Updated: Jun 28
Although Julio Jones adds even more star power to the Titans' offense, don't expect the Titans to run away with the AFC South.
All-pro WR Julio Jones is now a Tennessee Titan. He joins superstars Derrick Henry and AJ Brown in a loaded offense. With Jones' arrival, the Titans will be considered the favorites in the AFC South. The division is likely to have a captivating dynamic all year with two playoff contenders (Colts & Titans), the No.1 overall pick (Trevor Lawrence), and one disastrous franchise (Texans) who is watching it all slip away.
How much value does the 32-year old Julio Jones give the Titans anyway? According to BetMGM, the Titans were +110 to be divisional champions. The post-Jones trade odds barely jumped as the Titans are now an equal value bet with the Colts to take the AFC South crown at +105. Various things can explain the minimal jump in odds after receiving such a talented player.
Titan success the past couple of years was due in large part to their all-time leading rusher Derrick Henry and former offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, who left town and is now the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.
While the Titans added Julio Jones, they lost former OC lost Arthur Smith. Todd Downing is the new OC after spending the past two seasons as the TE coach in Tennessee. Downing spent 2017 as the OC for the Oakland Raiders.
Derrick Henry before Arthur Smith as OC (2016-2018)
Most yards in a season: 1059
Derrick Henry with Arthur Smith as OC (2019-2020)
Most yards in a season: 2027
The 2020 Titans rushed the ball 521 times. This accounted for over 50% of their total offensive plays. With the Raiders, Downing was criticized for his lack of play-action usage. This will be a scheme that Downing will need to take advantage of with the talent he has available.
Opposing teams will need to decide to either put an extra man in the box to coral Henry or an extra DB on the field to cover Jones and Brown. Both options leave the defense vulnerable.