There was quite the revival in Nashville a year ago and it had nothing to do with the Grand Ole Opry. After winning a total of five games over the course of two seasons, the Tennessee Titans came away with a 9-7 record and just missed out on a playoff appearance. Led by quarterback Marcus Mariota, rejuvenated running back DeMarco Murray, and a solid offensive line, head coach Mike Mularkey oversaw an attack that made great strides from the previous year. Add in just enough defense from coordinator Dick LeBeau’s unit and a team that finished 3-13 in 2015 tripled its win total one season later. Still, there’s a bit of work to be done here, especially when it comes to adding more help for Mariota as well as aiding a suspect secondary.

But general manager Jon Robinson addressed both areas via free agency and the draft.

Who they have added

Thanks to last season’s trade with the Los Angeles Rams, the Tennessee Titans owned a pair of first-round picks in this past April’s draft. They used the fifth overall selection on Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis. And 13 picks later, they grab USC cornerback Adoree’ Jackson. In the third round, Mariota got two more new targets in wideout Taywan Taylor (Western Kentucky) and tight end Jonnu Smith (Florida International). Meanwhile, LeBeau’s defense was given a pair of linebacker prospects in Jayon Brown (5-UCLA), and Josh Carraway (7-TCU). In free agency, the Titans signed strong safety Johnathan Cyprien away from the Jacksonville Jaguars and two-time Super Bowl champion cornerback Logan Ryan of the New England Patriots.

Former Denver Broncos’ nose tackle Sylvester Williams was a notable pickup as well.

Biggest obstacles

If the Tennessee Titans are going to win a division title and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2008, the team has to do a much better job when it comes to facing its neighbors in the Afc South.

Over the past five seasons dating back to ’12, this franchise is a combined 7-23 vs. the Houston Texans (2-8), Indianapolis Colts (0-10) and Jacksonville Jaguars (5-5). This past year, the Titans were just 2-4 vs. their divisional foes (including a season-ending victory over the AFC South champion Houston Texans) while Mike Mularkey’s team was an impressive 7-3 vs.

the rest of the NFL. That included wins over the playoff-bound Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins. Still, until Mularkey and his club can find a way to be a lot more consistent against the teams they should know best, it’s going to be tough dethroning the Texans and any other club atop the AFC South. But the Titans are certainly not that far away.

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