First off, this is in no way an overreaction to how the season ended, in fact I am proud of this season. The Titans finished 9-7, which extends their streak to three straight winning seasons. The Titans also were under new leadership and were one converted 2 point conversion away from 10-6 and playing next weekend. All in all, I am happy but there is one thing that stands in my way, Marcus Mariota.
From the beginning, I was a huge Mariota fan. In fact, I own two of his jerseys. But since his injury in his second season, he has been nowhere as effective as we thought he would be. Now, with his contract coming up (ends after next season) there is no way I would sign him past 2 years. Mariota is extremely injury prone, which we saw this season after he got a stinger in Week 1 and in Week 16. He has never had a healthy season and at this point it has gotten too annoying and even when he plays he is wildly inconsistent. What bothers me the most is his team fought, Blaine Gabbert fought to win in Week 16 to put them in a do or die game but their Franchise QB did not play due a stinger in his LEFT elbow. If you’re a franchise QB, you play no matter what. The Titans probably would not have won, but they had a much better chance with Marcus running the offense. But, this season brought some good things too, especially the beginning of Derrick Henry’s beautiful career.
Henry rushed for over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. He finished 2nd in rushing in the AFC behind Joe Mixon and 6th in the NFL. In December alone, he rushed for 625 yards with eight touchdowns. It is absolutely wild to me that they did do this all year. The offensive line for the Titans was questionable at times, but during December they made Henry the best RB in the league. I said this since week 1 of the season, Henry is the clear starter, not Dion Lewis and they finally made the switch and it paid off.
Next season, I expect big things from the Titans. Their Defense will hold their own and should remain top 5 in the league. Their running game will continue to dominate as long as Henry is the feature back. The Titans will need to get some help at WR and will gain Delanie Walker back at tight end. I look for a 11-5 record with a schedule consisting of the NFC South, and then the usual AFC foes. Tennessee finally goes into an offseason will a bright future under Mike Vrabel.