The Tennessee Titans emerged out of nowhere Sunday to complete a trade for Julio Jones, sending a 2022 second and fourth round utilize to Atlanta for one of the vital league’s most proficient receivers. A genius deal in its simplicity, Jones goes to a playoff team ready to rob the subsequent step and assemble a serious push for the Grand Bowl, while Atlanta will get future belongings and sends Jones to a team they gained’t play this upcoming season.
Trading Jones used to be silent the sinister switch for Atlanta, however the team found themselves between a rock and a laborious feature, particularly after Jones went viral when Shannon Sharpe chilly-known as him on Undisputed and had Jones, on are residing TV, verify that he wanted out so he may possibly play for a contender. It accelerated the timeline for a deal, and can have doubtlessly hurt what the Falcons will have bought in a trade — but what’s done is done.
Julio to the Titans may possibly be the recreation-altering switch of the off-season.
An 11-5 team in 2020, the Titans have each and every bit the potential to assemble a Grand Bowl. Benefitting from playing in one of football’s weakest divisions affords them a head originate, but most modern moves by the entrance feature of enterprise had been nothing fast of wonderful.
This all products and services on Ryan Tannehill, who freed himself from Adam Gase’s osmotic stench in Miami and modified into a backup feature into becoming one of the vital fully quarterbacks within the NFL. Pairing Tannehill’s accuracy with the league’s fully working again in Derrick Henry resulted in fast success, and having a Pro Bowl receiver in AJ Brown used to be the icing on the cake.
On the different hand, as we’ve now seen for two successive seasons, lacking a second high-tier receiving possibility has been the Titans undoing. In 2019 the Chiefs had been in a position to private Henry within the AFC Championship recreation, retaining him to 69 speeding yard and bracketing Brown to the level the place a then-second option Corey Davis needed to be the gigantic title — an very not probably assignment against Kansas Metropolis’s juggernaut offense.
Then, within the 2020 playoffs we noticed a identical refrain, this time within the Wild Card round. The Ravens knew their path to victory used to be stopping Henry and bracketing Brown. All any other time, it worked. The Titans misplaced 20-13, ending their season in identical model for the second straight 300 and sixty five days.
This in actual fact save Tennessee at a turning level, heightened by No. 2 receiver Corey Davis leaving in free agency for the Jets. Believed to be in on a serious round receiver within the NFL Draft, the Titans went in a diversified direction, solidifying their secondary — and taking depth receivers later within the draft.
As constructed, this team used to be not going to grab a championship. Julio Jones adjustments all that. You now have the proper Tannehill, with two 1,000 yard, Pro Bowl receivers — and the fully working again in football to boot. The dual deep threats of Brown and Jones will force groups to present defensive backs again in coverage, but how attain you space up that, and silent save a matter to to have safeties work within the sphere to quit Henry working at some level of you?
It is probably you’ll be in a position to’t, at the least on paper, and defenses will must strive and attain up with ingenious ideas to private all those weapons. Any time you quiz defenses to earn “ingenious,” you rob them out of the comfort zone, and skill to protect a watch on the tempo of the recreation — which formula, the Titans will step on the self-discipline with an help, before the first snap ever occurs.
Fetch no mistake, the freeway to the Grand Bowl within the AFC is silent fully brutal with the likes of Baltimore, Kansas Metropolis, and Buffalo lurking, but right here is silent the fully probability the Titans have had at some level of the Mike Vrabel generation.
Regardless of all this pleasure, there are some issues
To search out out about at the roster upgrades, filth your fingers off and express “job done” in actual fact ignores just a few huge elephants within the room. The principle, and most interesting, is the absence of offensive genius Arthur Smith.
Smith took over as offensive coordinator in 2019, and made the bigger impression on the team than any coach within the NFL. The 2018 Titans done 27th within the NFL in functions scored, and 25th in complete yards. Woeful numbers, propped up by the strength of the Titans protection.
In two fast seasons Smith improved those numbers to a median of 7th within the NFL in scoring and yards. The most interesting development within the league, and no doubt the motive the Falcons determined to hire Smith as their head coach earlier this 300 and sixty five days.
The hallmark of Smith’s offense used to be his genius red zone play calling. An unreal skill to name up the splendid play when it counted, and reputedly have success. We always, rightfully, discuss in regards to the brilliance of the Chiefs’ offense — but in terms of the red zone nobody compared to the Titans over the final two years. Rating 1st in 2019, and 2nd in 2020, then fully team within the identical zip code as Tennessee used to be Green Bay.
It stays to be seen how the Titans will feature without Smith. There’s excessive hopes for incoming coordinator Todd Downing, who serves as tight ends coach. On the different hand, there’s motive to be a minute bit anxious too. The final time Downing served as coordinator used to be in 2017 with the Oakland Raiders, a team that used to be within the bottom-half of of the league in both scoring, and complete yards.
In Downing’s protection, the Raiders had been grappling with moderately just a few points that season, alongside side Derek Carr combating hurt for some distance of the 300 and sixty five days, but there’s silent a vital leap of religion required in hoping Downing will even be as correct as Smith.
There’s additionally some distress on the offensive line. The Titans are adept at lunge blocking off, but have struggled in lunge protection. Now, with more of a focal level being save on the passing recreation with Jones arriving, there’s going to be a need for some guys to step up on the line and assemble more of an impression. That requires a leap of religion as neatly.
That said, procuring and selling for Jones used to be silent a stoke of genius
Positive, there are issues for the Titans sharp forward. On the different hand, they gentle compared to touchdown a participant of Jones’ expertise. Without him this used to be a team poised for a serious step again, regressing extra from the AFC elite and becoming one of many correct, not colossal groups within the NFL.
Now they’re one of basically the most thrilling offenses within the NFL on paper, with a doable the supporting structures may possibly retain them again. That’s a possibility charge taking. Assuming Downing can space up the offense neatly, and the line can retain up, we in actual fact may possibly be a team ready to assemble the Grand Bowl. I don’t know if it’s probably to enlighten that sooner than Julio Jones’ arrival.