After two consecutive 9-7 seasons, the Titans are looking towards being a true contender in the AFC. Their schedule plays favorably towards that goal. Their opponents combined for a .465 win percentage in 2017, the second lowest in the league. That is despite playing in an improved AFC South and both Super Bowl participants from last season. The Titans have multiple nationally-televised games. They will have some important and fun to watch games in the upcoming season.
Week 4: Philadelphia Eagles @ Tennessee Titans
The Titans’ first chance to prove themselves comes at home in week four. Against none other than the defending Super Bowl champions. This will be a true test for a Tennessee team that has struggled to beat top-tier talent over the past two years. Key battles in this game are in the trenches offensively and the first test for an improved Titans’ secondary. The Eagles’ loaded front seven will struggle with the smash-mouth Titans offensive line. Star right tackle Jack Conklin should be back from injury before this game.
On the opposite side of the ball, Carson Wentz will be the first elite quarterback the Titans’ secondary sees this year. The group will look to prove themselves as one of the better units in the league in this game. The Titans will most likely be heavy underdogs in this game but will want to show they are here to stay early in the season.
Week 10: New England Patriots @ Tennessee Titans
If Titans fans watch one game this year, it should be this one. Although surprising that this game was not put on Sunday Night Football, this match-up has drama to spare. This rematch of last year’s divisional round game where the Titans season ended also has many personal connections. This will be the first time new Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler and halfback Dion Lewis play their former team. Mike Vrabel also makes his coaching debut against the team he made his name as a player with. Tennessee stuck with New England early before falling out of the game back in January. The team should be motivated to prove that they are the future of the AFC and the Patriots’ reign is over.
Week 12: Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans
The last time the Titans found themselves in the former home of the franchise, they were blown out of the building by rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, 57-14. Although the team plays Watson and the Texans in Week 2, this is the first time they return to NRG Stadium where they were embarrassed last October. The game also will be on Monday Night Football, the Titans second prime-time game of the season. Tennessee will look to shut down Watson and his number one receiver DeAndre Hopkins and escape from Houston with a big divisional win. These are the type of games the Titans need to win if they want to emerge victorious in a competitive AFC South.
Week 14: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
For years, fans around the league dreaded the annual Jacksonville vs. Tennessee Thursday Night Football game. It was always competitive, but it didn’t matter because the teams usually combined for less than ten wins. This year is different. The teams are both coming off of seasons where they won a playoff game, two in the Jaguars case. This game late in the season should be extremely important to the AFC South race and be a good battle all the way through. Nashville will be out in force on the first Thursday of December in order to cheer their team past the rival Jaguars and hopefully towards a division title for the first time since 2008.
These games will be the most important games for the Titans. Win them and become more respected nationally and prove they are true contenders. Other games to watch include the other match-ups against the Jaguars and Texans, as well as the Monday Night Football game against the Cowboys. Don’t forget the early morning game against the Chargers in London. After two winning seasons, the Titans expect to take another leap forward and win the division. Winning games against other contenders will be crucial in getting the Titans to the next level.