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Titans Face Uphill Climb in Competitive AFC South in 2024

This was a big offseason for the Tennessee Titans. However, it might have had little effect on how NFL lines see the team. They fired head coach Mike Vrabel, who was replaced by Brian Callahan, traded for cornerback L’Jarius Sneed and signed offensive weapons Calvin Ridley and Tony Pollard in free agency.

However, after a 6-11 record in 2023, the Titans still have the worst odds to win the AFC South this season, set at +850. The three other teams in the division all won at least nine games last season and the Titans needed to do more to surpass any of them.

Titans Face Uphill Climb in Competitive AFC South in 2024
Will Levis #8 of the Tennessee Titans -Johnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images/AFP

That does put the Titans in a tricky situation, especially with the talent on their roster outside of what they added this offseason. They have a young quarterback in Will Levis and a veteran receiver in DeAndre Hopkins, but the offense lost bell-cow running back Derrick Henry. Jeffery Simmons and Harold Landry III still hold down a solid defensive line, but with Vrabel being a defense-first head coach, the team could suffer on that side of the ball.


Sneaky Week 1 Win Followed By Playoff Contenders

The Titans could kick things off immediately with a win to start the season. Despite being 4½ point underdogs on the road against the Chicago Bears, the Titans have a chance to win this game. They will face the first overall pick in the 2024 Draft, Caleb Williams and the Chicago Bear, in his first game in the NFL.

Williams is bound to have some issues, especially against a Titans unit with some talent on the defensive line and in the secondary. Plus, the Titans have enough playmakers on offense for Levis to support him in his second season.

In addition, winning in Week 1 might be crucial for the Titans because their next six games will be against teams expected to contend for the playoffs. They face the New York Jets, Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins before taking their bye in Week 5. The Titans will not be favored in any of those games. Their only hope is that because it’s early in the season, one of those teams stumbles and is still warming up.

However, after the bye week, the Titans have another opportunity to win against the Indianapolis Colts. This game is at home for the Titans against a division rival that is not exactly cemented as one of the top teams in the AFC South, opening the door for another win.

Following that, in Weeks 7 and 8, the Titans will again face two teams that will undoubtedly be in the playoff hunt: the Buffalo Bills and the Detroit Lions on the road.



Time to Steal Some Wins at Midseason

After a brutal start to the season, the Titans might have an easier stretch from Week 9 to 13. Part of the reasoning behind that is they could potentially face three more rookie quarterbacks, which still aren’t guaranteed wins.

The first game of this stretch is against the New England Patriots Patriots in Week 9. While it is still unclear who the starting quarterback will be, the third overall pick, Drake Maye, has a good chance of winning the job with the Patriots.

Similarly, in Week 11, the Titans will face the Minnesota Vikings, who drafted J.J. McCarthy 10th overall, and he is trying to win the starting quarterback job. Given that the Titans’ defense still has talent from the old coaching staff, they could make those two games interesting – as they hope to in Week 1 against the Bears.

The third rookie quarterback the Titans will face is Jayden Daniels of the Washington Commanders in Week 13. Even with the Titans being on the road, this game should be one of the few in which they are favored. The Commanders are in a complete rebuilding phase and that is shown by the talent on their roster.

The other two games during this stretch will both be on the road – against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 10 and against the reigning AFC South champion Houston Texans in Week 12. The Titans should be competitive against the Chargers, but they don’t have the star quarterback to get the win. Then, the Texans are set up to repeat as winners in the AFC South, making that matchup hard to win.



Division Games Dominate Stretch Run

Finally, the Titans’ last stretch of the season continues to get more challenging. They will close out the season against division rivals in Weeks 14, 15, 17 and 18. Given that the Titans will not be in the running for the AFC title and the other three teams might be, it will be harder for them to pull off upsets.

The Titans will face the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14 and 17. The Jaguars will try and avoid another late-season collapse like they did last season to lose the AFC South. In the Jaguars’ path in trying to win the division, beating the Titans twice late in the latter half of the season will be essential.

Then the Titans will face the Colts in Week 16 and the Texans in the season’s finale. If the Titans’ opponents are healthy in both games, they will be outmatched. While the Titans had home-field advantage in the first meeting with the Colts, they won’t have that in the second game.

The one team the Titans will face in the final five games of the season that isn’t in their division is the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Callahan was the offensive coordinator for the Bengals, which could make this game enjoyable, but Cincinnati is a playoff team and the Titans will not be able to match its talent.

Season Predictions: Playoffs not in Cards.

With the talent on this roster and two tough stretches in their schedule at the start and end of the season, it makes sense they have the highest odds of winning the AFC South. It also makes sense that their NFL odds to make the playoffs are set at +400 and -600 to miss it.

This season for the Titans will be difficult, and they likely won’t make the playoffs, but there is at least some talent. That could complicate betting on their over/under, set at 5½ games.



Questions Of The Day

What are the Titans odds of making the playoffs?

The line is set at +400 for the Titans to make the playoffs, giving them a very low chance of making it, while having the highest odds of winning the AFC South.

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