The Tennessee Titans would have made the NFL playoffs last year if they did not lose in week 16 to the Doug Marrone led Jacksonville Jaguars. None the less the Titans have not made the playoffs since 2008. A revolving door of coaches and quarterbacks have not helped the situation in Tennessee. However, fans should be excited for the 2017 version of the Titans.
For starters, the Titans have a legitimate up and coming quarterback in Marcus Mariota. A rushing attacked led by Demarco Murray, who had the third most rushing yards in the league last year. Throw in recently acquired top five pick, wide receiver Corey Davis, and you have a special group forming in Tennessee.
However the real improvement came on the defensive side of the ball. The Titans surrendered 269.2 passing yards per game last year, good for 30th in the NFL. The team clearly saw the problem and addressed their holes during the off season. The Titans added versatile cornerback Logan Ryan, who was the 16th ranked CB in the NFL last season according to ProFootballFocus. Johnathan Cyprien is another addition coming off a great year where he ranked seventh at the safety position. The Titans also drafted defensive back, Adoree’ Jackson in the first round of last month’s draft to cap off their revamped secondary.
More importantly the Titans did not lose any key pieces in the off season. With a new and improved secondary combined with a healthy Mariota the Titans are looking great going into the season.
If you watched any of ESPN’s broadcast of the 2017 NFL Draft, you felt the electricity in Philadelphia come through your screen. The Philadelphia Eagles came into the summer with the goal of winning their first playoff game since 2008. After the moves made by the front office this summer, the team is on their way to accomplishing that goal.
The Eagles offense may have found their quarterback of the future in Carson Wentz but the offense still lacked proven weapons. The Eagles attacked the problem head on when they signed wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Jeffery provides Wentz with an established number one receiver on the outside with a huge catch radius. Smith is a speedster that can get over the top of the defense in a hurry. Combine those two with Jordan Matthews and the Eagles have a solid receiving corps to work with. Much improved from the unit that ranked 24th in the league with 224 passing yards per game last season.
The recent signing of running back LeGarrette Blount gives the team a powerful short yardage back to compliment Darren Sproles. All the offensive signings look to be smart value additions to a unit that lacked a true threat last year. Overall the team looks a lot better on paper but time will tell if these additions prove to be better on game day.
Out of the teams mentioned in this article the Los Angeles Chargers have the most experienced quarterback in veteran Phillip Rivers. Last year the team held leads in 15 out of 16 games, showing that this team does have talent. To be quite honest this might be one of the most talented five win teams in NFL history. However, the Chargers still were unable to reach the playoffs for the third straight year.
This off season the team’s main focus was offense. The Chargers emphasized protecting Rivers, who was sacked 36 times last season. The team signed veteran left tackle Russell Okung to shore up Rivers blindside. In last month’s draft, the Chargers selected two interior linemen in Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney. Lamp and Feeney look to be immediate plug and play options this season for the squad.
The Chargers drafted a brand new target for Rivers in, former Clemson Tiger, wide receiver Mike Williams. The 6-foot-4 target will pair with Keenan Allen to give the team a dangerous one-two punch outside the numbers. Add wide receiver Tyrell Willaims, who went over 1,000 yards last year, and former second round pick, tight end Hunter Henry, and you have a dangerous group of weapons at Rivers disposal.
Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who was responsible for one of the most feared defenses in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks, was added to change the defensive culture. Throw in defensive rookie of the year, Joey Bosa, and this team looks ready to contend for a playoff spot.