NASHVILLE – The Titans wrap up the 2023 preseason on Friday night at Nissan Stadium against the New England Patriots.
Here’s a look at six things to watch in the contest:
Titans Coach Mike Vrabel opened the door to the possibility of starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill getting a series or two in the preseason finale, and the hunch here is we’ll see it happen. But for exactly how long, well, that remains to be seen. After that, Malik Willis figures to get even more work after starting the first two games of the preseason. And while it would be great to get Will Levis some snaps, does it really make sense if he’s not completely healthy?
First Team O-Line
Priority No.1 for these guys will be to make sure Tannehill doesn’t get hit, or hurt. Also a priority for the starting group: Build even more chemistry and cohesion heading into the regular season. The starters – LT Andre Dillard, LG Peter Skoronski, C Aaron Brewer, RG Daniel Brunskill, and RT Chris Hubbard – have worked in the first two preseason games, and this will be their last chance to jell before September 10.
We haven’t seen most of the defensive starters in the preseason, but this seems like the time to get some guys who haven’t played some work. While I don’t think this will include all the starters, I suspect we’ll see more than we’ve seen. On the offensive side of the football, I don’t need to see running back Derrick Henry or receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the preseason to know they’re good, but I wouldn’t mind seeing others get in more of a groove.
I also think the Titans need to see kicker Michael Badgley make some kicks, and this game will provide a big opportunity for him. After giving young kickers Caleb Shudak and Trey Wolff a shot, the Titans released them earlier in the week and signed Badgley. With other kickers scheduled to hit the market next week, Badgley has a chance to make a case for why he should be the guy to start the season.
Vrabel also mentioned the possibility of getting outside linebacker Harold Landry some work against the Patriots, and assuming that happens, the game will give Landry a chance to shake off some rust. Landry hasn’t played in a game since 2021, after he suffered a torn ACL leading up to last season. Landry said he feels great in his recovery, and even a few snaps would give him a chance to build even more confidence.
Roster Spots Up for Grabs
For some Titans, tonight’s game will be their last. All NFL teams must trim from 90 to 53 players by Tuesday, and the reality is some players won’t get another chance. But for others, tonight’s preseason finale provides one more chance to prove to the team they belong. It’s a big game for those battling for roster spots across the board, and it’s always fun to see the veterans root for the youngsters in the second half.