NASHVILLE – The Titans’ road toward a potential seventh straight winning season, fourth straight playoff berth and third straight AFC South title begins Sept. 11 in Nissan Stadium against the New York Giants.
We’ve known who the Titans would face in 2022 for months.
But we know now that the 17-game 2022 schedule includes four prime-time contests and an early bye week (Week 6), as well as a Christmas Eve game against Houston before the Titans finish at home against Jacksonville on Jan. 8.
Here are 10 takeaways from the Titans’ 2022 schedule:
• Prime-time players – The Titans will be on national television at least four times during the 2022 season – Week 2 at Buffalo on Monday Night Football; Week 9 at Kansas City on Sunday Night Football; Week 11 at Green Bay on Thursday Night Football; and Week 17 against Dallas on Thursday Night Football. It’s the most prime-time games for the team in one season since 2009.
The Titans have won five of their last seven primetime games, and went 3-0 in primetime contests last season.
The contest at Green Bay will give the Titans a chance to do something they’ve never done – win a Thursday-night game on the road. Tennessee is 0-6 all-time away from home on Thursday nights.
• Enviable opponent – Every NFL team wants to get out of the gate with a win, and the Titans will certainly have a great opportunity to do so with a home game against the New York Giants in Week 1. The game will be the first for new Giants coach Brian Daboll, but he has plenty of challenges leading up to the Music City opener. The Giants finished 4-13 last season, a record that included six straight losses to close out the schedule. They were 1-8 on the road. Sportsbetting.ag and www.BetOnline.ag each have the Titans as a very early 6.5-point favorite.
• Wicked stretch – We’ve known for a while the Titans would face several of the NFL’s best quarterbacks in 2022. But we didn’t know Tennessee would face four in a four-week stretch. The rugged month begins when the Titans face the Chiefs’ Pat Mahomes in Week 9, and it continues with a home game against the Broncos’ Russell Wilson in Week 10, a road game against the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers in Week 11 and a home game against Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow in Week 12. Whew. Three of the four quarterbacks – Mahomes, Rodgers and Burrow – threw for more than 4,000 yards last season, and the foursome combined for 133 touchdowns versus 40 interceptions.
• Tough timing (Part One) – The Titans will face a stiff enough test as is when they travel to Kansas City for a Week 9 Sunday Night Football game. But what makes life even more challenging is the fact the Chiefs have a Bye Week in Week 8, giving one of the NFL’s most talented teams a full extra week to rest and prepare for the Titans.
• Tough timing (Part Two) -- Playing on Thursday night is tough for all NFL teams because of the short turnaround from the previous Sunday. But the road teams have even less time to prepare because they must factor travel into the schedule. That will be the case for the Titans in Week 12, when Tennessee travels to Green Bay for a Thursday night game, playing a Packers team that was at home the previous Sunday.
• Better timing – With a pair of Thursday night games in addition to their bye, the Titans will have three games in which they enjoy a long rest period between games. They host the Colts in Week 7 following their bye, and the Bengals in Week 11 following a Thursday night game at Green Bay. In Week 18, the Titans have a long week to prepare for their season finale at Jacksonville, following a Thursday game against Dallas.
Since Mike Vrabel was hired in 2018, the Titans are 4-0 following their bye and 4-0 following Thursday night games for a combined 8-0 record during the regular season. The Titans and Steelers are the NFL’s only undefeated teams during that period with nine or more rest days between games.
• Holiday greetings – One of the more anticipated games of the season is set for Dec. 4, when the Titans head north to face former Tennessee wide receiver A.J. Brown and the Philadelphia Eagles. In a stunning trade, the Titans sent Brown to the Eagles on the first night of the NFL Draft, in exchange for the 18th and 101st overall picks in the draft. With the 18th pick, the Titans selected Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks, who is expected to take Brown’s place in the lineup.
Some other familiar faces the Titans will see this season: cornerback Adoree Jackson in Week 1 against the New York Giants; guard Rodger Saffold, tackle David Quessenberry and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones in Week 2 against Buffalo; linebacker Jayon Brown and defensive lineman Kyle Peko in Week 3 against Las Vegas; and tackle Dennis Kelly in Weeks 4 and 7 against Indianapolis.
• Moving and shifting – If you enjoy a set routine as far as watching the Titans, this is not your year. Only eight of the Titans’ games are currently scheduled for Sunday noon kickoffs. There are four primetime games, three late Sunday afternoon kickoffs, one Saturday contest and the Week 18 matchup at Jacksonville, which will receive a day (Jan. 7 or 8) and kickoff time later in the season.
• Strange scheduling – It seemed a odd last season when the Titans and Colts, the teams most likely to compete for the AFC South title, played twice within five weeks and didn’t face one another after Oct. 31. But if you thought that was unusual, it gets even more strange this season. The Titans and Colts face each other twice in three weeks, and won’t see one another during the regular season after Week 7 in Nissan Stadium.
• Home-stretch happiness – If history is any indication, the Titans should be generally pleased with the last five games of the schedule. Those contests include both games against Jacksonville, a team the Titans have beaten five straight times overall – and eight straight on the road. There’s also a home game against Houston, a team the Titans have beaten in four of the last five meetings. Dallas will be a challenge, but the Titans would be considered favorites at this point. The outlier, of course, is Week 15 at the Los Angeles Chargers, when the Titans will face a team – and a region – that have always been problematic.