The Tennessee Titans lost their season finale to the Colts, 30-24, and as a result, earned the #1 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Titans finished 3-13, and in their final game of the season someone named Alex Tanney played QB and threw 14 passes.
Despite an impressive 42-14 pounding of the Bucs in week one, the Titans were very bad. Marcus Mariota had a fine rookie year (62% completions, 7.6 YPA, 19 TDs), but took 38 sacks and got no help from his defense. Their leading rusher was a fellow named Antonio Andrews, an undrafted 2nd-year player out of Western Kentucky.
The Titans have a solid TE (Delanie Walker, team-high 119 targets) and two solid young receivers in rookie dorial green-beckham (17.6 ypc) and 26-year old Kendall Wright (94 catches, 1,079 yards two years ago when Ryan Fitzpatrick was the QB).
The offensive line needs work, but the defense is an even higher priority: No Pro Bowlers, two promising LBs (Avery Williamson and Zach Brown, the latter of whom is a free agent), two good pass-rushers (Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan), but no above average players.
In short: The Titans need a lot of work.
Enter Chip Kelly? This is the perfect storm for Kelly. He has the QB he needs. He’s in perhaps the weakest division in football, though Andrew Luck returns for the Colts next season, and the Jags almost look ready to take the next step if the defense improves. Bill O’Brien won nine games with Ryan Fitzpatrick last season, and then with four different starting QBs this year, won nine games again, including the division title.
The options here for Tennessee are: a) get an anchor of a tackle to protect the franchise QB, and good news, there are a few available!, b) trade down a bit and acquire more picks due to all the needs, c) finally get an elite player on that defensive line by adding Ohio State’s Joey Bosa.
One thing to remember for the Titans: Last year, around draft time, everyone (myself included) said the Titans offense that was run by (then-coach) Ken Whisenhunt didn’t fit Marcus Mariota’s skill set. But many speculated that Whisenhunt was overruled by the owner for one reason: Tickets. The Titans have been completely irrelevant since 2008, when Kerry Collins led the team to a 13-3 record but they lost to the Ravens at home, 13-10. Mariota is a bankable star they can market the team around.
Chip Kelly getting paired with a QB who starred for him at Oregon instantly makes the Titans one of the most interesting teams in the league.