Bleeding Green Nation’s game-by-game preview of the Eagles’ 2018 schedule continues today with Philadelphia’s Week 4 opponent: the Tennessee Titans. (Week 3 preview is here).
The Eagles’ game against the Titans marks back-to-back weeks against AFC South foes. Unlike the Colts, though, Tennessee wasn’t a total disaster last year. They had their issues, make no mistake, but a number of their failures could be attributed to Mike Mularkey being a bad head coach. He was fired despite the fact the Titans pulled off a comeback win on Wild Card Weekend to advance to the AFC Divisional Round.
With Mularkey out, the Titans hired Mike Vrabel to take his place. Offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur will call offensive plays for Tennessee. That could be significant. With LaFleur coming off a year working with Sean McVay in 2017, he should bring more creative ideas to the offense than Mularkey offered. Maybe LaFleur can unlock former future Eagles legend Marcus Mariota.
Speaking of the devil, this game marks the first time the Eagles will be facing off against the player many once thought would be their franchise savior back when Chip Kelly was around. Chip was reportedly willing to give up a ton to get him. It worked out that the Eagles didn’t do that deal and went up to get Carson Wentz the next year instead.
The Titans aren’t overly threatening but they might not be a total pushover, especially at their own stadium. This might qualify as a (gasp!) trap game with an NFC Championship Game rematch looming the next week.
Here’s a more in-depth look at the Titans from our SB Nation colleagues over at Music City Miracles.
Notable free agent additions: CB Malcolm Butler and RB Dion Lewis
Over / under: 8 wins - Give me the over. The Titans won 9 games last year with a disaster of an offensive coaching staff. You will see a completely different Marcus Mariota this year with an offense from this century. The defense now features an elite secondary with the addition of Butler and a good pass rush with the addition of Harold Landry.
Rookie I’m most excited about: Harold Landry. He would have been a top 15 pick if he had come out after his junior season. He went back to school and got hurt, but he is going to be the steal of the 2018 draft.
Best position battle heading into camp: Left guard is really the only position battle the Titans have. Quinton Spain is the incumbent and will probably win the job, but he might struggle in the new zone blocking scheme. The Titans brought in Xavier Su’a-Filo and Kevin Pamphile to compete for the spot.
Biggest storyline heading into camp: Mariota in the new offense. So many people are down on Marcus after his struggles in 2017, but he was coming off a terrible injury and playing in an antiquated offense. I have zero reservations on Mariota and cannot wait to see what he does with Matt LaFleur calling the plays.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into camp: Do they have a third receiver? Everyone is high on Corey Davis and Rishard Matthews. Those two are solid, but there are a lot of questions behind him. They hope 2017 third-round pick Taywan Taylor can be that guy, but he struggled last year. I am willing to give everyone of offense a pass for last season because of how terrible the scheme was (you might be noticing a theme here). Taylor needs to step up early in camp and prove he can be the slot guy.
Notable injuries heading into training camp: All-Pro RT Jack Conklin is still rehabbing from a torn ACL in the playoff loss to the Patriots.
Do you think the Eagles will beat the Titans?
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