Sep 9, 2022 - Sports

Lowered expectations for Titans season

Photo illustration of Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel with blue and white stripes trailing behind him.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel. Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

When the Titans kick off Sunday against the New York Giants, they'll embark on the most pivotal season in team history.

State of play: On the field, the Titans are trying to rebound from a devastating playoff defeat. Meanwhile, the front office led by CEO Burke Nihill is looking to close the deal with Mayor John Cooper on a financing plan to pay for a $2.2 billion indoor stadium.

What we're watching: Will the real Tennessee Titans please stand up?

  • Are they the gritty squad that ground out the No. 1 seed in the rugged AFC a season ago?
  • Or are they the middling team that fizzled out against the Bengals at home in the divisional round?

The intrigue: This season, the Titans will have to make up for the absences of two star players.

  • Rather than pay wide receiver A.J. Brown a massive contract, the Titans traded him away.
  • The team seemed poised to rely on its ferocious pass rush, but top sack artist Harold Landry blew his knee out last week and is lost for the season. Whether the team can replace these two players will probably define their season.

By the numbers: Sportsbooks are not keen on the Titans' championship chances. FanDuel gives the Titans the 16th-best Super Bowl odds.

  • Despite the Titans earning the best record in the AFC last season, FanDuel set the team's over/under for wins this season at 9.5. That's the same total as the Titans' division rival Indianapolis Colts.
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