There’s no question that the Tennessee Titans have some games that will be more difficult than others in 2021, but as we’ve said time and again, the entire Tennessee schedule is going to be extremely difficult.
There aren’t many easy outs for head coach Mike Vrabel and Co. as the Titans face eight teams that made the playoffs in 2020, along with another five teams that are at least slightly improved.
The Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers all played until January of last season and are all among Tennessee’s 2021 opponents.
As for the roster on the Titans’ schedule that will at least improve somewhat in 2021, the New York Jets, New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers tick this box.
After recently pointing out which games are the most to win on the Titans’ schedule, now let’s take a look at the toughest games on Tennessee’s 2021 slate.
There’s no question that this is a win game for Tennessee, but this matchup is going to be a little harder to navigate than it would have been later in the season.
Not only are Arizona supposed to be improved or at least as competitive as they were last season, but the Titans will look to start the season with a win as they put several new pieces together, especially on defense.
There’s just no telling how this will go in Week 1.
One of the two games the Titans will have to travel to the West Coast to play, Tennessee will face the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2.
As if the journey didn’t make things difficult enough, CenturyLink Field is one of the toughest places to be in the NFL. Not only will the Titans fight a good team in the Seahawks, but the noise of the crowd as well.
There are some standing on the Seahawks for 2021, but any team with Russell Wilson in the middle and DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett at the receiver will be tough no matter the venue.
No division game ever seems easy, but these two competitions will be especially difficult as the Colts assume they have a good team that will bring Tennessee for their money and the AFC South crown.
Much of the Colts’ success will depend on Carson Wentz erecting the ship, but following his previous success under current Indy head coach Frank Reich, Wentz has a real chance to get his career back on track and be the MVP quarterback we only saw a few seasons ago.
That would be bad news for the Titans as the Colts are by far their biggest competitor in the AFC South. However, there is absolutely no guarantee that Wentz can do this.
The Bills are listed as one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl in 2021, which is understandable as they bring back much of the same team that made it to the AFC championship game last season.
Not only are the Bills one of the best teams in the league, they’ll have added motivation after the Titans hit them last season in a game rescheduled due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Tennessee.
Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs should give Tennessee’s redesigned approaches to defense, but the Titans should at least have the offensive to keep up with anything Buffalo’s stars spawn.
Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and the reigning conference champions (and their fans) will invade Nissan Stadium in Week 7, what we believe to be the toughest game on the entire slate in Tennessee.
The reasons are obvious: the Chiefs have the best quarterback in the NFL, several formidable weapons to throw at, and good enough defenses to complement them. As a result, Kansas City should be considered a favorite to leave the conference again.
On top of that, the Titans will have a short week as the competition takes place on a Monday night against the Bills before this one.
The Titans had success against KC in the 2019 regular season but failed to keep up with the Chiefs in the playoffs later that season. Don’t think the titans forgot about that.
The Titans’ second and final trip to the west coast will be in week 9 against the Rams, who will upgrade the quarterback at Matthew Stafford.
Head coach Sean McVay is an offensive wizard, and Stafford will only make him better. The Rams also have plenty of weapons for Stafford and their defensive figures to help them be among the best in the NFL for the coming season.
The Rams will challenge the Titans on either side of the ball in this game. Keeping Ryan Tannehill upright while superstar defensive lineman Aaron Donald chases him will be a top priority for Tennessee.
There are some who believe the Steelers will take a step backwards in 2021, and while that might be true, this team just has too much talent on either side of the ball to fall that far.
Not only will Pittsburgh launch a dangerous offensive that added a new mare rookie in Najee Harris, but its defense should be elite again after Bud Dupree’s departure for Nashville.
To make matters worse for Tennessee, this game will be on the streets and in front of a Steelers fan base who weren’t too keen on the Titans’ COVID-19 outbreak that pushed their team’s 2020 goodbye week up . The players weren’t too enthusiastic about this fact either.