The Seattle Seahawks welcome the defending AFC South champion Tennessee Titans to town on Sunday. It’ll be Seattle’s first regular season home game in front of fans since the end of the 2019 season, and it should be an even more raucous atmosphere than normal.
Seattle got a W over Tennessee’s division rival Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, whereas the Titans were trounced by the Seahawks’ division rival Arizona Cardinals at home.
What happened to the Titans last week? And what should we know about them before Sunday’s kickoff? Jimmy Morris from Music City Miracles is here for our first 5 Questions and 5 Answers of the regular season. Check them out!
1.) Apart from Taylor Lewan getting completely owned by Chandler Jones, what in the world happened against the Cardinals? Almost nothing about that game was competitive.
Well a couple of things. On offense, Lewan wasn’t the only one that was terrible. The entire offensive line couldn’t get a push all day long. They weren’t able to establish Derrick Henry early and then the game got away from them. Then they couldn’t pass block. Oh, and Julio Jones dropped passes and committed a terrible penalty. It was a joy to watch!
On defense, they aren’t very good. We are hoping that they end up being better than they were last year, but I don’t have a lot of confidence in that after week 1. It didn’t help anything that Kyler Murray played out of his mind. Even on the plays where they were able to get to him, he was able to make a crazy play. Again, such a fun Sunday!
2.) Which side of the ball had a more discouraging showing in your view? The offense may have been held to 13 points but the defense was shredded for 38 points and gave up over 400 yards, and it was the defensive side of the ball that was supposed to be retooled for improvement in the offseason.
It was the offensive side of the ball without question. They did retool the defense, but I still don’t expect them to be that good. If they can just be a middle of the pack defense we will all be thrilled. The offense is supposed unstoppable after what we saw the last two years and the addition of Julio. They looked like a disaster on Sunday. If they can’t be a top-10 unit it is going to be a really long season. The thing that probably has us the most nervous is the fact that Sunday was the first game with Todd Downing as offensive coordinator. Arthur Smith, who called the plays the last two years here, is now the head coach in Atlanta. This offense “has too much talent to fail.” Well, that wasn’t the case in week 1.
3.) I’ll reveal to you, Field Gulls readers, and MCM readers who are on Field Gulls today that the Titans are my AFC pick to make the Super Bowl. It was but two years ago that the Titans were 2-4 and then turned that into an AFC Championship run. Last year you won the AFC South but lost to Baltimore in a pretty winnable game. What are the expectation levels for this team from the Titans fanbase?
Same as you. This team has a “Super Bowl window” that closes when Derrick Henry inevitably falls off that running back clip. Now, he is Superman so it will take longer for him than most running backs, but we all know that Father Time is undefeated. That’s why the move to bring in Julio was a no-brainer for this team. He is at the end of his career, sure, but he should have a couple of good seasons left in him. This year and next year are the two best shots they are going to have to win a Super Bowl for a while. It’s obviously not off to the start we all hoped for...
4.) Purely from a depth standpoint, which position do you believe is the strongest part of this Titans team? And how well do you think they matchup against Seattle?
Before last week I would have said receiver. They have a rising star in A.J. Brown and Julio. They also signed Josh Reynolds in free agency. Until they made the move to get Julio, it looked like they were happy with Reynolds as the #2. Now, Reynolds struggled in camp. We think it was due to injury, but he was inactive last week so whatever he has going on is still there.That should be a really good group if everyone is healthy.
Other than that, they aren’t really deep at any position. The offensive line is supposed to be the strength of this team. They have a lot invested in that group. If this team is going to do anything this season, that unit is going to have to figure out a way to be about a million times better than they were on Sunday.
5.) Can you tell us some under the radar players on the Titans roster that Seahawks fans should know about?
Watch second-year corner Kristian Fulton. He was a second-round pick in 2020. The team had really high hopes that he would step in and play right away but his 2020 season was derailed by injuries. He looked good in camp and was one of the few players that played well on Sunday. He will, of course, have a really tough match-up this week. I am excited to see how he handles it.
The other guy is tight end Anthony Firkser. He has had some big games in the past, mostly when Jonnu Smith was out of the lineup. Smith is in New England now. Firkser isn’t the greatest blocker in the world but can be an asset in the passing game. He didn’t get going on Sunday. That will need to change going forward.
Thanks to Jimmy for answering my questions! You can read my responses to his Qs over at MCM.