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Scouting the enemy: Tennessee Titans

Could the Broncos ride their last win and turn their season around or will the Titans slash the hopes of a midseason surge?

Tennessee Titans v Denver Broncos Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

At the start of the infamous 2020 season, the Denver Broncos took on the Tennessee Titans in Denver. The Titans' offense, led by Corey Davis and Derrick Henry, ate up the Broncos’ defense. Davis had seven catches for 101 yards and a touchdown, and Henry had a total of 116 yards on 31 carries.

That game was the NFL debut for two well-known wideouts, Jerry Jeudy and now Eagle AJ Brown, but they both had slow games. Jeudy had four catches for 56 yards and Brown had five catches for 39 yards.

Defensively the Broncos just did not have an answer for Davis and Henry; they both took over the game with Ryan Tannehill finding Davis open often.

Titans’ offseason moves

Key gains: TE Austin Hooper, WR Robert Woods, OL Dennis Daley, S Ugo Amadi, DE Demarco Walker

Key losses: WR AJ Brown, WR Julio Jones, OLB Harold Landry, LB Rashaan Evans, RB D’onta Foreman, CB Jackrabbit Jenkins, OG Rodger Safford

2021 NFL draft: round one: (18) WR Treylon Burks; round two: (35) DB Roger McCreary; round three: (69) OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, (86) QB Malik Willis; round four: (131) RB Hassan Haskins, (143) TE Chigoziem Okonwo; round five: (163) WR Kyle Philips, round six: (204) DB Theo Jackson, (219) LB Chance Campbell

Note: OLB Harold Landry is out for the year.

The 2022 NFL season for the Titans so far

The Titans currently have a record of 5-3 and sit pretty in first place in the AFC South. Their losses this season include the first two weeks where they lost to the Giants and Bills and last week to the Chiefs. Besides the Bills' loss, the other two games were both close, losing to the Giants by one and to the Chiefs by only three.

The offense is clearly led by Derrick Henry, who has 183 carries for 870 yards and nine touchdowns. The passing game is really nonexistent for the Titans, with only 1,097 yards for six touchdowns. Henry is taking over the offense completely.

Defensively the Titans are led by their excellent defensive backs. Kevin Byard is one of the top safeties in the NFL and pairing him with Amani Hooker is one of the top duos in the league, although Hooker hasn’t been healthy this year. Cornerbacks Kristian Fulton and Roger McCreary are both playing really well this year with eight PBUs between the duo. The Titans' defensive tackles both really need respect, Teair Tart and Jeffery Simmons are the best defensive tackle duo in the NFL, with nine PBUs between the pair. Simmons also has 5.5 sacks this year.

The Defense is really good from top to bottom for the Titans. It’s a really talented group.

Tanner’s three keys to victory

#1 Slow Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry has been unstoppable this season and is the main go-to guy in the Titans' offense. The Broncos will have to force the Titans to throw the ball. The wideouts in Tennessee are not really good besides Treylon Burks, and he might not play this week. So the key for the Broncos is to slow Henry down at all costs if they are going to win.

#2 Affect the quarterback

Affecting the quarterback doesn’t necessarily mean getting sacks but rushing him, hitting him, and just letting him know that you are there. If the Broncos are able to nuetralize Henry, the Titans will have to pass - and the Broncos’ pass rush is too good to not be able to affect the quarterback, whether it’s Malik Willis or Ryan Tannehill starting.

#3 Score touchdowns

The Titans are a defensive-heavy team so this will be a defensive war. If the Broncos' offense can figure out the holes in that Titans' defense and string together some scoring drives, I trust the defense to stop the Titans' offense just enough for the Broncos to win the game.

Tanner’s prediction

The game will be a defensive showdown between the Titans and Broncos. It will be low scoring and whoever finds a hole in the other team first will win the game. Henry will be the focus of the Titans' offense and the primary target for the Broncos defense. He will most likely have over 23 carries and over 100 yards in the game.

I think the Broncos start to run the ball some more during the game with the addition of Chase Edmonds at the trade deadline.

The Broncos' offense will probably struggle behind Russell Wilson, who is still having issues with the playbook, because the Titans' defense is just that good.

Tennessee 17, Denver 14.