The 2020 season marked the first time since 2015 that the Titans failed to finish the season with a record of exactly 9-7. In ’20, they were better, leading Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill to an AFC South title. Will they be able to repeat as division champions?
While the Titans have added some talent, they have also lost a handful of top players. They also gave up on their 2020 first-round pick, Isaiah Wilson, amid off-field trouble. Now he is out of the league.
So the Titans have a few holes, but that hasn’t stopped them from succeeding. Their defense, in particular, has not been excellent in recent years, yet they did make it to the AFC Championship Game in ’19 and won the AFC South in ’20. That’s thanks, in part, to his good coaching staff, as well as the fact that every team in his division has some kind of obvious weakness.
Will it be the same on 21? It is difficult to say. But what we do know is that the Titans have a tough schedule highlighted by matchups with every team in the NFC West and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here’s a full breakdown of the Titans schedule for 2021, including dates, start times, and analysis for all 17 games.
NFL LOW SEASON 2021:
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Titans schedule 2021
The Titans schedule will be announced as part of the NFL schedule launch on Wednesday, May 12 at 8 p.m. ET. These are the teams that are scheduled to play during the 2021 NFL season.
|Arizona Cardinals||Houston Texans|
|Buffalo bills||Indianapolis Colts|
|Houston Texans||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Indianapolis Colts||Los Angeles Rams|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||New England Patriots|
|Kansas City Chiefs||New York Jets|
|Miami dolphins||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|New Orleans Saints||Seattle Seahawks|
|San Francisco 49ers||–|
The Titans started the 2020 season in impressive fashion. They won five straight games, including a 42-16 loss to the Bills. Even more impressive is that they had been shut down by a COVID outbreak in the lead up to that game and were largely unable to practice.
After that, the Titans largely outperformed the lesser competition, but had some issues with the higher-tier teams. His offense was great, but his defense just wasn’t very good. They couldn’t rush the passer, and that caused some problems at the rear with their coverage, as their corners were asked to do too much. That’s why they poured a lot of money into free agency lead running back Bud Dupree while spending a first-round pick on Caleb Farley.
This year’s schedule for the Titans numbers will be tough. They won the AFC South last year and will face a first-place schedule. They also face other competition from the higher-level AFC that could take advantage of the weaknesses they still have.
MORE: Schedule strength for all 32 teams in 2021
Time Force of the Titans
When looking at last year’s records, the Titans are the 13th toughest on this year’s schedule at a .507 mark. It may not sound so bad, but it is the highest of the four AFC South teams.
The Titans schedule could be even tougher than the numbers indicate. If the 49ers and Patriots can bounce back from years past where many players were missing, they could prove to be challenging opponents for Tennessee. Maybe if the Saints back down without Drew Brees, that will balance things out, but facing a team led by Sean Payton still seems to be a test.
More difficult tests: There’s a lot on the schedule this year, including having the reigning AFC champions at home. The Titans beat the Chiefs during the 2019 regular season, but they can only win in one shootout given the state of their defense. As such, it can be difficult to compete with Mahomes in 2021.
The Titans’ road schedule is particularly brutal this season, too. They have to travel to the not-so-friendly confines of Seattle, Pittsburgh and New England and will also have to face a great-looking Rams team in Los Angeles.
Great getaways: Two games against the Texans and the Jaguars should give the Titans a chance for three or four wins. The Texans are a mess right now, while the Jaguars will be making way for a young quarterback and they don’t have much defensive talent. Outside of the division, the Jets fall into a similar category as the Texans and Jaguars, so it will be a chance to win an away game.
Bottom line: The Titans have been a good, well-trained team under Mike Vrabel, and there’s no reason to expect that to change. However, after losing key personnel on defense, as well as wide receiver Corey Davis and tight end Jonnu Smith, it’s fair to wonder if his offense will hum at the same rate it did last year.
That can make it difficult for the Titans to compete with some of the higher tier teams. They still have a very good offense that dominates the terrain, but without improvements in defense, they will have to keep winning in shootouts against some of the good offenses they will face.
Overall, the Titans should have a solid year, but they may be on the cusp of the playoff race. It appears the Colts have outdone them on paper, which is why the Titans are more of a wild card team with a mixed schedule. If they do well, they will be fine. Otherwise, they could fall below .500 on the year for the first time under Vrabel.
For now, we’ll assume you keep them afloat and compete for a wild card spot.
Record prediction: 9-8
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.