We are just over three months into the 2017 fiscal year for the National Football League. It’s safe to say we have seen plenty of player movement via free agency and trades. And in late April, a total of 253 players were selected in the NFL draft. So as teams participate in mini-camps and OTAs, we figured it was a good time to have some fun looking (and learning) at the significant numbers – both in regards to the past and the present – for each of the 32 franchises. You can play catch-up by clicking here. Now it’s time to check out the Tennessee Titans.
Over a two-season span (2014-15), the Tennessee Titans compiled a 5-27 record. This was already a franchise that had not been to the playoffs since 2008 and appeared to be headed in the wrong direction. But kudos to head coach Mike Mularkey and general manager Jon Robinson. The team was aggressive during both the draft, free agency and the trade route. It added up to a surprising 9-win season in ’16 and the look of a franchise finally headed in the right direction.
The Titans’ pass-rushing duo of outside linebackers Brian Orakpo (10.9) and improving Derrick Morgan (9) totaled just under half of the team’s 40 sacks this past season. But even those respectable numbers couldn’t prevent opposing quarterbacks from taking advantage of the Tennessee pass defense. Only the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers allowed more yards per game through the air in ’16. And the team allowed 25 touchdown passes while totaling only 12 picks. Hence the signings of CB Logan Ryan (New England Patriots) and strong safety Johnathan Cyprien (Jacksonville Jaguars), as well as the first-round selection of cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (USC).
With running back DeMarco Murray in the backfield and second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota making big-time strides, the Tennessee Titans’ attack really came into his own. One year after racking up the third-fewest yards per game in the league, Mike Mularkey’s club finished 1111 in the NFL in total offense. Murray ranked third in rushing yards, while Mariota overcame a sluggish start to finish strong. He connected for 22 TD passes compared to only four interceptions in his final 11 games before going down with a broken leg. That compared to four scores and five picks during the club’s 1-3 start. All told, Mariota threw at least two touchdown passes in 10 of his 15 outings.