The start of the NFL season is around the corner and that means it’s time to release some Tennessee Titans 2022 bold predictions. The Titans had an interesting 2021 season, as they won 12 games and secured the AFC’s number-one seed for the postseason.
However, Tennessee sustained a huge blow along the way, as they lost star running back Derrick Henry to a Jones fracture in his right foot in October. Henry eventually returned in time for the playoffs, though it wasn’t enough to prevent the Titans from falling to the Cincinnati Bengals in the Divisional Round.
The playoff loss opened up questions about the team’s ceiling with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, which weren’t quieted down at all after the franchise traded up to select Liberty’s Malik Willis in the third round of the draft.
Willis is the clear backup to Tannehill- for now. Can the Titans follow up their excellent season with a worthy encore in 2022? The Houston Texans are still rebuilding- and the Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t in a much better spot.
That leaves the Indianapolis Colts as the only real challenger to the AFC South crown. That said, let’s dive into some Titans 2022 bold predictions!
Titans 2022 Bold Predictions
4. Titans defense rallies without Harold Landry
Tennessee was dealt a brutal blow, as talented pass rusher Harold Landry suffered a torn ACL during Wednesday’s practice, an injury that will sideline him for the entire 2022 NFL season. Landry, a Pro Bowler in 2021, tallied 12 sacks last year to lead the Tennessee defense.
Now, the pass rush will have to find a way to get to the quarterback without its best player. No easy task. But the Titans aren’t devoid of talent without Landry. Veteran pass rusher Bud Dupree is still in town. Despite battling injury last season and offseason legal issues heading into this year, Dupree will still be a key veteran the team must count on.
Then there’s under-the-radar guys like Rashad Weaver and Ola Adeniyi, who both have little experience as starting edge rushers in the NFL. Well, those guys are about to get thrown into the fire.
A year ago, the Titans had a top-10 pass rush, generating 43 sacks. What happens when you remove the engine that propelled the team to that performance?
The Titans will show what happens in 2022. With a team effort, the pass rush won’t completely falter in the absence of Harold Landry.
3. Titans bench Ryan Tannehill midway through 2022 season
It’s the elephant in the room. There were questions swirling around Ryan Tannehill’s future after the playoff loss to the Bengals- and the Titans were mentioned as a possible destination for the likes of Russell Wilson.
Then, the team went out and drafted Malik Willis, who looked very good in preseason action, earning the backup signal-caller job quicker than most people thought.
Tennessee doesn’t need to say it, but it’s clear that Tannehill has less margin for error in 2022. If he slips up, Willis is waiting in the wings.
That’s exactly what will happen. The Titans will be in danger of falling out of the playoff race around the midpoint of the season and will turn to Willis for a spark.
2. Titans win less than eight games in 2022
This is pretty bold. But a simple glance at the Titans’ schedule for the 2022 NFL season will make any fan queasy. Not only does Tennessee have dates against the juggernaut Buffalo Bills, but they also have to suit up against some of the NFC’s best in the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles.
On top of that, the Titans have to play the AFC West, a division that just got a whole lot better this past offseason. Yes, Tennessee will benefit from cupcake (we think) divisional matchups against the Jaguars and Texans.
And they have played hard for head coach Mike Vrabel. But winning more than eight games with this schedule seems like a tall order. Tennessee will be a fun team to watch, but they won’t be back in the playoffs in 2022.
1. Derrick Henry breaks the single season rushing record in 2022
Derrick Henry was making a run at Eric Dickerson’s record of 2,105 rushing yards last year, as he was at an incredible 937 yards through eight games before the foot injury cost him the remainder of the regular season.
Who knows what Henry would have done the rest of the way? Heck, he ran for 2,027 yards the season before, flirting with the record. Why couldn’t be break it in 2022?
With questions surrounding Tannehill and a wide receiver corps that no longer has AJ Brown and Julio Jones, the Titans will need to be as run-heavy as ever. And Henry has shown that a stacked box won’t slow him down.
A healthy Henry, who just received a pay raise, will be motivated to go out there and show that last year was no fluke. Wheels up for Derrick Henry in 2022. He’ll break the NFL’s single season rushing record.