22 Crazy Ass Predictions for the NFL Season
Picking the Super Bowl champs, MVP, impact rookies, DVOA leaders, more
The Niners-Garoppolo about-face is the latest reminder that preseason predictions are folly. Too many unknowns will emerge between now and January – injuries, quarterback-coach fallouts, firings, inexplicable slumps, a star wide receiver stripping to his underwear and star jumping all the way to retirement.
Predictions are also fun! It’s useful to comb new rosters and league trends to suss out things that could happen over the next five months. You’re mostly going to be wrong, especially on ultra-specific calls, but it’s a good way to take in the wider NFL landscape and hazard some educated guesses.
So, here are 22 predictions for the NFL season.
1. The Baltimore Ravens win Super Bowl
Let’s get the big one out of the way. This is a head and gut situation. My head says to bank on one of the Bills, Rams or Chargers, the teams with the most complete rosters in the league that also have the highest levels of quarterback play. My gut is leaning toward the Ravens.
Hear me out: The Ravens' 2021 season was driven into a ditch by injuries. A healthy Ravens roster in 2022 has everything: explosive plays on offense; malleability on defense; an MVP candidate at quarterback; a kicker who can decide close playoff games.
(Plus: When you tie yourself to the flagpole that 2022 is ‘the year of the pistol’, how can you not look to the team with – by far – the highest pistol rate in the league ever since Lamar Jackson arrived in the NFL.)
The Ravens can shapeshift week-to-week, on both sides of the ball, a necessary requirement not just to navigate through the regular season, but to be able to match up with more talented squads in the postseason.
I’m buying all your Rashod Bateman stock. And, in an era when defenes are self-imposing light boxes and shifting styles on the back end to eliminate play-action shots run from under center, it makes sense to bet on an offense tailor-built to crush such looks. Baltimore’s brand of smashmouth-spread football is ideal for the moment, so long as Greg Roman can show something new in the passing game.
The lingering question: Do the Ravens have enough juice upfront? And, if not, can a team zone-pressure its way to a title in 2022? Baltimore will expect Odafe Oweh to take a step forward in year two. He finished his rookie season with 49 total pressures, including five sacks, ten hits and 34 hurries. Convert a handful of those hurries into hits, and that should be just enough to anchor a pass-rush – Baltimore’s beleaguered group finished 18th in pressure rate last season.
Growth from Oweh combined with health on the back end (and all those fun, zooming secondary pieces) should be enough to push this year’s crop closer to the top-ten, crossing the pressure threshold needed to compete for a title.
2. Matt LaFleur is the coach of the year… and the Packers finish in the top-five in offensive DVOA
When in doubt, side with Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers. LaFleur has shown throughout his time in Green Bay that he’s willing to find simple solutions to complex problems. So, the defense is backing up to add depth to prevent deep shots? Let’s chuck a pseudo-punt return to Davante Adams. Defenses overloading a crucial portion of the field with layered zones? How about we swamp one side with four eligible receivers, all up on the line of scrimmage?
You can dig deep into how the Packers will go about trying to replace Adams. They most certainly will not be able to replicate his usage or output, neither with a standalone receiver nor in the aggregate. But the answer feels perilously simple: They’re going to run the heck out of the ball, hope to craft openings through play design, take shots off play-action, and bet on the artistry of Rodgers to create in the second phase in order to generate some extra explosives.
It's not an overly sophisticated answer. But it is an answer. And it’s an answer I’m willing to bet succeeds. Rodgers has (rightly) received a ton of praise for his back-to-back MVP performances and, with Adams now in Vegas, it will be LaFleur that comes under focus. If he can keep the Packers hovering around the top-five mark in the most crucial metrics, the campaign for Coach of the Year will be over before it’s even begun – no matter how endearing Dan Campbell is.
3. Aaron Rodgers takes a not-so-subtle, passive-aggressive shot at management when Odell Beckham re-signs with the Rams
It’s in his blood. He can’t help it.
4. This is not Tom Brady’s final year… but it is his last season in Tampa
Let’s call whatever is going on with Tom Brady ‘peculiar’. Sometimes, for a 45-year-old, as he says, there is just ‘a lot of shit going on, man’. The grumpier Brady looks at the podium, the more puzzling it is that he decided to return in the first place. And then you remember he played at an MVP level last year. And you remember that he spent the run-up to his ‘retirement’ trying to engineer a move away from the Bucs.
Brady might take up the FOX job that he’s signed on for one day. But it won’t be next season. My best guess is that he does exactly what he did when he moved to Tampa: He canvasses the market for the best spot to win a title – Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia – and keeps the championship train rolling.
