The NFL is a league filled with parity. Gone are the days of one team winning every season. This year, the Tennessee Titans became the first team in NFL history to win 15 games in a single season. With the Super Bowl coming up, we take a look at the repercussions of this historic season.
The Repercussions Of A Record-breaking Season
One of the biggest differences between this year and last year is how teams are performing in the playoffs compared to the regular season. In 2018, teams were resting players and preparing for the regular season. Now that the season is over, they are peaking at the right time and looking like real contenders.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, teams like the Titans have had a lot of recent success and are only getting better. They have one of the most formidable offenses in the league. And with the additions of Corey Davis and Dion Lewis, they have a very promising running duo.
In the coming weeks, they will be tested in the post season as they look to secure a spot in the Super Bowl. Let’s take a look at the retirement options for this historic team.
What Do The Options Look Like?
With the regular season over, a lot of focus can now turn to the offseason and free agency. One of the biggest issues for the Titans heading into the offseason was the uncertainty surrounding the future of star running back Derrick Henry. Would he be back for another season? Would he be going elsewhere to play?
While the answer to the first question was clear — yes, he would be back — the answer to the second question remained somewhat murky. Henry was an integral part of this historic season and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him become one of the top free agents in all of sports. However, the Titans had no interest in trading their star running back. And with the addition of Lewis, they don’t really have any need for a running back.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel was clear about Henry’s importance and made it known that he didn’t want to lose him. Vrabel is also the type of coach that doesn’t like to overreact and make hasty decisions. He wants to keep his options open and let things settle down. In the coming days and weeks, Henry should have no trouble finding a new home. And for that matter, so should Davis and Lewis (assuming they both make it to free agency).
What About The Rest Of The Team?
While the players on the field are getting plenty of attention, the coaching staff deserves some credit as well. Much like the season, the offseason is filled with question marks. Offensive coordinator Arthur Smith has a very clear vision for how he wants to build this team, but it’s unclear how much input head coach Mike Vrabel will have in the coming days and weeks.
The biggest question mark surrounds the safeties. While Adoree’ Jackson and Michael Griffin have had decent years, they aren’t the type of players that will blow anyone away. Both are solid ballhawks that tackle well and give good support to the secondary. But the team hasn’t had a true number one since Kerry Rhodes in 2011. Jackson and Griffin aren’t the type of players that will fill that void. This team needs a safety that can step in and start immediately.
On the other side of the ball, the linebackers are also a focus of this offseason. Vrabel and company are looking for a long-term solution at the linebacker position and will likely address the spot in the draft or free agency. While they don’t necessarily need to find a starting linebacker, they can’t afford to sit still either.
On the defensive front, Derrick Morgan and Jayon Brown are the two biggest names that will be sought after by multiple teams. Both players are very effective at stunts and drops for the defense and are valuable pieces. But they aren’t the type of players that will bring that singularity teams are looking for. The Titans will be looking to cash in on the pair in the coming days and weeks. Other names to keep an eye out for include Christian Wilkins and Nick Bosa. Both players have flashed plenty of potential and could be the future at the position for the team.
This year has been a story of two seasons. In 2019, the regular season was a carbon copy of Henry’s phenomenal season. Only this time, it was the defending champions that won it all. And in 2020, the offseason has been just as exciting. With the draft coming up, teams are looking to make big moves. And with the retirements of Davis and Lewis, the Titans will have an opportunity to remake themselves. While the future is still unclear, it’s never good to look backwards. We should all be happy that this year has been special.