Did the Titans hit rock-bottom last season or can they fall any lower? We make some bold, outlandish predictions on the 2015-2016 prospects of the Tennessee Titans, complete with NFL picks.
Where Do the Tennessee Titans Go?
If the NFL operated like most soccer leagues around the world, they would have been demoted into second-tier obscurity by now. Forced to earn their way back into top flight the hard way, through graft in the lower leagues where life isn't so glorious and each day is a dogfight.
Fortunately for them that isn't the case. The Titans finished at the bottom of the NFL with a 2-14 record, were outscored 254-to 438 and closed the season with a run of ten straight losses. And we get the pleasure of their hapless participation to look forward to, come what may, for another gruelling 16-week season. Whoopie.
Let's hope they at least play watchable football this season. They picked up rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota, got a favorable NFL schedule that ranks 26th and boasts a 0. 435 winning percentage and are simply desperate to turn things around.
It remains to be seen what the Titans will look like in 2015-2016. By the NFL odds, the prognosis is appropriately cautious with season win totals projected at 5.5. Crucially, the UNDER is trading at -125 at Bovada Sportsbook and William Hill while the OVER is trading at +120. That is telling.
So, with such watered down expectations placed on the Titans in the coming season, we make some bold predictions of our own, served up with handy NFL picks.
1. Season Specials: Any Team To Go 0-16 SU
The 2008 Detroit Lions are the only team to date to finish a regular season with a humiliating 0-16 SU record. That it's only happened once in the history of the game proves just how hard it is to accomplish such a dubious honour. The Raiders came perilously close to matching the 2008 Detroit Lions, save for a crucial win over Kansas City in week 12 that snapped a run of 11 straight losses to kick off 2014.
Across the board, NFL odds are trading for any team to go 0-16 SU with the YES a tempting +3300 NFL pick. If there's one team that fits the bill, one has to consider the Titans are it. No?
This isn't a slight against Marcus Mariota at all. He's a great talent that could develop into a really good quarterback in the league. But rookie quarterbacks rarely make a mark in their first term. More often than not they need time to develop and mature, if not they go bust and quietly slither out of the league. In the case of the Titans, though, the NFL odds are stacked against him simply because of the team's makeup. From top to bottom the team as a whole strikes the least convincing pose in the NFL. So if a team is going to go 0-16 SU, we're hanging our hat on the Titans taking the honours.
2. Lowest Scoring Team
Another category that fits the bill is to emerge as the lowest scoring team in the NFL. The Titans were amongst the lowest scoring teams last season with just 254 points scored. Jaguars took the cake with just 249 points scored while the Raiders came in second with 253 points. Of these three, we're banking on the Titans to continue struggling in 2015-2016, if not take a step back. True, they have the No.2 draft pick in Marcus Mariota but he can't score points alone, can he. Hence, we recommend taking the Titans at +650 to finish the regular season as the lowest scoring team.
3. Regular Season Points Scored
Continuing on this pessimistic vein, we're looking at the Titans regular season point total projected on the NFL odds board. OVER 295 at +163 seems a touch ambitious. The 246-295 Inclusive range feels better at +170 and is the likeliest NFL pick. But the UNDER 246 trading at +180 is the boldest of all these NFL picks.