With the regular season kicking off Thursday, we’re dusting off our earlier guides on the ceilings and floors of each team in the NFL.
Here’s what we said about Tennessee back in June. Let’s examine what’s changed:
Ceiling: 12-5 (originally 10-7)
During the last ceiling and floor exercise, the Titans hadn’t signed DeAndre Hopkins, rookie running back Tyjae Spears didn’t show he’s a very capable No. 2 running back, and the team’s pass-rush unit didn’t have Trevis Gipson or Caleb Murphy.
Spears’ emergence lessens the need for Henry to be a 1,500-to-1,800-yard back. Hopkins’ presence immediately makes life easier for Treylon Burks, who was sure to see a healthy dose of double teams in 2023 with Kyle Phillips and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine as the Titans’ next-best receivers and makes Tennessee’s passing game legitimate.
The Titans had the top run defense in the league a year ago, and much of that front seven is back this year. The team added cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting to shore up the secondary, and the pass rush should be much improved after getting Harold Landry back from a torn ACL plus the additions of Gipson, Murphy and Arden Key, who terrorized anyone in a red jersey during camp.
Tennessee’s roster as currently constructed is good enough to give the Jacksonville Jaguars a run for their money for the AFC South crown.
Floor: 7-10 (originally 5-12)
After adding Hopkins, the Titans passing offense should be better than it was last year when Robert Woods was the team’s No. 1 wideout and Burks was just a rookie. That alone could be worth adding one more to the win column.
There were seven games on their schedule that were counted as toss-ups in the last ceiling and floor exercise, but I think the moves Tennessee has made since and with how the preseason played out, that number could be cut down to five or six. The Titans are clearly better than they were in June, and their floor isn’t as low as initially believed.