Yesterday the Tennessee Titans defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars to move to 2-0 for the first time since 2008. While the win wasn’t the prettiest, it was a win nonetheless. These are the biggest takeaways from the win.
The Titans NEED Adoree Jackson Back
Shortly before the Titans started their season against Denver, it was announced that corner-back Adoree Jackson would be going to IR, which means he would have to miss at least three games. With the injury to Jackson and the loss of Logan Ryan to free agency, this has left the Titans with a CB room that includes two rookies (Kristan Fulton and Chris Jackson) and two aging starters (Malcolm Butler). The results have been about what you expected as the Titans have the 23rd ranked passing defense in the league. Against Jacksonville, it was the DJ Chark show as Chark was able to create constant separation against the slower Malcolm Butler. If the Titans hope to be able to compete with the elite NFL offenses, they’ll need their speedster back in the form of Adoree Jackson.
The Titans Have Missed Jack Conklin
In free agency, Jack Conklin signed a mega-deal with the Cleveland Browns. While the results have been mixed for Cleveland, the Titans have certainly missed him in the run game. Dennis Kelly was the swing-tackle who replaced Conklin and while he holds up fine in the pass-blocking game, the Titans have missed Conklin’s elite run-blocking skills. Derrick Henry is averaging just 3.57 yards a carry over his first two games, down from his 4.9 average from the first two games last season. Overall, the Titans have ranked 14th in the league in the run-game. While teams have been stacking the box against Henry, the lack of running lanes for Henry have come apparent and has to be frustrating for the recently-extended running back. If the Titans want to repeat the success of last season, they’ll have to figure out something in the run game.
Ryan Tannehill Doesn’t Need Derrick Henry To Be Successful
The Titans, on a national scale, aren’t talked about or watched much. This was evident all off-season as media members bashed the Titans for giving Tannehill a contract extension, citing the Titans’ playoff run as to why it was a bad deal. Most people claimed that Tannehill only handed the ball off and wasn’t the reason as to why Tennessee had success. This season, though, Tannehill has started to prove everyone wrong. With Henry averaging a measly 3.57 YPC, Tannehill has posted 488 yards (20th in the league) and 6 TDs (T-2nd in the league) on 70.1% completion percentage (10th in the league) with a quarterback rating of 120.7 (4th in the league). The best part of his performances? He’s yet to turn the ball over. He’s doing all of this with an unreliable run game and with AJ Brown, star second-year WR, dealing with a bone bruise which limited him in Week One and kept him out of action in Week Two. To say that a lot of “experts” owe him an apology is an understatement.
Jeffery Simmons Is A STAR
When the Titans traded Jurrell Casey to Denver Broncos in the off-season, many people scratched their heads and wondered why the team would trade away such a beloved player who could still produce at a pro-bowl level. The answer was simple: They trusted that Jeffery Simmons could take that next step. Simmons has taken over Casey’s starting spot and hasn’t been disappointing in the slightest. In Week One, he recovered a fumble early in the game and then single-handily made a stop on 4th and Goal that prevented Denver from scoring a touchdown. In Week Two, the heroics continued for Simmons. With Jacksonville trying to make a game-winning drive, Simmons batted a Gardner Minshew pass attempt, which was then intercepted by Harold Landry, sealing the win for the Titans. Simmons has been a force for the Titans in the middle this year, even if team statistics don’t show that. Titans fans can sleep at night knowing that the Jurrell Casey wasn’t in vain.
Photo Creator: Wade Payne | Credit: AP