortune of a late season run time and time again. Luck is both praiseworthy and cruel, if you rely on it too much, you might find yourself disappointed with the results.

Tough Stretches On The Schedule

Second, the 2020 Titans’ schedule won’t allow them to start off slow, and hope for a late season run.

The first half of the season is a gauntlet, with hot contests against the Bills, Steelers, and Broncos all on the table within the first 5 games of the season.

After those 3 grueling games, the Titans won’t get any breaks in the back half of their schedule either. 2 matchups in three weeks against the Colts is already difficult enough. Add in games against the Ravens, Packers, and even the Browns, and you’re looking at chances for the Titans to drop some games if they aren’t careful enough.

The Pass Rush Is Still a Major Concern

Another variable lost within this madness, is the lack of a pass rush. Vic Beasley is being relied on to bring some more juice opposite Harold Landry. Jeffery Simmons is expected to take a step forward. Even behind Landry and Beasley, the team is counting on their depth to step up.

Beasley previously missed numerous days of COVID-19 testing, and was placed on the NFL list a couple of weeks later. Beasley still remains on the NFI list, and there’s no word when he’ll come off the list and start practicing with the team.

Landry is far from a finished product, and will need to show more improvement as a pass rusher. Kamalei Correa is just a depth pass rusher at the moment, so you can’t expect a lot out of him. 2019 5th round pick D’Andre Walker has yet to play a down for the Titans. He’s still expected to provide some depth. Derick Roberson can also give some speed off the edge, but he’s not a starting pass rusher on a good team. It’s a confusing pass rush situation for a supposed contending team, which isn’t exactly good per say.

All In All for the 2020 Titans

The 2020 Titans are in a good position to avoid a Jaguars esque collapse. Sure, there’s going to be some regression and bad luck on both sides of the ball. But this roster is still talented enough to overcome those sorts of tribulations. Those uncertainties are still there though, and will play a big part in whether the Titans can continue their ascension on the AFC playoff contender ladder.


Please Share!

Tre'Jean Watkins covers the Tennessee Titans for The Brawl Network and writes for Black Sports Online. Member of the Professional Football Writers of America.

0 Comments

Write A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *