Should the Houston Texans fear the Tennessee Titans in 2024?

The Tennessee Titans are apparently a team the Houston Texans should not overlook.
Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

Heading into the 2024 season, the AFC South pecking order is pretty clear. The Houston Texans are the team to beat, for obvious reasons. They're the reigning divisional champions from the 2023 season, had the best offseason on paper, and took an already great team and made it better. They have all the pieces to repeat and go deeper into the postseason. It's pretty clear they're the top dogs.

The Jacksonville Jaguars looked fantastic early in the 2023 season, but they would eventually fall apart and allow the Texans to bypass them in the standings. They were still a solid team, but for whatever reason they could seem to win a game down the stretch. Most of their roster is back for another year, but they did try to make some improvements to help deter another collapse.

The Indianapolis Colts were also in the hunt for the AFC South in 2023, but a change at quarterback has many wondering if they can repeat that success. Anthony Richardson may have started for the team as a rookie, but he got injured and replaced by future Pro Bowler Gardner Minshew. He did a great job leading them to a winning record. He's gone now, and Richardson has to prove he can repeat the success that Minshew had with relatively the same team.

Then there's the Tennessee Titans, a team that no one expects to compete for the AFC South, but a team that Pro Football Focus is suggesting they not be overlooked. The team lost Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry in the offseason while firing their head coach Mike Vrabel. They replaced Tannehill with second-year quarterback Will Levis. They replaced Henry with Tony Pollard, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys. Then they replaced Vrabel with Brian Callahan. Essentially three unknown commodities in their new roles.

The Titans did add Calvin Ridley, who had 1,000 yards with the Jags in 2023, but little else of note. Yet, the folks at PFF still think they're a team to look at. The working theory from the website is that, while not a playoff contender, they're expected to be better than fifth-worst in the league. That's a tall order as Callahan is in his first year as a head coach anywhere. A jump that DeMeco Ryans made look all too easy.

Callahan will have his very famous father Bill Callahan to help him out. The elder Callahan is known for his offensive aptitude, as well as his ability to coach up offensive lines. Yet, the team was a dumpster fire last year and not much has changed with the talent added. A turnaround is possible, just not likely at this stage in the game.

You could say they're not the fifth-worst team in the NFL, but what's the difference of a spot or two? The Titans are still likely to be a bad team this season.