The NFL trade deadline has become anything but boring over the last 3+ years.
Teams across the league have gone from holding on to 1st round picks and treating them as untouchable luxuries, to trading them away and believing in the talent they receive back.
Any regard for rookies with talent that you can use those picks on?
Nope, not a chance.
That’s why the trade deadline has become somewhat of a spectacle. You get to sit back and watch these crazy mega deals go down in the palm of your hands. Refreshing your timeline, hoping you can see one last deal before the deadline ends.
It’s pretty amazing to experience.
Then all your eyes will be peeled on the new acquisitions that, due to the constant rumors of them being shipped elsewhere, made you spend large portions of your day on your phone.
Contenders with 1st round picks during the trade deadline, there’s absolutely nothing like it.
While I could go on and on about how the NFL trade deadline is just so, so addicting, we can shift our attention to teams that could always make the trade deadline crumble to its knees.
We call those teams, the middle of the pack.
Teams that are stuck with a decision to trade for assets and go all in on this year. Or trade off the assets they already have and pack it in for 2020.
The Tennessee Titans fall under that frustrating, but at the same time, optimistic category.
The Titans are 3-4, coming off a big win last Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, and looking to continue their winning ways this weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But while win is satisfying for the Titans, you have to wonder, how many more games can they win with their current problems that have made this season anything but smooth?
The offense can’t continue to rely on tight window, contested catches to bail out their offense time and time again. It isn’t efficient and it’s a good way to start the cycle of previous offense struggles all over again. Then you’re stuck with even more questions about not just the players, but the coaching staff running the offense as well.
In Arthur Smith’s case, he’s been questioned a good bit already.
Add the problem that is the Titans’ OL and you’re met with the thought that maybe a trade for an offensive lineman could go down. But the Titans need an interior offensive lineman that can make an impact right away, and those type of players tend to fetch a high price on the market.
However, the offense has looked better in one outing than it has in weeks running the kind of play action, contested catch offense. Getting your big WRs involved and allowing them to use their physicality can be a huge plus for an inconsistent offense.
This doesn’t have to be just the doing of the WRs though, you can take advantage of the athleticism of the TE position as well.
Reference to Jonnu Smith.
Alright alright, then how about the defense?
The unit is still really, really good.
It’s been stingy with points, allowing a mere 16 PPG.
It still hasn’t allowed a single opponent to score 21 points in a game this season.
The #Titans ties a franchise record by not allowing an opponent to score more than 20 points through their first seven games…last did it in 2000
— Buck Reising😷 (@BuckReising) October 23, 2019
I mean what else can we say?
It’s been the main reason the Titans haven’t completely fallen off the rails yet. While Titans fans are undoubtedly looking towards the 2019 draft for a new QB, the defense has allowed many to stick with the season instead of moving into draft mode in by week 5.
These teams have forced the highest 3 & OUT % so far this season. #GoNiners #GoPats #GoBills #Titans #Saints #Browns #KeepPounding #LARams #Bears100 #GoPackGo #BroncosCountry @gregcosell | @MattBowen41 pic.twitter.com/zJS2bOeVf8
— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) October 24, 2019
However, this defense is still lacking in dominant productivity from their EDGE rushers in terms of sacks. Harold Landry leads the team with 4, with the next best total coming from Cameron Wake with 2.5.
Now these aren’t awful numbers whatsoever, in fact, they’re good, even for a 2nd year player in Landry.
Wake’s 2.5 sacks aren’t mind blowing, but he’s been on a limited snap count since week 1 and has been hampered by injuries.
But still, these numbers need to increase a bit as the season goes on. The offense has the potential to break down and pretty much die at any point, which means this defense needs to stay on top of their game as the season continues to chug on.
Do the Titans REALLY need to add another high impact EDGE rusher?
Necessarily, they just might.
But again, due to the questions at QB, any splash move Jon Robinson might want to make just doesn’t look possible in retrospect.
So as the trade deadline nears, what large, massive impact improvements can you see the Titans making?
This roster is built to win now, but due to questions at QB, I expect Titans GM Jon Robinson to not make a huge splash move from now until the deadline. Holding on to the picks he has now could pay off huge dividends as the 2020 NFL Draft gets closer.
But Robinson has proven to be quite unpredictable at times.
Who knows what chess pieces he might move, but we know this, the time up until the deadline shall be very very interesting.
Let the games begin.
Featured photo via Andy Lyons/Getty Images