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2017 Tennessee Titans Schedule: Full Listing of Dates, Times and TV Info

Posted on April 21, 2017 at 12:40 AM

By Adam Wells

Expectations are high for the Tennessee Titans in 2017 after posting a winning record for the first time in five years last season.

With a 9-7 record in 2016, the Titans had the same record as the AFC South champion Houston Texans but missed out on the tiebreaker thanks to a 2-4 record in the division. It was still a year of tremendous growth for the franchise, surpassing its win total from the previous two years combined.

An exciting nucleus of talent led by quarterback Marcus Mariota, an elite offensive line and running back DeMarco Murray has brought optimism back to Titans fans. The AFC South hasn’t had a division winner with more than nine wins in each of the past two seasons, so the opportunity is there for Tennessee to knock the door down.

Here’s the schedule Tennessee will go up against in 2017, released by NFL.com, and a look at what lies ahead for the team this season.

Analysis

Mariota’s development has been particularly impressive considering the Titans’ inability to find and develop wide receivers to help take advantage of his passing skills.

Prior to the start of last season, Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus ranked Tennessee’s receiving corps as the NFL‘s sixth-worst.

“The Titans do need someone to step up at receiver, though,” McGuinness wrote. “Kendall Wright has shown flashes in the past, but didn’t impress last year, and it wound up being rookie Dorial Green-Beckham who led their wide receivers with 549 yards (Green-Beckham now with Eagles).”

Rishard Matthews did show positive signs, ranking as the NFL’s most improved deep-ball receiver with 11 receptions on passes at least 20 yards downfield, per Pro Football Focus (via ESPN.com).

The Titans also need to get better at the cornerback position after allowing the third-most passing yards last season. They did sign Logan Ryan away from the New England Patriots as a free agent, slotting him into the position primarily occupied by Perrish Cox in 2016.

Another receiver and cornerback would go a long way toward solidifying the Titans as strong playoff contenders next season, but they are firmly in the mix for an AFC South title. Mariota threw for 3,426 yards and 26 touchdowns despite having a limited set of outside playmakers to work with.

It also helps Mariota to have the running back tandem of Murray and Henry, who combined for 1,777 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. Offense won’t be hard for the Titans to come by next season, and adjustments on defense will make this group lethal.

Pivotal Matchups

The biggest obstacle between the Titans and the postseason last year was a losing record within the division. An embarrassing 38-17 defeat against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16 was particularly egregious, knocking them out of the playoffs.

Those are the kinds of games that teams wanting to be thought of as legitimate contenders need to win with ease. It did shine an unfortunate light on how much growth the Titans still needed, but it was also impacted because they were swept by the Indianapolis Colts.

Just one win in any of those three games would have pushed the Titans into the playoffs. They can’t afford to give away these critical division matchups because they will eventually come back to bite you late in the season.

Other out-of-division litmus test games include home contests against the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders. When the Titans were starting to figure things out last season, they beat up on the Green Bay Packers 47-25 in Week 10.

Every breakout team has that signature win during the regular season to make sure the world knows things will be different. The Raiders opened last year with a come-from-behind road win against the New Orleans Saints en route to winning 12 games.

The Titans can establish themselves as a budding force in the AFC if they are able to knock off a team with the kind of clout carried by the Seahawks or Raiders.

John Breech of CBSSports.com notes the Titans’ strength of schedule is tied for the second-easiest in 2017. Their slate of games includes matchups against the Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers.

While it can be dangerous to assume wins in the NFL, if those three games are checked off for the Titans, it only takes seven more to make the postseason based on the recent history of the AFC South.

Read more NFL news on BleacherReport.com

Via: http://prod-br-app-s3.brenv.net/articles/2698245-2017-tennessee-titans-schedule-full-listing-of-dates-times-and-tv-info