It’s a new year, a new look and a new head coach for the Tennessee Titans, yet the sportsbooks aren’t buying into a totally different result.
The oddsmakers at BetDSI Sportsbook are basically predicting a somewhat similar finish for the Titans, who went 9-7 last season with Mike Mularkey at the helm. Mularkey was, scientifically, the second worst coach in NFL history behind only Gus Bradley. Is new head coach Mike Vrabel an upgrade? How could he not be?
Tennessee Titans 2018-19 Regular Season Win Total
Over 8.5 (-110)
Under 8.5 (-140)
First off, let’s talk about Vrabel. I have no clue why he was high on any head coaching lists this past offseason considering how terrible the Houston Texans’ defense was that he ran. Let’s not pretend that everyone from the Bill Belichick coaching tree brings any of the Dark Lord’s genius with him. In fact, past Belichick disciples hired as head men would actually argue the contrary.
What you do have to like about Vrabel is his assistant hires. Dean Pees came out of a quick retirement to take over the defense and Vrabel brought over Matt LaFleur from the Los Angeles Rams to run the offense. Honestly, I though Tennessee should have hired LaFleur as its head coach in the first place.
On offense, the Titans boast one of the best offensive lines in the league and a slew of young, talented pass-catchers. While none has emerged as an NFL star just yet, somebody out of Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe should emerge as a true No. 1 this season opposite Rishard Matthews, as solid a No. 2 as there is in the league.
— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) May 13, 2018
At tight end, Delanie Walker is one of the best offensive weapons at that position in the sport. Tennessee is crazy deep there, with Jonnu Smith, Phillip Supernaw and Luke Stocker all in the rotation along with rookie Ethan Wolf.
Derrick Henry emerged as a franchise running back late last season and the Titans brought in Dion Lewis from the Patriots to keep their one-two backfield punch intact. Marcus Mariota continues to prove he’s one of the future stars of the NFL at quarterback.
Defensively, there’s plenty of young and emerging talent for Pees to work with, far more than he had with the Baltimore Ravens over the last few seasons.
— Pro Football Weekly (@PFWeekly) May 11, 2018
The biggest stumbling block for the Titans isn’t on their roster, it’s on the rosters of the other teams in their division. A healthy Andrew Luck changes everything. It doesn’t help the Titans’ chances that he’ll actually be coached by a guy that knows what he’s doing in Frank Reich. If Deshaun Watson hadn’t gotten hurt with the Texans last season, there’s a chance Tennessee wouldn’t have made the playoffs at all. Then there’s the defending AFC South champs, the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have only gotten better on defense themselves.
Looking at the Titans’ schedule, they’ll get to prove how good they’re going to be early. They face the Texans in Week Two and the Jaguars in Week Three, setting the stage for how the South will likely play out.
It’s tricky and Tennessee should be competitive all the way through their schedule. Still, if I’m putting any money on it, I’m going the under. The Titans could be an improved team in every way this season and still finish 8-8.
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