It’s the NFL preseason so who really cares, right?
The Titans made the trip to Baltimore on Thursday night for their preseason opener against the Ravens. For all the fans, including myself, who were especially hard on Titans QB Ryan Tannehill after the playoff loss to Cincinnati, ole Tannehill is looking a whole lot better these days.
Logan Woodside entered training camp as the presumed backup to Tannehill and he showed it will be best if he stays on the bench this season. Woodside did not look sharp and the Titans did not score a single point for the half he played QB.
Note: Getting shut out in the second half is not a formula for winning in the NFL and the Titans lost this game, 23-10.
Heralded rookie QB Malik Willis looked much better than Woodside, providing a couple explosive runs and a long completion to WR Racey McMath, who is looking more and more like he could be a factor.
First-round draft pick Treylon Burks played 30 snaps and didn’t have a catch. That’s not a particularly encouraging sign against players who are fighting to make the roster. If Burks can’t muster a catch against backups, it doesn’t look good against starters.
So what are my thoughts on the 2022 Titans? I think the team will be dangerously good and in position to win the Super Bowl just like they were last year.
The Titans defense has the potential to be the best in the NFL. The front seven is scary good and the secondary is fortified with perhaps the best safety duo in the league in Kevin Byard and Amani Hooker.
The offense did lose A.J. Brown as everyone is well aware. This is bad.
But, it did gain two new tight ends who figure to be better than any tight end the Titans put on the field last year in Austin Hooper and rookie Chig Okonkwo.
Also, WR Robert Woods is a big addition coming over from the Rams and slot WR Kyle Philips drafted out of UCLA has a chance to get noticed too. I don’t think the Titans got worse when it comes to people who are paid to catch passes for a living, even with the loss of the very popular A.J. Brown.
So what about All-Pro RB Derrick Henry? Will he continue to be the most dominant back in the NFL?
The short answer is yes. The longer answer is absolutely yes.
Henry did fracture a bone in his foot last year and he didn’t look very good against a stout Cincinnati run defense in the playoffs either. It happens.
I look for Henry to again lead the league in rushing as the Titans contend for the No. 1 seed in the AFC behind a nasty defense.