The Tennessee Titans have posted five straight winning seasons, reaching the playoffs in three of them and earning an AFC Championship Game berth in 2019.
They'll now look to keep rolling in 2021 after winning the AFC South for the first time since 2008.
Tennessee experienced more turnover than usual this offseason. Of note, wide receivers Corey Davis and Adam Humphries, tight end Jonnu Smith, right tackle Dennis Kelly, cornerbacks Adoree' Jackson and Malcolm Butler and safety Kenny Vaccaro are no longer with the team.
New additions include edge-rusher Bud Dupree, wideout Josh Reynolds, cornerbacks Kevin Johnson and Janoris Jenkins, defensive lineman Denico Autry and offensive tackle Kendall Lamm.
On the coaching staff, offensive coordinator Arthur Smith left for the Atlanta Falcons to be their head coach. Tight ends coach Todd Downing was promoted in his place. Outside linebackers coach Shane Browning was promoted to defensive coordinator.
Tennessee retains some of its most important pieces, including head coach Mike Vrabel, quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Derrick Henry, wide receiver A.J. Brown, left tackle Taylor Lewan, defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons and edge-rusher Harold Landry.
In the draft, Tennessee added standout Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, offensive tackle Dillon Radunz and linebacker Monty Rice, among others.
The Titans have tough competition in the AFC en route to hopefully making the Super Bowl for the first time since 1999, but they're locked and loaded for another playoff run.
They'll have to run through the 17-game regular-season gauntlet first, though. That slate was released Wednesday, and here's a look at how everything breaks down.
Titans 2021 Schedule
On paper, the AFC South looks like a two-horse race between the Indianapolis Colts, who also went 11-5 last year, and the Tennessee Titans.
The Colts are a formidable foe, although it remains to be seen whether their trade for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who struggled mightily before being benched in December 2020, works out for the team. They also lost left tackle Anthony Castonzo.
Tennessee should ultimately be favored for the Jags and Texans games, and showdowns with the Colts also loom.
This isn't a particularly easy slate, though. The Titans face West Coast trips to match up with a couple of 2020 playoff participants in the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks. They'll also welcome the AFC Championship participants in the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills.
Outside the division, every one of the Titans' opponents went 7-9 or better last year. Regression could be on the way, but then again, the Titans offense can simply take over games if the Big Three of Tannehill, Henry and Brown stay healthy and the offensive line continues to excel.
Obviously, the two Colts games should be paramount over anything else. Both teams will look different in 2021, with Wentz taking over for former Colts quarterback Philip Rivers and numerous faces changing for Tennessee on both sides of the ball.
But even if both teams regress, they're still the top two teams in the division, and the AFC South winner is going to the playoffs. The Colts-Titans matchups could well decide the division's representative.
Otherwise, the Titans' matchups against the Chiefs and Bills, who figure to be the ringleaders for the AFC crown, stand out. Wins over those two teams could be the difference between a good season and a great one. The Titans could be in position to land the AFC's No. 1 seed with victories in those games as long as they take care of business otherwise.
If not, the Titans will likely be finding themselves in the Wild Card Round provided they can win the division or sneak in as a wild-card team.
The Rams and Seahawks games are ones to watch as well.
Los Angeles looks like a Super Bowl contender with quarterback Matthew Stafford joining a team that made the NFC divisional round last year. Seattle still has 2020 NFL MVP candidate Russell Wilson, superstar wideouts DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, All-Pro safety Jamal Adams and more returning from a 12-4 team that won the NFC West.
Tennessee might be an underdog in both games, but wins against those two teams would be huge confidence boosters.