Thursday, November 4, 2021

Tennessee Titans Week 9 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Tennessee Titans rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 8.6 (8th)
  • Best ranking: 5th (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 13th (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 9 roundup for the Titans in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 8

Biggest Achilles' heel: Kickoff return

Entering training camp, the Titans were excited about having Darrynton Evans make an impact as a kick returner. That never happened as Evans suffered a knee injury and was placed on injured reserve before the season even started. Evans was activated and added to the 53-man roster last month only to end up on injured reserve once again, which ended his season. Chester Rogers, Marcus Johnson, Cameron Batson, Jeremy McNichols and Evans have all gotten a shot to return kicks. Through eight games, the Titans are averaging 17.3 yards per kick return, tying the Dolphins for the worst in the NFL. -- Turron Davenport -- Rank: 9

On Sunday, the Titans grinded out an overtime win over the rival Colts that gave them total control of the AFC South. Then ... disaster struck. On Monday morning, it was reported that Derrick Henry will be sidelined 6-10 weeks after foot surgery. Henry's importance to the Titans is incalculable: Everything they do drives through the All-Pro running back, and there are sure to be questions about his extreme usage and how that might have played a role in his injury. Can the Titans still win their division without Henry? Given their cushion and the company they keep, yes. Will they remain a viable Super Bowl contender going forward? Hard to see it.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 5

They basically locked up the division halfway through the season by beating the Colts, which is a good thing since Derrick Henry is likely gone for the year. Now comes a real proving game against the Rams.

USA Today -- Rank: 13

They've clawed their way to the AFC's best record. Unfortunately, without injured All-Pro RB Derrick Henry, it won't last. Tennessee has banked enough equity to hang on for another AFC South crown but hard to view this team as anything more than a one-and-done playoff squad.

The Athletic -- Rank: 8

How's the head coach? The Titans -- at 6-2 and in command of the AFC South -- remain an embodiment of their coach, Mike Vrabel. The problem is that they just lost running back Derrick Henry to a foot injury, potentially for the season, and he's the main reason this team has been able to play as Vrabel wants. Does any of this still go when Henry isn't there to carry it?

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