As we head towards training camp and the preseason, we are going to take a look at each of the Detroit Lions opponents for the 2016 season. We continue our preview with the Lions’ Week 2 opponent: The Tennessee Titans.
It's never good when the highlight of your team's season comes in Week 1, but that's exactly how it felt for Tennessee Titans fans in 2015. The Titans opened up the season with a huge 42-14 blowout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road, then proceeded to lose 13 of the next 15 games. By the end season, the Titans were dead last in what was likely the worst division in football.
But the outlook is still bright for the floundering franchise. Marcus Mariota enters his sophomore season in the NFL with some positive vibes after a somewhat successful rookie year. Additionally, the Titans traded out of the No. 1 pick in the draft and absolutely stockpiled draft picks. In all, the Titans took 10 players in the 2016 NFL Draft, including five in the first 64 picks.
Are the Titans poised to turn things around quickly, or will it take time to fix massive franchise problems? Here's a look at the 2016 Tennessee Titans (Thanks to Music City Miracles for the info):
2015 record: 3-13
Matchup with Lions: Week 2 in Detroit
Line: Lions by 5
Last meeting: 44-41 (OT) Titans (2012)
Notable free agent additions: C Ben Jones, WR Rishard Matthews, S Rashad Johnson
Notable free agent departures: S Michael Griffin
Trades: Acquired RB DeMarco Murray
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies: OT Jack Conklin, OLB Kevin Dodd, RB Derrick Henry
Biggest offseason addition: RB DeMarco Murray
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: Can the Titans make "exotic-smashmouth" an effective way to score points in 2016? They are committed to power football. The NFL has moved to a pass happy game. Defenses are playing more and more nickel and dime. The Titans think they can take advantage of this by going with a power lineup.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: [Defensive coordinator] Ray Horton moved on this offseason. That leaves Dick LeBeau as the man calling the shots on the defensive side of the ball -- most people thought LeBeau was calling the shots last year. It turned out he wasn’t. How much different will the 2016 version of the defense look?
Notable injuries heading into training camp: Second-round pick Kevin Dodd had foot surgery in May. He is supposed to be ready for camp. Derrick Morgan is also still recovering from shoulder surgery.