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Giants' 2022 Week 1 Opponent Preview: Titans

The Giants will get a big test right out of the chute when they face the defending AFC South champion Tennessee Titans on the road in Week 1.
Additional Reporting by Patricia Traina

The New York Giants will open the season on the road against the Tennessee Titans, an AFC opponent, for the first time since 2001, when they lost in Denver, 31-20. Last year, they lost to the Broncos, 27-13. They also fell to Pittsburgh, 26-16, in 2020, and Jacksonville, 20-15, in 2018. All three of those games were in MetLife Stadium.

 This will be the first time the Giants open the regular season against the Titans (previously known as the Houston Oilers) since a 34-14 victory against the Oilers in Yankee Stadium on September 16, 1973.

Titans' 2021 Record

12-5, first in AFC South (lost to Cincinnati in wild-card playoffs)

Regular Series Record: Tied, 6-6. 

The teams have split their last two meetings after each had five-game winning streaks in the series. The Giants won their first five games against the franchise that played in Houston prior to 1997 and was known as the Oilers prior to 1999.  The Oilers/Titans won the next five games and have won six of the last seven. 

The last time the Giants beat the Titans was on December 7, 2014 in a 36-7 decision played in Nashville. Running back Andre Williams rushed for 131 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown, quarterback Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass to Odell Beckham, Jr., and kicker Josh Brown kicked five field goals to contribute to the win.

Last Meeting

Week 15, December 16, 2018, MetLife Stadium, Titans 17, Giants 0. 

Titans running back Derrick Henry loaded the Titans on his back, rushing for 170 yards and two touchdowns, one in the first quarter and one in the third quarter. Titans kicker Ryan Succop capped the Titans scoring of the day with a 22-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. That was the last time the Giants were shut out in the regular season.

Titans Key Additions

Treylon Burks, WR; DaShawn Hand, DE (FA); Austin Hooper, TE (FA); Roger McCreary, CB (draft); A.J. Moore, S (FA); Demarcus Walker, DL (FA); Malik Willis, QB (draft); Robert Woods, WR (trade)

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Titans Key Losses

 A.J. Brown, WR (trade); Jayon Brown, ILB (FA); Darrynton Evans, RB (released); Rashaan Evans, ILB (FA); Anthony Firkser, TE (FA); D’Onta Foreman, RB (FA); Jackrabbit Jenkins, CB (released); Julio Jones, WR (released); David Quessenberry, RT (FA); Rodger Saffiold, LG (released).

Offseason Grade: C 

GM Jon Robinson once again navigated a difficult salary cap situation with the release of several key veterans. Robinson also avoided any in-season contract drama with the trade of Brown to the Eagles during the first round of the draft.

There are serious questions about whether the Titans effectively filled the holes in their roster. There are no obvious replacements for Saffold and Quessenberry, who were fixtures on an offensive line that allowed too many sacks. 

The only proven wide receivers on the roster are Woods, who is on the mend from reconstructive knee surgery during the second half of last season, and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, an undrafted rookie in 2020 who has 41 career receptions.

Burks, the 18th pick in the draft, was alternately limited or unavailable for on-field work throughout the offseason because of issues with asthma. That comes after 2020 first-round pick Isaiah Wilson was cut after one forgettable season and 2021 first-round choice Caleb Farley contributed almost nothing because of injury issues. — David Boclair, All Titans

Biggest Question

Who is going to be quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s go-to guy on the outside? 

Brown was Tennessee’s leading receiver in each of his first three years in the league, and it was clear how much Tannehill trusted him. Westbrook-Ikhine is the only one who has any kind of established relationship with Tannehill. 

Someone has to emerge from a group that includes veteran journeyman Josh Malone, 2021 fourth-round pick Dez Fitzpatrick and long-time practice squad members Cody Hollister and Mason Kinsey as reliable and productive options, particularly while Woods and Burks work themselves into the offense. — David Boclair, All Titans

Fantasy Fact

Derrick Henry rushed the ball 219 times in eight games last season before getting hurt. That pace would have resulted in a full-season total of 465 carries, which would have shattered Larry Johnson’s NFL record 416 carries (2006). Between the regular season and playoffs, Henry has a league-high 1,021 carries since 2019. That’s a ton of work. — Michael Fabiano

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