Don’t expect to see many five wide receiver sets from the Tennessee Titans’ offense Sunday, at least not with five actual receivers.
Tennessee will open the 2017 season with five receivers on the active 53 man roster. Rishard Matthews, Corey Davis, Eric Decker, Taywan Taylor, and Eric Weems.
So technically that makes four because Weems is more of a return specialist than receiving threat at this point of his career.
Decker and Davis missed the preseason with injuries, so Sunday marks the first time that quarterback Marcus Mariota will play with this compliment of receivers.
That sounds like a nightmare scenario for a team that relies heavily on their passing game, but luckily for the Titans, the key components to what they do on offense are healthy and ready for the season.
Mariota had zero setbacks in his return from last year’s injury, looking as explosive as ever. DeMarco Murray is a veteran and a professional with a ton of carries under his belt. The light work in the preseason should benefit him long-term.
Back up Derrick Henry got a ton of work in Murray’s absence, and looks ready to be a heavier contributor this season.
The offensive line that opened holes for Murray and Henry in 2016 all return healthy and in tact, and their two-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker looks to be in the best shape of his career.
And let’s not forget that Rishard Matthews flourished as the Titans’ number one receiver last season with less talent around him…even if Davis and Decker are a little rusty coming out of the gate.
The heart and soul of last year’s smash mouth success will be on the field Sunday, with an entire week of preparation and game-planning under their belt.
And as long as that’s the case then the Titans should believe they have enough to beat Oakland, even if the receivers are not a big part of the game plan.
They’ve certainly won that way in the past.