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Tennessee Titans: 4 bold predictions for Week 1 vs. Giants

Titans

It was a disappointing end to a fantastic season for the Tennessee Titans in 2021, but that’s all in the past. New faces have arrived, some old ones have departed, training camp has completed, and we now await the beginning of the 2022 NFL season—with some Titans Week 1 predictions to tide you over until kickoff on Sunday.

Tennessee’s first challenge is a home game against the New York Giants, led by rookie head coach and former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. New York went through quite the offseason, but Daboll still has a lot of work to do to turn around the fortunes of the four-time Super Bowl champions.

We’re not here to talk about the Titans Week 1 opponents, though. Here are four bold predictions for Tennessee in its season opener.

4. The Titans win by two or more scores

New York went 4-13 last season, with a whopping 11 of those losses coming by 10-plus points, including eight of their last nine games. Make no mistake, the Giants did improve a bit in the 2022 offseason, but there’s still a long way to go. They are still not a very good team, traveling to take on a perennial AFC contender.

Sure, the Titans only won five games by 10 or more points last season, but the offense was also missing Derrick Henry—who we’ll get to later—for large portions of the schedule. Given the weakness of the Giants’ defense compared to the strengths of Tennessee’s offense, I’m going on a limb and predicting the Titans win by double-digits.

3. The Titans force three turnovers

Tennessee ranked 14th in takeaways last season, a perfectly adequate finish that nevertheless could have been better.  that could have which, while ranking in the league’s top half, could have been better. The Titans are facing a Giants offense that committed 30 turnovers a year ago, most in the NFL.

Protecting the ball will obviously be a priority for the Giants, but will it be enough against a Tennessee defense that finished with the 10th-most sacks and 11th-most interceptions in football last season? I think not.

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This is a matchup made in some of the Giants’ worst nightmares. Quarterback Daniel Jones had a paltry 10-7 touchdown to interception ratio last season, and is facing a secondary that includes Kevin Byard and Amani Hooker, potentially the best safety duo in the AFC outside of Buffalo, plus quality young corners in Kristian Fulton, Roger McCreary and Caleb Farley.

2. Kyle Philips is the Titans’ leading receiver in catches

All offseason long, there has been buzz around the facility in Nashville about what an incredible addition former UCLA wide receiver Kyle Philips has been to Tennessee’s offense. He’ll primarily be used in the slot, and word all training camp has been that he’s emerged as one of Ryan Tannehill’s favorite targets.

As the season progresses, other receivers like Robert Woods and fellow rookie Treylon Burks may take the spotlight from Philips, but early in the year quarterbacks love to rely on their safety-blanket pass-catchers, the role Philips seems to have developed with Tannehill.  This bodes well for his value in the offense (and potential fantasy value if you’re into that), and that’s why I think he comes away from Week 1 with the most catches of anyone in two-tone blue.

1. Derrick Henry runs wild on Bills, posting 165+ yards and two touchdowns

The King has waited all offseason to reclaim his throne. Others have looked to usurp him, most notably Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colits. It is on Henry to show all potential threats to his reign that he is still at full-strength. Starting his season off against the league’s worst run defense in 2021 is no doubt incredibly appetizing for Henry, and I’m predicting a big day on the ground for him.

Henry’s court will be pleased to watch him stroll into the end zone twice, accompanied by a host of yards, 165 of them at least. All hail King Henry, and may the gods have mercy on those in his path.