(Image Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
What an absolutely disappointing performance in the 2nd half of the 2022 season, by the Tennessee Titans. This team had a large lead and were a shoe in to lock this division up. However, they blew it and lost 7 straight games. With their most recent loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-16, the Titans are now officially eliminated from making the 2022 NFL Playoffs. There are many reasons why they did not make it to the Playoffs, but I will give 3 main reasons.
1. Coaching, especially by offensive coordinator Todd Downing
Definitely one thing that is a big issue with the Titans was with coaching. I have to say and I am pretty sure fellow Blitzalytics writer/scout Joseph Yun would agree with me here, but Todd Downing, like get this guy out of Tennessee. He is one of the worst offensive coordinators in the league no question and his play calling is Matt Canada level of bad. In my opinion coaching 100% matters in the NFL and there were so many times this team was unprepared all season. I have said this for many weeks too, they must immediately get rid of him now and if they keep him, then you might as well write off 2023.
Also this team is terrible in the 4th quarter. Even when healthy the point margin was way off this season. I even saw one point this season they have around a -100 point margin in the 4th quarter in the 2022 season. That is especially on coaching as much as it is with the players. Blame the defense all you want, but the offense not scoring in the 4th quarter is an issue.
2. Does This Team Even Have a Quarterback Long Term?
Definitely a big reason why the Titans did not make it is due to inconsistent QB Play. Look, Ryan Tanehill is a good QB and was criminally underrated in Miami. Thank Joe Philbin and Adam Gase for that. But Tannehill is done in Tennessee. Yes he was injured, but even when healthy Tannehill has declined a lot. Plus he is turning 35 in July and is not going to be an option long term. I thought 3rd round pick Malik Willis would impress, but my goodness he is super raw as a prospect. I still have hope that he could develop, however when you are benched for Josh Dobbs, then there are serious problems. Josh Dobbs is terrible and excluding one touchdown throw, he was garbage. I get that he only had 8 days to learn the playbook, but my goodness he was terrible. It’s clear that this team needs a QB as I really don’t think the long term franchise QB is on this team.
If there is one excuse that is going to get thrown at this team, it would be all the injuries that they have suffered this season. I swear like around 25% of the team was either out with an injury or playing with a serious injury. With the amount of injuries the team had, it definitely contributed to their losing streak and especially in Week 18.
On The Bright Side - TE Chigoziem Okonkwo has a ton of potential
While the 2022 NFL Draft class has not been fantastic for the Titans, the one player I have really been impressed with is 4th round rookie Chigoziem Okonkwo. I got to say they really might have something as he has been a very good option to utilize as both a blocker and receiving option. Honestly, I think he is better than Austin Hooper this season. Hooper has not been terrible either, but Okonkwo has more value and impact on this offense then Hooper has. If he can keep this up and play well next season, then Okonkwo could join the long list of good TEs that have played in Tennessee.
What I would Do Next If I was the Titans
You know what I would do if I was the Titans right now. Blow it all up. I am dead serious, because lets be real, you are not going to win with the current core that you have right now. I would absolutely start the rebuild and offer everything (Excluding a few promising pieces) for any future value. I would not focus on blowing it up on the field, as they have to blow it up coaching wise too. Mike Vrabel it would not shock me if they keep him as they earlier chose his side over GM Jon Robinson, but he is absolutely 100% on the hot seat next season. Get rid of the coordinators, especially Downing, is a must. Will they do it though? I can’t 100% say. This is a very, very tough season for the Titans and this decision will be an important one.