Destructive. paralyzing. Disappointing. However you choose to describe the Tennessee Titans’ historic injury woes in 2021, you probably can’t adequately describe how bad it was.
The good news is that the Tennessee Titans’ 2022 schedule is set up so that each month includes a bye week, or “mini bye,” to deal with any injury issues that may arise.
To illustrate the importance of these breaks, look at the two games the Tennessee Titans played with overtime for rest and recovery last year. In one of those games, the Titans knocked out the Jacksonville Jaguars and beat Trevor Lawrence four times.
In the other game, the Titans beat the Miami Dolphins 35-3, ending a seven-game winning streak, and Tennessee emerged as the only team to beat the Dolphins in November, December or January.
Keep in mind that I’m not including games where the Titans get an extra rest/work day, but if I were, I might include the Titans’ win over the Buffalo Bills at Monday Night Football last year to further emphasizing how much these extra rest days mean for the Titans.
Breaking down the Tennessee Titans schedule month by month
September: vs. New York Giants (9/11), @ Buffalo Bills (9/19), vs. Las Vegas Raiders (9/25)
I’m just messing around here, but technically each team gets two weeks off between the last preseason game and the first game of the season. That means the Titans have two weeks to prepare for the New York Giants and then an extra day to prepare for the Buffalo Bills.
October: @ Indianapolis Colts (10/2), @ Washington Commanders (10/9), BYE (10/16), vs. Colts (10/23), @ Houston Texans (10/30)
October should be a pretty straightforward month for the Titans with every game being played on a Sunday, but it’s a pretty big month for Tennessee. Half of their division games will be played in this five-week stretch, making it even more important that the Tennessee Titans have an extra week to make adjustments to their previous game schedule when they take on the Colts in Week 7.
November: @ Kansas City Chiefs (11/6), v Denver Broncos (11/13), @ Green Bay Packers (11/17), v Cincinnati Bengals (11/27)
It’s always nice to host Denver instead of going to Mile High, but getting ready for the Packers in a short week gets tough. The good news is that the Tennessee Titans have actually played them recently and haven’t made any major changes on offense, but there’s a reason the Packers have won more games than anyone in the last three years.
The good news is they’re the only NFC team on the schedule and the Titans get a mini bye week before hosting the Cincinnati Bengals, which should be an important game for everyone.
December-January: @ Philadelphia Eagles (12/4), vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (12/11), @ LA Chargers (12/18), @ Houston Texans (12/24), vs. Dallas Cowboys (12/29), @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1/8)
The Tennessee Titans have an easy schedule for the first three weeks of this stretch, and then things get really weird. They travel to Houston on Saturday to play Christmas Eve, then return home and have a short week of practice before playing the Cowboys.
The most interesting thing during the stretch is that the Titans are actually sneaking in an extra day of rest/practice before hosting a Thursday night game. In the past, the home team had the advantage in Thursday night games, especially when it came to unusual opponents. As such, getting an extra day off seems like an advantage given that most teams will be giving their players a day off at Christmas in Tennessee.
They then get another mini-bye before ending the season on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars. This should mean they either have more time to prep their backups to take extra snaps if the Titans want to rest the starters ahead of the playoffs, or if the Titans need to win this game to secure the AFC South, then there’s it she the mini-bye benefit.
Getting an extra break every quarter of the season is a big deal, and last year the Titans didn’t get a bye or mini-bye until December, and by then the roster was decimated by injuries.
If the Titans have a schedule like that, maybe they can give Julio Jones and Bud Dupree a little extra time earlier in the season. Maybe the offensive line doesn’t have to launch a different five-way combo literally every week.
Even if they had picked up injuries with the same frequency, those mini-byes and consistent rests would have given the receivers and running backs who pulled the Titans off the road/lifted them out of their practice team more time to understand offense, so there isn’t. It’s not a route running disaster like the Houston Texans game.
There are several ways this schedule can help the Titans, and a little help could mean the difference between a repeat as the top seed in the AFC or a narrow division win.