5. The Colts romp to the AFC South title… fielding a top-ten offense in EPA per play and explosive play rate
The more I dig through the Colts offense, the more excited I become. As noted recently, the only real concern with this roster is the depth at receiver. There could be a scenario in which Michael Pittman misses time, the offense bogs down, Matt Ryan is unable to play the role of creator, and things grind to a halt.
But who wants to live in that head space? Instead, let’s reflect on the fact that Frank Reich finally has all the ideal pieces in place: A bruising (if sometimes flaky) offensive line and run game; the ideal pieces at wide receiver (detailed here); the perfect, high-IQ floor general in Ryan, someone who can get everyone organized and pepper the efficient parts of the field.
The Colts were effective last year, but with Carson Wentz at the helm, they weren’t always polished. Matt Ryan is a 6-4 jar of polish.
The Colts run game will dip this year. It has to. Last year’s production was in a different stratosphere than the rest of the league. But the drop in on-the-ground output will be offset by a quarterback who will minimize risk and a cohort of giant receivers who will frazzle the minds of defensive coordinators – how Reich aligns and uses bigger-bodied wide receivers creates matchup chaos for opposing DCs; now he has three of them.
Health will be an issue. Indy needs its top-line playmakers to be on the field all season long. Any injuries to the receiver room, and the drop in talent is precipitous. But so long as Ryan, Reich, Pittman, Pierce and Taylor are upright, this offense has a chance to be great.
6. Mike McCarthy is fired in-season
Last year’s playoff collapse should have probably spelled the end for McCarthy in Dallas. It was all that’s wrong with McCarthyism come to life: the bewildering time management; making life too difficult for a great quarterback.
McCarthy is less of a bozo than his reputation suggests. He’s a smart coach who often jumps on the next evolutionary train before other coaches have spotted it on the timetable. He excels at the big-picture stuff, at knowing when and where to adapt his offense, and what is needed to maximize the players on his roster.
The downfall: The execution and details; his stubbornness once he’s pursued a path. The former is why he’s so beholden to his assistants. McCarthy doesn’t call plays on gameday. He doesn’t have autonomy over the gameplan. In Green Bay, he struggled to articulate the ‘why’. Because I said so, dammit!
McCarthy is a long-term strategist who distils ideas, then he gets out of the way to let others figure out the particulars.
At the start of a run, that’s great: McCarthy’s big-picture ideas are often sound. As things move along, as problems present themselves, when big calls need to be made in the moment, he goes missing.
Last season felt like the end of the McCarthy-Cowboys cycle. He nailed his two coordinator picks, with help from above. The team dominated the regular season on both sides of the ball. They were dripping in superstar talent in every position room. And it still wasn’t enough to squeeze by a good-not-great Niners team in the postseason, mostly because of McCarthy’s refusal to adapt the offense down the stretch, Dak Prescott’s banged-up calf, and brutal clock management.
Can you point to any single area where the Cowboys are improved this season over last year?
The defense will regress back to the mean. They’ve lost star talent and depth. Quality depth and quarterback play are how you win in 2022; the Cowboys have one, not both. Last year’s defense ranked tops in DVOA, fueled in large part by an overwhelming pass-rush and unusual turnover luck. At any given moment, they had two of the best pass-rushers walking the Earth on the field: DeMarcus Lawrence, Micah Parsons and Randy Gregory.
Gregory is now in Denver. Turnover luck is notoriously unstable – it has less to do with skill and as much to do with luck and the schedule you face on a year-to-year basis.
Good defenses sustain year-on-year only if they have All-Pros at all three levels. Dallas can check the box for its first-level, and perhaps its second-level if they include Parsons as an off-ball ‘backer. But that third level is good, not great. Trevon Diggs continues to be the ultimate good stats-bad-tape guy. He could certainly improve as a ‘true’ corner, but even if he does he’s unlikely to replicate his turnover total.
And what of the offense? Losing Amari Cooper hurts. Picking Dalton Schultz ahead of Cooper makes all the sense in the world, I get it . Dallas wants to be multiple, wants to get tight end bodies on the field in favor of wide receiver types who spread the field. That all makes sense, but it sure hurts when you scan the depth chart ahead of Week One and there’s a Cooper-sized hole on the roster.
James Washington had a chance to provide some vertical oomph to the team, but he’ll miss a chunk of the season with an injury. Jalen Tolbert is a talented but limited rookie. Michael Gallup is still working his way back from an injury; who knows if he is the same player he was prior to blowing his knee out.
