Head coach: Mike Vrabel. I used to be bemused final yr right now as a result of Vrabel barely made the highest 20 in Fantasy Professionals’ rating of one of the best NFL head coaches. And he did not make Professional Soccer Focus’ more-concentrated checklist in any respect. Possibly offended is a greater phrase for my feeling at the moment. (Although, I do not know why I might take that personally. However I digress.) The excellent news is he moved up each rankings this yr after main the Titans to the highest seed within the AFC. Doing this after dropping Derrick Henry. And in PFF’s rankings, he is behind Kliff Kingsbury(!) however forward of Sean McVay. And now I am left questioning why I am even being attentive to these lists.
I am going to simply stay with the identical level that I made final yr on this area, the place I nonetheless consider Vrabel is likely one of the greatest coaches within the NFL. He has that high quality the place, at instances, he seems like he could be completely forged because the coach on Riverdale or one thing. However he is accomplished an important job of conserving this crew collectively — particularly final yr, by accidents to numerous essential gamers.
Quarterback: Ryan Tannehill. I nonetheless consider in Tanny, even if he is coming off his roughest yr in Tennessee. In truth, he threw extra interceptions in 2021 (14) than in 2020 and 2019 mixed (13). However he nonetheless led the Titans to a 12-5 file, ending the common season on a pleasant three-game successful streak. He accomplished near 75 p.c of his passes over that ultimate stretch with seven passing touchdowns and nil picks, producing a passer ranking of 125.3. He was fairly good.
Properly, till the playoff recreation. I do know we discuss lots about how ferociously the Titans’ defensive entrance bought after Joe Burrow in that playoff loss. However the Bengals’ protection was fairly good in opposition to Tannehill, choosing him off 3 times. There may be going to be some warmth on Tanny this yr, particularly with a rookie quarterback within the combine — extra on him in a bit. Finally, I might say that Tannehill is a winner.
Projected 2022 MVP: Derrick Henry, operating again. Dude missed 9 video games in 2021 and nonetheless completed ninth in speeding with 937 yards. That had by no means occurred earlier than in NFL historical past — a man lacking that many video games and nonetheless posting a top-10 speeding complete. I imply, King Henry is an absolute machine. And let’s speak about what he means to Tannehill, who threw 11 of his 14 interceptions when Henry was off the sphere. I do know operating backs — or bell-cow operating backs, a minimum of — are an more and more uncommon breed within the NFL, however Henry remains to be a power of nature on this position.
My favourite Derrick Henry stat: He has averaged 100-plus speeding yards per recreation in every of the final three seasons. The one individual to log 4 straight? Jim Brown.