Over the past three seasons, the Tennessee Titans have been stuck as a fringe playoff team. Each year, they finished with a 9-7 record. However, this year, they have made a few key upgrades that could push the team over the top. The Titans added key weapons on the offensive side in free agent Adam Humphries and rookie A.J. Brown. Then, they upgraded the interior offensive line with former All-Pro Rodger Saffold and rookie Nate Davis. Finally, they added help on the edge defensively with veteran Cameron Wake who can help develop second year pass-rusher Harold Landry. Will this be enough to push Tennessee over the top in a tough division? Let’s see.
Week 1 at Cleveland Browns
The Titans will be heavy underdogs in Cleveland to open the season. There is more hype around the Browns right now than any other team in the league right now. I expect every expert to be picking them to win this game against the Titans. However, Cleveland is probably a little overrated right now. Everyone is hopping on the bandwagon with Odell Beckham Jr. joining the team, but this team will still need time to develop. If this game was later in the season, the Browns may win, but I see the Titans pulling off the upset to begin the season.
Titans 27 Browns 23
Week 2 vs. Indianapolis Colts
Tennessee needs to get the Andrew Luck monkey off their back. He still hasn’t lost to the Titans since he entered the league. At home, the Titans have their best chance to knock off the Colts, but I’ll believe it when I see it. The Colts are the favorite to win the division and could contend for an AFC Championship. Tennessee is much better at home, but they will fall in Week 2 and Andrew Luck will continue his streak.
Colts 30 Titans 21
Week 3 at Jacksonville Jaguars (TNF)
This game is similar to last week’s against the Colts. The Jaguars haven’t beaten the Titans since 2016. Tennessee just seems to have their number lately. After last year’s beat down in Nashville, I expect the Titans to keep their success over the boys from Duval County going. The Jaguars will be better this year, but they just can’t seem to get past the Titans on the field. The Titans will jump to 2-1 in a low-scoring defensive battle.
Titans 17 Jaguars 13
Week 4 at Atlanta Falcons
The Titans tough start continues with a third road game against a tough opponent in the first four games. They won the first two, but will drop this one against the dirty birds. Atlanta had a down year last year with an injured defense, but will bounce back this year and contend for the playoffs. Tennessee will put up a fight on the road, but won’t be able to pull out a third road win in a row. They’ll fall back to .500 as they approach an easier stretch in their schedule.
Falcons 28 Titans 27
Week 5 vs. Buffalo Bills
Last year, the Titans dropped a Week 5 game in Buffalo after their overtime win over Philadelphia. Wide receiver Nick Williams dropped a wide open touchdown late in the game and the Bills kicked a last second field goal to win by one. This year, the Titans will be able to pull out a win over an improved Bills team at home and get to 3-2 before they head out west for a game in Denver.
Titans 21 Bills 17
Week 6 at Denver Broncos
The Broncos are going to be sitting in a rebuilding year this season. They still have some great players on the roster, but neither Drew Lock or Joe Flacco will be able to take this team to the playoffs this season. Tennessee should be able to keep the Broncos from putting up too many points and scratch out enough points on offense to get back-to-back wins.
Titans 13 Broncos 6
Week 7 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Just like the Bills game, the Titans play a repeat game in the same week as last season. Last year, the Titans couldn’t convert a two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter to beat the Chargers in London. Unlike the game against Buffalo, Tennessee won’t be able to avenge the loss this season. The Chargers may have the best roster in the NFL top-to-bottom. Even in Nashville, the Chargers won’t be easy to beat and the Titans will fall to 4-3.
Chargers 34 Titans 24
Week 8 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The rematch of the top two picks in the 2015 draft takes place in Nashville this time. Four years ago, Marcus Mariota and the Titans blew out Jameis Winston and the Bucs in Week 1 of a season that would only bring three wins to Tennessee. This time will be no different. The two franchises have gone in different directions since that season and the Titans have gone the right way. At home, Mariota will dominate Winston for the third time, going back to college, and get them to 5-3 at the midway point of the season.
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Titans 37 Buccaneers 13
Week 9 at Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are one of the teams in the league that no one knows what to expect with. It seems like they are always either in the playoffs or out of the conversation by Week 12. This year, with Cam Newton’s health status up in the air, I expect Carolina to have a down year with the Falcons and Saints being dominant in the division. This will be a tough game for the Titans, but they will be able to take a close one from Carolina.
Titans 27 Panthers 24
Week 10 vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Titans have gotten lucky that most of their toughest games are at home. The Chargers, the Chiefs, and the Saints later in the season are all coming to Nashville in 2019. Out of those three, I believe this is the game that they can pull off. Tennessee has gone into Arrowhead twice in the past three years and won. Winning at home should be easier. Obviously, Patrick Mahomes makes this team much better than those previous KC teams. However, with Kareem Hunt gone and Tyreek Hill’s status unknown, Tennessee will win their third straight.
Titans 31 Chiefs 28
Week 11 Bye Week
The Titans get a good draw with a late bye week. They will be able to regroup and make a stretch run towards a playoff spot.
Week 12 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Here comes Jacksonville again. The Titans continue to dominate the Jaguars at home. Tennessee has won the last five games against the Jags in Nashville and have won seven of the last eight. I believe Jacksonville will be a middle of the pack team in 2019, but I’ll believe they can win in Nashville when I see it. Don’t look now, but the Titans are 8-3.
Titans 26 Jaguars 17
Week 13 at Indianapolis Colts
Luck strikes again late in the season. The Titans will head to Indy hot having won four straight games, but I can’t pick against the Colts when they play Tennessee and Andrew Luck is on the field. Tennessee needs to win one of these games against Indianapolis this season to become a great team. However, I won’t put either in the win column for Tennessee.
Colts 24 Titans 22
Week 14 at Oakland Raiders
The Raiders made some flashy moves in the offseason. Most notably, they added Antonio Brown from the Steelers. However, I don’t see them as a good team right now, despite improving this year. The Titans will know they need to win this game in order to try to win their first division title since 2008. This game will swing in the Titans favor late and they will get back to nine wins for the fourth straight season.
Titans 20 Raiders 14
Week 15 vs. Houston Texans
The Titans enter this game 2-2 in the division with two wins over Jacksonville and two losses to Indianapolis. Winning this game is crucial with the Saints up next and another showdown with Houston in Week 17. Tennessee has beaten the Texans at home each of the last three seasons and I see that trend continuing. They reach double-digit wins for the first time since 2008 with two games remaining.
Titans 23 Texans 16
Week 16 vs. New Orleans Saints
The Saints should be favored to win the Super Bowl right now. They have one of the best rosters in the NFL and they have the quarterback who has done it before. The Titans won’t be able to knock this team off, despite the game being in Nashville. This matchup will be close until the very end, but the Saints will win it late. Tennessee sits at 10-5 entering the last week and most likely needs to win in Week 17 to take the AFC South.
Saints 34 Titans 27
Week 17 at Houston Texans
Tennessee most likely enters the last game needing to win to contend for the division. This could possibly be a game for the division between these two teams or to see if the Titans can surpass the Colts. They will fall short in Week 17 for the second straight year. Tennessee finishes the season with a 3-3 division record after splitting the season series with Houston for the fourth straight year.
Texans 35 Titans 31
Final Record: 10-6
The Titans improve by one win with a tough schedule in 2019. Does this qualify as going from good to great? It will depend on where they sit in the standings come the end of the season. However, this should be good enough for them to at least sneak into the playoffs as a wild card team.