Marcus Mariota threw for 2,800 yards and 19 majors during his rookie season but he was also sacked 38 times, something the Titans hope to improve on in 2016
Wins were few and far between for Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans but Mariota looked solid during OTAs and he’ll have a much better support staff in 2016, starting with first round draft pick, Jack Conklin.
LAST YEAR’S RECORD & 2016 NFL FUTURES
Win-Loss: 3-13 SU and 6-10 ATS
Over/Under: 7-6-3 O/U
Noteworthy: The Titans were one of three teams last season to lose at least seven games by a margin of 14 points or more (Browns; 49ers).
Conklin is already booked as the starting right tackle and the Titans also brought in fifth-year O-Lineman Ben Jones (Texans) to start at center. Mike Mularkey held onto the head coaching position after replacing Ken Whisenhunt midway through 2015, and he and Titans O-Co Terry Robiskie plan to simplify the offense, leaning more on the run game while Mariota develops chemistry with his receiving corps. Fifth-round pick Tajae Sharpe is getting attention and the Titans signed WR Rishard Matthews from Miami to start opposite Kendall Wright.
The run game looks better with DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry and Dexter McCluster and after averaging just 19 points per game last year, there is nowhere else to go but up. One of the problems for the Titans the past few seasons is that they’ve lacked counter-punch, going just 1-16 SU (4-13 ATS) following a game where they scored 14 points or less. Dick LeBeau takes over the defense and although his squad has question marks, they’ve drawn a relatively good schedule during the first-half. It buys LeBeau some time but things heat up around Week 10 (Packers) and there are few soft spots from that point on.
TENNESSEE TITANS BOTTOM LINE: “UNDER” THE RADAR
The Titans open at home against Minnesota and then travel to face a Lions team that finished last season strong. Tennessee is 3-0 SU/ATS in road openers the past three years, they were getting points in all three and will likely be getting more than a field goal here. As far as totals go, Tennessee has a record of 4 overs and 15 unders in its first road game of the year (2-7 O/U last nine). They scored 42 points at Tampa Bay in Week 1 last year with the Browns on-deck but next week, the Titans host Oakland in a revenge game from last year where they were burned in the fourth quarter. Watch for a good number vs. the Lions and consider booking the under in Week 2.