The Jadeveon Clowney signing will solely create extra buzz across the Tennessee Titans’ prospects to make a Tremendous Bowl run after their run to the AFC championship final 12 months.
However possibly we should always pump the breaks just a little. In any case, it’s not a given the Titans can recapture their postseason magic from 2019. In actual fact, it’s way more probably they regress in 2020 amid an equally common common season.
First, let’s revisit what there’s to love about Tennessee.
They retained their two offensive centerpieces: quarterback Ryan Tannehill and working again Derrick Henry. If it had been a 12 months in the past, it could be wild to suppose Tannehill could possibly be a centerpiece for a Tremendous Bowl contender. However he was an ideal match for Tennessee’s offense after years of losing away with the Miami Dolphins. He unlocked the potential of rookie receiver A.J. Brown and tight finish Jonnu Smith. All of the whereas, Henry ran via, over and into his opponents whereas main the NFL in speeding final 12 months.
The connection between Tannehill and Henry was a symbiotic one. Henry’s success on the bottom made issues simpler for his quarterback, whereas Tannehill’s success within the play-action passing sport opened up issues for his working again.
One other brilliant spot: Mike Vrabel seems like a coach on the rise. You’ve bought to respect his moxie as he out-Belichicked Belichick within the playoffs in 2019. And Vrabel held up his finish of the cut price by assembling a defensive unit which did sufficient to permit the offense to win video games by establishing the run (somewhat than needing to move the ball after falling behind).
Add an all-world expertise like Clowney and the Titans may be within the combine to get again into the AFC Championship … proper?
Effectively, I hate to be that man, however… fallacious. For lots of causes, with stiff competitors on the high of the AFC being the obvious one. The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs must be simply nearly as good as they had been final 12 months once they received a Tremendous Bowl. The Baltimore Ravens boast the reigning MVP, Lamar Jackson, who’s prone to play higher within the playoffs with extra expertise after robust outing final 12 months. The Indianapolis Colts appeared like they had been a quarterback away from being legit contenders, so that they went out and bought Philip Rivers. After which there’s the Patriots. There’s all the time the Patriots, even when Invoice Belichick swapped out Tom Brady with Cam Newton.
The Titans bought sizzling on the proper time in 2019 however look to be due for some regression after counting on play-action so closely within the move sport (play-action move efficiency is unstable year-to-year) and feeding Henry a league-leading 303 carries (which may have taken a toll on his physique).
As for the long run, their late-season run could have been idiot’s gold. The postseason momentum basically compelled the entrance workplace to commit large cash to Tannehill, the quarterback who bought them there. Tennessee additionally determined to position the franchise tag on Henry earlier than inking him to an extension to maintain the offense intact. The Titans made an enormous monetary dedication to the 2019 roster, which is just a little scary contemplating Tannehill’s observe file and the observe file of nearly each high-volume working again in NFL historical past.
It wouldn’t be in the slightest degree shocking if each Tannehill and Henry are unable to duplicate what they did in 2019. We haven’t even talked about that the architect of the defensive gameplans that helped win the 2 playoff video games, Dean Pees, retired within the offseason, so Vrabel will probably be taking over added duties in 2020.
The Titans are probably going to be roughly what they had been in 2019: a 9-7 staff. However they in all probability received’t get sizzling in the identical means in 2020 — not with the AFC trying much more aggressive than it was a 12 months in the past.
In order the hype will probably construct round Tennessee after the Clowney signing, it’s necessary to take a look at this roster with a heavy dose of skepticism.