The Titans Game were the postseason darlings last year, knocking off both the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots before falling short in the AFC title game.
As they gear up for 2020, the only question that matters is whether the Titans can go further this year.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is back thanks to a four-year, $118 million contract. Edge Vic Beasley joined in free agency and first-round pick Isaiah Wilson out of Georgia should fit in well on the offensive line.
The Super Bowl window in Tennessee is as wide as it’s been in a decade, and that means expectations will be running rampant. Unfortunately for the Titans, their playoff run put the rest of the league on notice. No team should get caught off-guard this time around.
Tennessee Titans Schedule
Sep. 14: vs Denver Broncos, 10:10 p.m., ESPN
Sep. 20: vs Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m., CBS
Sep. 27: vs Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., CBS
Oct. 4: vs Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m., CBS
Oct. 11: vs Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m., CBS
Oct. 18: vs Houston Texans, 1 p.m., CBS
Nov. 1: vs Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m., CBS
Nov. 8: vs Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., Fox
Nov. 12: vs Indianapolis Colts, 8:20 p.m., Fox/NFL Network/Amazon
Nov. 22: vs Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m., CBS
Nov. 29: vs Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m., CBS
Dec. 6: vs Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m., CBS
Dec. 13: vs Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m., CBS
Dec. 19 or 20: vs Detroit Lions, TBD
Dec. 27: vs Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m., NBC
Jan. 3: vs Houston Texans, 1 p.m., CBS
The Titans will have to face the NFC North this year, which offers a host of teams with question marks they could take advantage of.
The Chicago Bears are still working out their quarterback situation, the Minnesota Vikings just moved on from starting wideout Stefon Diggs, the Green Bay Packers have to prove Aaron Rodgers is still the quarterback at 36 years old that he was at 28, and the Detroit Lions are closer to square one than winning the division.
With both the Lions and Bears visiting Nissan Stadium, the opportunity is there to pick up key wins.
Back in the AFC, Tennessee will travel to Cincinnati in Week 8, where it’ll likely face No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow.
The AFC South should remain competitive this year, but it won’t be overly challenging. Aside from the Houston Texans, there shouldn’t be too much standing in the Titans’ way of winning the division—not with Philip Rivers starting anew with the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars looking to build around quarterback Gardner Minshew II.
Tennessee head coach Mike Vrabel can put his stamp on the division this year, and his ability to do so will be one of the biggest storylines this season.
There might not be a bigger matchup on the schedule than Week 11 when the Titans head back to M&T Bank Stadium to face a Baltimore Ravens team looking for revenge.
Tennessee’s 28-12 waxing of the Ravens at home in the playoffs was even more stunning than the team’s takedown of New England a week earlier.
The Titans held MVP Lamar Jackson to 365 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and a fumble—arguably the worst performance in an otherwise otherworldly season.
While that stands out as the highlight of the schedule, matchups against the Buffalo Bills in Week 5, the Green Bay Packers in Week 16 and the Houston Texans in Weeks 6 and 17 will serve as major litmus tests to see if the Titans are for real in 2020.