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Scouting Report: In-depth look at Week 1 opponent


The 2022 NFL season is finally here and it's time to look at the Giants' first opponent – the Tennessee Titans. NFL teams change so much from year to year that it is difficult to look at last year's performance as a guide for what will happen in 2022.

When the Titans have the ball…

1. The Titans' offense will still begin and end with Derrick Henry. Henry played only eight games last year after suffering a broken foot. He was leading the league in rushing when he suffered the injury and averaged 117 yards per game even though he ultimately fell short of 1,000 rushing yards.

According to Pro Football Focus, Henry finished the season with 22 rushes of 10+ yards and 33 forced missed tackles. The Titans had the sixth-most rushes of 10+ yards last season. Thanks in part to Henry's presence, the Titans were the second-best team in football on third- and fourth-down attempts of one yard, converting at 83%. The Titans' rushing attack also made them the fifth-best red zone team in the NFL, scoring touchdowns at 64%.

It is the second year for offensive coordinator Todd Downing, who replaced Arthur Smith when the latter departed to become head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. According to PFF, the Titans ran outside zone nearly twice as much outside zone as any other run concept with 221 regular season attempts last year. The Titans were also an extremely heavy first down run team, rushing on a league-leading 61.5% of 1st-and-10 snaps.

2. The Titans completely re-vamped their receiving corps this off-season. AJ Brown, Julio Jones, Anthony Firkser, three of the top four players on the team in receptions last year, have moved on. The Titans used the draft pick they received in the AJ Brown trade with the Eagles to draft Treylon Burks, a similar big-bodied receiver with big-play potential. He should excel on contested catch opportunities down the field. He also has the speed to win over the top, and the physicality to be elite breaking tackles and gaining yards after the catch.

The Titans acquired Robert Woods from the Rams for a 2023 sixth-round pick. Woods tore his ACL during a practice in November but is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. Woods caught 90 passes for the Rams in 2019 and '20 and had consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in '18 and '19. Before his injury in 2022, he had 45 catches for 556 yards and four touchdowns. Woods is also considered one of the best blocking receivers in football.

Austin Hooper arrives after playing two seasons with the Browns to replace Anthony Firsker. Hooper had consecutive 70-catch seasons and Pro Bowl selections for the Falcons in 2018-19. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and rookie Kyle Phillips from UCLA (a Cole Beasley type) will be the team's primary options in the slot.

3. The Titans will also have a new-look offensive line. Ohio State rookie and third-round pick Nicholas Petit-Frere beat out Dillon Radunz for the starting right tackle spot to replace veteran David Quessenberry. Veteran guard Roger Saffold is no longer on the roster, which will elevate Aaron Brewer to a full-time starter at left guard. He started five games last season.

Ryan Tannehill returns for his fourth season with the Titans. He finished last season completing 67.2% of his passes for 3734 yards, 21 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The Titans used mostly a short passing game last year. The only completed 35 passes of 20+ yards last year, which was the second-fewest in the NFL. The Titans only had a quarterback rating of 64.7 on passes thrown more than 20 yards downfield.

Keys for the Giants defense

*Slow down Derrick Henry on early downs.

* Tackle well in the secondary to prevent long Henry runs and yards after the catch

* Make Ryan Tannehill uncomfortable

View photos of the projected Week 1 starters for the Tennessee Titans based on their unofficial depth chart.

When the Giants have the ball…

4. Fourth-year defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons headlines a returning defensive line unit that is very stout. Simmons, a 2019 first-round pick, had a breakout year rushing the passer in 2021. He finished the year with career highs in sacks (8.5) and quarterback hits (16). At 6'4 and 305 pounds and only 25 years old, he is going to be an elite player at the position for a long time. Fellow defensive lineman Denico Autry returns after finishing the 2021 season with nine sacks and a team-high 18 quarterback hits. They are formidable.

No team allowed fewer than the Titans' 31 rushes of 10+ yards last year. They were the fourth-best team in the league in preventing third-down conversions on attempts of more than 6 yards (17.6%). They were sixth overall on third down at 36.7%.

The Titans suffered a catastrophic injury at practice last week, losing starting edge rusher Harold Landry III for the season with a torn ACL. Landry led the team with 12 sacks last season and also had 22 quarterback hits. Bud Dupree will be two seasons off of suffering a torn ACL after finishing with three sacks in 11 games in 2021.

The Titans are likely to use a committee approach to replace Landry, including 2021 fourth-round pick Rashad Weaver and 2018 undrafted free agent and Toledo product Olasunkanmi Adeniyi. They have 2.5 career sacks between them.

The Titans only blitzed on 22% of their snaps last season, which was the 24th-highest rate in the league. The Titans only managed pressure on 30.5% of opposing pass plays last season, which ranked 26th. They finished with 43 sacks (tied for ninth).

5. The Titans have a young but very talented secondary. 2020 second-round pick Kristian Fulton and 2021 first-round pick Caleb Farley will be the starting outside cornerbacks. 2021 third-round pick Elijah Molden and 2022 second-round pick Roger McCreary can play inside and are very capable backups. Last season, the Titans allowed 60 completions of 20+ yards, which was the sixth-most in the league.

Tennessee fields one of the best safety duos in the league. Kevin Byard is coming off a Pro Bowl and All-Pro appearances in 2021, after also making both teams in 2017. He finished last season with five interceptions, 13 passes defended, and two forced fumbles. A 2019 fourth-round pick, Amani Hooker had an interception and four passes defended in 12 games last season. Both players will play deep or closer to the line of scrimmage.

The Titans finished 10th in pass yards allowed per games last season. They are primarily a single-high safety team in man-to-man and zone, but they mix in some Cover-2 and Cover-4.

Keys for the Giants' offense

* Don't allow the Titans defensive front to dominate 

* Make big plays through the air against single-high coverages

* Stay out of third-down situations, especially long ones, as much as possible

View photos from practice as the Giants prepare for the season opener against the Titans.

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