The Tennessee Titans haven’t exactly inspired a ton of confidence this pre-season but you can see a glimmer of the team you expect them to be in the first three games. As with the past two seasons, much of course depends on Jake Locker staying healthy and the defense not shooting itself in the foot like it has in the past.
So with that being said, here are my 2014 Titans schedule predictions. Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.
L Sept. 7 At Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs started strong last season but faded down the stretch as injuries began to take a toll. They still made the post season where the injuries really piled on. They lost Dexter McCluster to the Titans who surely looks forward to facing his former team in game one. The mild mannered and engaging McCluster will surely say all the right things however.
The Chiefs will be without Dwayne Bowe and right tackle Donald Stephenson which are not minor losses. However, the Titans defense has looked terrible in pre-season and unless that changes significantly those losses may not matter.
W Sept. 14 Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are going to stink this year.
L Sept. 21 at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals lost both coordinators as Jay Gruden headed to Washington to be the head coach while Mike Zimmer is now the head coach for the Minnesota Vikings. Hue Jackson may be a better offensive coordinator for the Bengals system than Gruden. The Bengals are going to be a tough play especially so at home.
The transitioning Titans won’t be quite ready yet to take on the behemoth. In three pre-season games the Bengals starting defense has yet to give up a score.
L Sept. 28 at Indianapolis Colts
The Titans won’t get swept by the Colts this year but they also won’t beat Indy at home. The Titans have never won a game at Lucas Oil Stadium and have not won a game in Indianapolis since December 30, 2007 at the RCA Dome. They won’t break that streak this year.
W Oct. 5 Cleveland Browns
My confidence in the Browns ability to completely and totally mismanage the quarterback situation is running extremely high right now. The Titans are starting to come together as a team right about then and the Browns will face a tough team before a loud home crowd.
W Oct. 12 Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are improving and could very well turn to rookie quarterback Blake Bortles by the time this game rolls around. Last year’s home loss where they handed the Jaguars their first win still stings. That won’t happen again.
W Oct. 19 at Washington Redskins
Washington should be an improved team but like many in the league much depends on the development and play of third year quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Titans aren’t significantly better than Washington but they are good enough to beat them on their home turf.
W Oct. 26 Houston Texans
The Texans could be very good on defense but how will their offense look this year? It’s early yet but hard to think they will be much better than last year. The Titans win a tough one at home. Bye
L Nov. 9 at Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens had a rough offseason in a lot of ways and clearly felt the Superbowl curse last year. Ozzie Newsome isn’t considered the best in the business without reason. The Ravens had a much better draft than the Titans and are looking to dominate once again. The outmatched Titans will not win this year in Baltimore.
W Nov. 17 Pittsburgh Steelers
The Titans beat the Steelers in game 1 last year despite a safety on the opening drive. It was a close one with the Titans coming out on top 16 to 9. The Steelers could be without their two top running backs at some point and right now we don’t know when. The defense could be better but the Titans win another close one at home.
L Nov. 23 at Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles defense is getting a lot of buzz but I don’t think it will be significantly better this year. The offense on the other hand should be very good. The Titans defense SHOULD be playing better by this point but they fall to the home team in Philly.
W Nov. 30 at Houston Texans
The Titans won the first game at home but they won’t sweep Houston. At least not this year. The Titans have struggled in Houston more in recent years and they drop a tough one to a Texans team looking for payback after a road loss.
W Dec. 7 New York Giants
The Giants are going to be awful this year. Rashad Jennings might still put a buck fifty on them.
W Dec. 14 New York Jets
The Titans largely own this series going back to the Houston Oilers days and have won the past 2 games including the last one at LP Field where they had Geno Smith’s number. They win this one as well.
L Dec. 18 at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Titans should be a better team than Jacksonville this season but they aren’t quite ready to sweep their AFC South rival. They split the series and lose to the Jaguars at home.
W Dec. 28 Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have owned the division lately largely because the other teams have let them by failing to take advantage. Their domination is also in large part due to the Colts having the best quarterback in the division since taking Andrew Luck with the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Titans were unable to seal the deal against the Colts in 2013 and were swept by them. That won’t happen this year.