Mister Obvious Says – All eyes are on rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota, the Heisman winner, to provide hope to a franchise that has not advanced to the playoffs since 2008. Mariota has weapons around him to make Tennessee worth watching this year. Tennessee Titans 2015 Season Preview From the above-average offensive line to running back Bishop Sankey to wide receivers Kendall Wright and Harry Douglas, the Titans are headed in the right direction. Mariota will also be coached by Ken Whisenhunt, who has developed winning quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers and Kurt Warner.
Biggest Additions – Other than Mariota, the most noteworthy addition was a coach – longtime Steelers defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau – who joined the Titans to coach alongside friend and pupil Ray Horton, the defensive coordinator. They will try to fix a defense that ranked No. 27 in yards allowed last year. Former Redskins LB Brian Orakpo is a player who can help to make that happen if he stays healthy.
Biggest Losses – Two players retired – QB Jake Locker and OT Michael Roos – with Locker the most surprising. Roos played 10 years in his career. Locker was the No. 8 pick overall in the 2011 NFL draft. He never played an entire season because of injuries.
Rookie To Watch – Mariota has plenty of weapons to use to make his transition to the NFL less demanding. A fellow rookie, WR Dorial Green-Beckham, is a raw talent who will mature along with Mariota.
Marquee Match-up – Week 3 against Indianapolis at home kicks off four straight games at home. If the Titans can get by the Colts, they will enjoy a week off before hosting Buffalo, Miami and Atlanta. Between Sept. 20 to Nov. 1 Tennessee does not go on the road.
Game Most Likely to Win – Week 13 at home against Jacksonville, only 17 days after facing the Jaguars on the road. Rematches that close generally favor the home team.
Game Most Likely To Lose – Week 17 at Indianapolis caps three of the last four games on the road. What could help possibly help Tennessee is if the Colts have already clinched a playoff spot, which is likely.
Overall Thoughts – The worst thing Tennessee fans can do is expect Mariota will work wonders as a rookie. Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III played very well as rookies in 2012 but they were an exception to the rule. They did so against suspect competition in their divisions that season. The Titans, in rebuilding mode, have Luck and the Colts to contend with, as well as games at New Orleans and New England. A .500 season would be an achievement.
Do you agree or disagree? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter or comment below. We love to hear your thoughts.