Tennessee Titans schedule takeaways:
- Julio Jones will make his Titans’ regular-season debut in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals, a game featuring two of the NFL’s best wide receivers.
- Tennessee plays 12 consecutive games, receiving its bye in Week 13.
- Of the 17 games on the Tennessee Titans schedule this season, 13 will be played on CBS in the early slate.
The Tennessee Titans put their fans on a roller coaster ride last season, but still reached the NFL Playoffs. As we look ahead to the 2021 season, this roster still puts the Titans in a great position to compete for the AFC South.
Tennessee’s biggest issues last year was its defense, a group that could never get penetration in the backfield. As the year went on, quarterbacks picked this secondary apart and shootouts made Derrick Henry an afterthought. Thanks to an active offseason, the Titans should be able to play their brand of football more often this year.
Tennessee Titans schedule predictions, roster outlook
Our Titans’ season predictions are based on the projected roster, following the Julio Jones trade.
- QB: Ryan Tannehill
- RB: Derrick Henry
- WR: Julio Jones, AJ Brown, Josh Reynolds, Dez Fitzpatrick, Cameron Batson
- TE: Anthony Firkser, Geoff Swain
- Defense: No. 20 in our NFL defense rankings
Let’s dive into our Titans’ predictions for the 2021 season and examine every matchup on their 17-game schedule.
Tennessee Titans preseason schedule
|Friday, Aug. 13||@ Atlanta Falcons||7:00 PM||WKRN|
|Saturday, Aug. 21||@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers||7:30 PM||WKRN|
|Saturday, Aug. 28||vs. Chicago Bears||7:00 PM||WKRN|
This season the NFL is lowering the amount of preseason games to three per team, and instead expanding the regular season to 17 games, rather than the traditional 16 games.
Week 1 – vs. Arizona Cardinals
|Sunday, Sept. 12||1:00 PM||CBS|
The 2020 version of the Titans might get blown out by the Arizona Cardinals, even at home. But it’s still asking a lot for a secondary with two rookie cornerbacks (Caleb Farley, Elijah Molden) to hang around with Arizona’s passing attack. Kyler Murray will buy time against Tennessee’s pedestrian pass rush and with the Cardinals’ defensive strength in the front seven, they’ll have the edge on both sides of the ball.
- Week 1 prediction: Titans 34, Cardinals 28
Week 2 – @ Seattle Seahawks
|Sunday, Sept. 19||4:25 PM||CBS|
There are going to be teams that the Titans simply can’t match up with. Seattle boasts an outstanding duo at wide receiver, a pairing that Tennessee’s secondary stands little chance of stopping. Fortunately, Seattle’s defense isn’t exactly a strength and that should take this game to the wire. But playing at Lumen Field, formerly CenturyLink Field, the Seahawks likely pull this one out.
- Week 2 prediction: Seahawks 31, Titans 27
Week 3 – vs. Indianapolis Colts
|Sunday, Sept. 26||1:00 PM||CBS|
The AFC South will almost certainly come down to the two head-to-head matchups between these two clubs. Both rosters are built a little differently, with each club having advantages at different spots. But playing at home with the superior quarterback, running back and receiver, we give the edge to the Titans.
- Week 3 prediction: Titans 34, Colts 31
Week 4 – @ New York Jets
|Sunday, Oct. 3||1:00 PM||CBS|
The New York Jets are starting to get back on track, but their defense is going to be awful. A 300-yard, multi-touchdown game from Tannehill and 100-yard performances from Brown and Henry seems like a very predictable outcome in this one.
- Week 4 prediction: Titans 34, Jets 20
Week 5 – @ Jacksonville Jaguars
|Sunday, Oct. 10||1:00 PM||CBS|
Playing in Jacksonville isn’t going to be the friendly experience it used to be. This team is generating more fan support and there will be more peaks for this franchise in 2021 than we’ve seen in recent years. But the Titans are years ahead of the Jaguars, leading to another double-digit victory.
- Week 5 prediction: Titans 27, Jaguars 17
Week 6 – vs. Buffalo Bills
|Monday, Oct. 18||8:15 PM||ESPN|
If you’re looking for a high-scoring affair, this season’s matchup between the Bills and Titans should deliver. Both teams don’t have an elite pass rush, which is dangerous against offenses like the ones they will each face. Playing in front of a big crowd might give Tennessee a boost, but the better team and top talent usually come out on top.
