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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Articles tagged: Tennessee Titans

Grading each NFL team at the quarter mark of the season

Khalil Mack Bears

The first four weeks of the NFL’s regular season are in the books, and parity seems to be the name of the game. Only two teams remain unbeaten (Chiefs and Rams), while only one remains winless (Cardinals). Some teams are performing above expectations, while others are falling short. There is still plenty of time for things to change, but here’s a look at each NFL team’s grade through the quarter mark of the season.

Arizona Cardinals — D

There’s not much to say here. The Cardinals were expected to be bad and have been downright terrible. They’ve actually been decent defensively, which saves them from an F, but they’ve scored a miserable 37 points in four games, comfortably the worst mark in the NFL. Perhaps moving from Sam Bradford to Josh Rosen will help the offense a tiny bit — they nearly beat the Seahawks at home on Sunday — but it’s going to be a long season in the desert either way.

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Titans coach provides update on Marcus Mariota’s status

Marcus Mariota Titans

The Tennessee Titans were able to come away with an important divisional win on Sunday despite not having Marcus Mariota available, and it sounds as if they may have to try to do the same in Week 3.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Monday that Mariota’s status has not changed from where it was before Sunday’s game. He also acknowledged that Mariota did not play against the Houston Texans because he is unable to make all the throws he needs to make.

Mariota suffered an elbow injury when he was hit in Week 1, and the latest reports have made it sound somewhat serious. There’s no question the Titans are a better team when he is playing and healthy, but they were able to make things work with Blaine Gabbert in Week 2. An incredibly tough task awaits when they travel to face the Jaguars in Jacksonville next weekend.

Titans likely to play two quarterbacks against Texans

Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans are setting up to have an intriguing quarterback situation for Week 2.

Regular starter Marcus Mariota is still coping with an elbow injury and has yet to be evaluated. The expectation is that he will play, but according to coach Mike Vrabel, will likely share time with backup Blaine Gabbert.

Perhaps the Titans are thinking of how Mariota really wasn’t impressive before his injury. Even if he does play, as anticipated, there will be a desire to protect him from further injury.

Gabbert has never stood out as an NFL player, and the Titans will be facing a very solid defensive front without two regular offensive linemen. It could be a rough week for their offense.

10 NFL teams that could surprise in 2018

Philip Rivers

There is a pretty strong consensus as to who’s going to contend for playoff spots and potentially win the Super Bowl, and it generally consists of the usual suspects. Expectations are already fairly cut and dried for everyone — who’s going to be good and who’s going to be bad.

There are, however, a few teams capable of beating those expectations. It may be that they’re underestimated, or little is expected of them this season. It may be that they’re expected to be downright awful but have the potential to be more than that.

Here are ten teams that may beat the expectations set for them during the 2018 NFL season.

10) Detroit Lions

There’s been almost no buzz about the Lions this offseason, and it’s easy to forget that they held themselves in the playoff race pretty late into last season. In fact, expectations are such that the failure to get there despite a fairly forgiving schedule cost Jim Caldwell his job. He’s been replaced by Matt Patricia, and the Lions still have a quality quarterback in Matthew Stafford. They’ve also aggressively tried to fix their moribund running game, with rookie Kerryon Johnson and veteran LeGarrette Blount now part of the fold. The NFC’s toughness may be their biggest enemy, but they shouldn’t be overlooked.

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Titans make Taylor Lewan highest-paid OL in NFL history

Taylor Lewan reported to Tennessee Titans training camp on Wednesday after holding out from mandatory camp earlier in the offseason, and now we know why he seemingly had a sudden change of heart.

On Friday, the Titans announced that they have signed Lewan to a multi-year contract extension. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the deal is worth $80 million over five seasons, making Lewan the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history.

Lewan’s deal reportedly includes $50 million in guaranteed money. For comparison, offensive tackle Nate Solder signed a four-year, $62 million deal with the New York Giants this offseason that includes around $35 million guaranteed.

The Titans have had some offensive line issues since they drafted Marcus Mariota, but Lewan hasn’t been one of them. His new mega-deal reflects that.

Titans attend Nashville Police academy to learn about firearms safety

Tennessee Titans

NFL teams have made an effort in recent years to improve the relationship between local police departments and their communities, and the Tennessee Titans took a step toward accomplishing that goal on Thursday.

The Metro Nashville Police Department shared some photos that showed Titans players and coaches attending an class to learn how officers are trained in firearms safety.

While many have lost sight of the cause, Colin Kaepernick’s initial decision to kneel during the national anthem was to send a political message about police brutality. The issue is still an important one to many people, and we recently saw one player conduct a media session while holding signs about social injustice.

Eight NFL teams that have improved the most this offseason

John Dorsey

The NFL offseason has provided no shortage of excitement. Teams have released old players and agreed to contracts with new ones. Several players have been traded. Players have switched teams, and many franchises have already improved greatly this offseason, and that’s before they have another shot to beef up in the draft.

Here is a look at the NFL teams that have improved the most so far this offseason. Keep in mind that merely being active this offseason doesn’t get you on this list if you we don’t like what you did (ahem, Cardinals, Jets, Redskins). Also, whoever lands Jordy Nelson and Ndamukong Suh would have an argument for being on here too.

1) Cleveland Browns

It’s one thing to have a lot of draft currency stocked up, but it’s a complete other to make good use of it. Former Browns exec Sashi Brown loaded up on future draft picks before losing his job with Cleveland. New GM John Dorsey has come in and gotten some impressive hauls with the excess picks while still keeping many for the upcoming draft.

The Browns acquired Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry and Demarious Randall via trades. That gives them their best quarterback in years, a play-making wide receiver, and a good defensive back. They also signed running back Carlos Hyde, which should serve as a strong replacement for Isaiah Crowell, whom they lost to the Jets. Further, Cleveland has said that signing Hyde would not prevent them from drafting Saquon Barkley.

On top of adding Randle, the Browns signed T.J. Carrie to a four-year, $31 million deal, giving them a nice cornerback duo. And while Cleveland lost franchise stalwart Joe Thomas to retirement, they signed right tackle Chris Hubbard to a five-year, $37.5 million deal, taking him away from division opponent Pittsburgh. They also added tight end Daniel Fells, whose specialty is blocking.

If the Browns nail their draft, they could turn things around in a hurry.

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