It’s been 96 games since Mike Vrabel and the Two-Toned Blue have found themselves in this position. The Titans have officially been eliminated from playoff contention, and the questions surrounding this Tennessee team continue to pile up. Will Vrabel be around next year? What about the future of Derrick Henry? Who finishes the year at quarterback for this Titans team? All questions that have become at the front of fans’ minds now that dreams of Lombardi are off the table.
One thing is clear for the 2023 Titans. None of those questions are on their mind.
“Be ready to play fast and aggressive. … Be ready to win.” That was Mike Vrabel’s message to the media and his message to the locker room this week as the Titans are set for a Christmas Eve matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. For our full preview of the game, check out The Hot Read Podcast!
Here are 10 stats that you need to know for Titans-Dolphins in this week’s Titans Ten:
1. Milestones at Nissan
The Titans will once again play at home for their faithful fans for the 7th time this season. It will also be a historic milestone for the Titans as the game kicks off. The Titans will play their 200th game ever at Nissan stadium this weekend, looking to improve on their 114-85 record at home.
2. Titans Better Against the NFC
While the Titans season has been a lot of disappointment, Mike Vrabels squad has historically had success against opponents from the opposing conference. Since 2018, the Titans have the fourth best record against the opposite conference, positing a .654 win percentage during that span. The Seahawks have also found success against the AFC, posting a .600 win percentage during the same span
3. Dawgs to Become Favorites on the Road
The Titans find themselves in a familiar place in the eyes of Vegas, as the Two-Toned Blue began the week as +2 point home underdogs. With the uncertainty at quarterback for the Titans, the line has moved to +3.5 in favor of the Seahawks
The Seahawks are coming off a comeback win against the Philadelphia Eagles where they were home underdogs themselves. Teams to go on the road and be favored after winning at home as underdogs in the 20 years have gone 205-240-6 ATS.
4. Get the Ground Game Going
The Titans last week struggled mightily to get anything going in the run game. This week the Titans will once again try to establish the run against the Seattle subpar run defense. If Vrabel and his squad cannot find success, it may spell trouble for the Titans.
The Titans are just 15-20-1 ATS the game after the offense cannot eclipse the 100 yard mark. The Titans will have to find themselves apart of the lesser 42% to win this Sunday
5. Titans Seeking Elusive 30 Points
Through 15 games in the 2023 season, the Titans are still just averaging 18.4 points per game. With Seattle and their electric playmakers coming to town, the Titans could be in trouble if the Seahawks get off to a hot start.The Titans have now gone 33 games without scoring 30 points. It’s the longest active streak after the Giants broke their 43 game streak back in Week 12.
6. Second Half Struggles
One of the biggest reasons the Titans have found themselves eliminated in 2023 is the lack of production by the offense in the second half. The Titans are currently averaging 7.8 second half points per game, good for 28th in the league.
The inability to keep up with teams has been a sticking point for this team, and it’s been a bettors gold mine in the last eight games. The Titans are just 1-7 both straight up and against the spread. Tim Kelly’s offense will once again try to buck that trend against a Seattle team with high scoring potential
Defensive Stars Step Up (2 stats here ⬇️)
While the Titans have struggled on offense down the back half of the season, the defensive group has been excellent, leading the league in red zone defense, as well as getting to the quarterback early and often.
7. Old Man Autry
Despite the Titans’ woes, a bright spot on the defensive side of the ball has been pending free agent Denico Autry. Despite his 33 years of age, Autry has only continued to improve in his game, including a two sack performance last week against the Texans. Since Week 12, Autry’s five individual sacks is tied for the fourth most in the league. Autry has also outproduced stars such as Nick Bosa and TJ Watt in that span. If the veteran can continue pace, Autry is in line for a substantial contract this off-season.
8. Harold Landry is Back
Harold Landry’s reemergence as a premier edge rusher was one that could have been predicted, barring a little more patience. Landry struggled early on in the season due to his ACL injury suffered in the season prior. As with many players, it takes a few games to return to form after a big time injury like Landry’s. Now, Landry is back to his old self and playing better than ever. Landry’s three and a half individual sacks over the past 3 games has been much needed, and now Landry will look to move up the franchise record books. Landry needs just half a sack this week to become the 11th player in franchise history with 40 career sacks.
9. A Wideout Mismatch
The Titans’ secondary will once again be in a clear mismatch against Seattle’s playmakers. Between veterans DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, as well as a budding star in Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the Titans will have their hands full.
In the 2023 season, the Titans secondary has allowed 175 receiving yards per game, good for 5th worst in the league. Seattle’s main attack has come through the air, where the Seahawks average 171.5 yards per game, good for the 9th best.
10. The Prince Who was Promised, Promised Again
One of the biggest surprises of the 2022 draft class has been Chig Okonkwo, who has had a bit of a sophomore slump. Between a fall off in production and a problem with drops, Okonkwo’s second season hasn’t quite lived up to the high expectations.
However, in the past three weeks, Chig has looked like his old self, wracking up 11 receptions for 144 yards. Okonkwo only trails the young Arizona star Tre McBride for most receiving yards for tight ends of the 2022 class. It’s safe to say Okonkwo has a bright future still in the league.