- Week 6 prediction: Bills 38, Titans 34
Week 7 – vs. Kansas City Chiefs
|Sunday, Oct. 24||1:00 PM||CBS|
The Titans have hung around in games with the Kansas City Chiefs before, but this is different. Even with Tennessee’s additions to the front seven, the moves Kansas City made to upgrade its offensive line are superior. Patrick Mahomes will have a clean pocket a lot more this season and in matchups like this one, he’ll dominate.
- Week 7 prediction:Chiefs 38, Titans 28
Week 8 – @ Indianapolis Colts
|Sunday, Oct. 31||1:00 PM||CBS|
It would be quite surprising, barring injury, if the Titans and Colts didn’t split their regular-season series. They are just two evenly-matched teams and that makes for entertaining football, especially when we get to watch some of the NFL’s top 100 players.
- Week 8 prediction: Colts 27, Titans 24
Week 9 – @ Los Angeles Rams
|Sunday, Nov. 7||8:20 PM||NBC|
The Los Angeles Rams are going to be a different team with Matthew Stafford. Before his arrival, the defense was capable of winning games on its own and that became a theme of the 2020 season. With a Pro Bowl quarterback now leading this offense, the Rams are a Super Bowl contender and simply better than the Titans.
- Week 9 prediction: Rams 23, Titans 17
Week 10 – vs. New Orleans Saints
|Sunday, Nov. 14||1:00 PM||CBS|
New Orleans is entering a transition period, one that will result in flashes between a playoff contender and a five-win team. The loss of Drew Brees isn’t as concerning as this defense losing multiple starters and role players due to salary-cap woes. Fortunately for Tennessee, it is in a much better position this season and that should result in a convincing victory.
- Week 10 prediction: Titans 27, Saints 17
Week 11 – vs. Houston Texans
|Sunday, Nov. 21||1:00 PM||CBS|
It’s the biannual Derrick Henry game. Facing the worst team in the NFL, it would be a surprise if Tennessee’s All-Pro running back didn’t rush for 170-plus yards in this matchup. Houston has never shown the ability to stop him, with Henry averaging 6.09 yards per carry against this defense.
- Week 11 prediction: Titans 38, Texans 10
Week 12 – @ New England Patriots
|Sunday, Nov. 29||1:00 PM||CBS|
Bill Belichick is better than anyone at neutralizing his opponent’s best player. We didn’t see that as much in 2020, but he added the arsenal on defense to accomplish it in 2021. The Patriots will control time of possession, keep Derrick Henry off the field whenever possible and could do just enough to secure a home victory.
- Week 12 prediction: Patriots 24, Titans 20
WEEK 13 BYE
Week 14 – vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
|Sunday, Dec. 12||1:00 PM||CBS|
It’s going to take AFC South teams some time to adjust to the Jaguars having a good quarterback. Trevor Lawrence will exploit the mistakes Mike Vrabel’s defense makes, especially with an underrated receiving corps. But the Jaguars don’t have quite enough depth or overall talent on the roster to beat the Titans.
- Week 14 prediction: Titans 31, Jaguars 20
Week 15 – @ Pittsburgh Steelers
|Sunday, Dec. 19||1:00 PM||CBS|
Tennessee made some solid additions this offseason, both through the NFL Draft and via free agency. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh could be taking a step back on both sides of the ball. Tannehill and A.J. Brown will attack this secondary, Derrick Henry will take over in the fourth quarter and the Titans should secure a road win.
- Week 15 prediction: Titans 34, Steelers 27
Week 16 – vs. San Francisco 49ers
|Thursday, Dec. 23||8:30 PM||NFLN|
It won’t be long before the San Francisco 49ers are a Super Bowl contender, but they aren’t quite there yet. Running the football won’t be easy against this defensive front, but A.J. Brown can help stretch the field to help make life a little easier for Henry. Ultimately, the Titans might have just enough talent to pull out a victory against a good, young team.
- Week 16 prediction: Titans 21, 49ers 17
Week 17 – vs. Miami Dolphins
|Sunday, Jan. 2||1:00 PM||CBS|
If Tua Tagovailoa makes the huge second-year leap, the Miami Dolphins are a Super Bowl contender. But he’ll likely still deal with bouts of inconsistency in 2021 and the Titans’ plan will center on running the football down the Dolphins’ throat. With the help of a healthy offensive line, Tennessee can pull out a victory.
- Week 17 prediction: Titans 24, Dolphins 20
Week 18 – @ Houston Texans
|Sunday, Jan. 9||1:00 PM||CBS|
Derrick Henry is counting down the days until he faces the Texans’ front seven. He makes 200-yard games look easy, perhaps they are when you face Houston. Something tells us this will be a game that makes fantasy football managers and Titans fans very happy.
- Week 18 prediction: Titans 28, Texans 13