The biggest concern: the offensive line. The Cowboys group is paper thin. Tyron Smith’s preseason injury was the worst possible thing that could happen to the offense. Now, the Cowboys are in a bind: Do they play the undercooked rookie Tyler Smith at left guard, the position he’s practiced at throughout training camp and the preseason, or do they shift him to left tackle, the position he played in college?
Dallas is going to start Smith at tackle to open the year. They’ll probably course-correct within a fortnight.
Adding a 40-year-old, soon-to-be fossilized Jason Peters won’t help -- much. Peters was the best of a bad batch in Chicago last season. He got by through old man savvy. He consistently posted highlight-worthy reps of how to beat young, inexperienced pass-rushers. But he’s 40. The springs in his legs have gone. Brandon Thorn, the guru of the line world, no longer has Peters among his top five o-linemen – which I can assure you hurt Brandon. On a crappy Bears offense, he could get by. On a team with title aspirations who want to run the ball in creative ways? Yikes.
It's over to Dak Prescott to try to bridge the talent gap from last year’s team to this one. That’s the cost of being a franchise quarterback.
This here newsletter is happy to operate as a Pravda-style propaganda arm for all things Prescott. He is the closest thing to Peyton Manning the league currently has, a line-of-scrimmage control freak looking for any plausible pre-snap advantage so that he can get rid of the ball in double-time once it is snapped.
Prescott is a savant. He does all the little things that drive the football nerds doolally. Skills-wise, he’s the complete package. He’s also altered his style since his devastating ankle injury in 2020 – in a way that might hurt the Cowboys in 2022. He no longer bounces around, rumbling and tumbling around the pocket to extend plays. No. He wants to be Manning. He wants to hit his back foot and, bam, get the ball out now and move on with the game
Prescott entered the league as a genuine dual threat. He could carry the ball on designed keepers or extend and create out of the structure of the offense with his legs. The Cowboys still tap into his mobility in the red zone – in high-leverage spots, when it’s scoring time, Prescott is happy to move and Kellen Moore is happy to call those plays. But prior to that? Forget about it. With Prescott, three-way RPOs have become more of a pass-give-do-I-really-have-to-? option.
McCarthy and Moore run a complex, isolation-based offense. They want Prescott to isolate and attack, to ID a matchup and bounce straight to it at the snap. As Nate Tice of The Athletic likes to call it, it’s a high degree of difficulty offense. And it’s machine-like, with Prescott happy to slide into the RoboManning role.
That’s all well and good when you’re steamrolling fools with an abundance of talent. When the run game is rolling and CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper are streaking downfield… and there are multi-tight end sets.. and six lineman groupings.. and two good backs… and Michael Gallup is your third option… and Dalton Schultz is your fourth option… Hoo, boy, that is spicy, that is mean. In that world, fans are throwing flowers at your feet and screaming hosannas. But when you yank out some of those cards, when the offensive line crumbles, such a predefined style is no bueno.
Dallas needs Prescott to tap into some of his out-of-time artistry, to ditch some of the Manning-ness that makes him so effective, and to re-embrace the unpredictable. To offset the losses in the passing game and the issues on the offensive line, Prescott will have to become more of a creator than a chess player.
Dallas conceives of itself as a legitimate title contender. What happens if it falls behind early? The answer: They shitcan McCarthy. With two ready-to-go replacements already on the staff – Quinn and Moore – it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Cowboys move on from McCarthy before Thanksgiving.
7. Dallas still makes the playoffs
That said, what happens when Dan Quinn usurps the throne?
There is still plenty to be excited about with this Cowboys team – or at least enough to talk you into the team as a viable playoff side in the stinky NFC.
8. Micah Parsons is the defensive player of the year
Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence still form the most ferocious one-two pass-rushing punch in the league. Last season, Quinn toggled between using Parsons as a pass-rusher and coverage linebacker on a week-to-week basis. It’s conceivable in 2022 that Parsons could become the idealized version of the hybrid player: someone who can bounce between assignments on a snap-to-snap basis.
Or, you know, Quinn could just unleash Parsons as the most exciting edge-rusher of his generation.
Either would work.
As pass-rush guru John Owning recently noted, there are three essential phases to a pass-rush: The initial phase (the get-off); the contact phase; the finishing phase. In terms of get-off and finish, Parsons is already one of the most proficient edge defenders in football. He is the best dip-and-rip edge-defender to enter the league since Von Miller – with a hat tip to Brian Burns. Parsons finished with a 24 percent (!) pass-rush win rate as a rookie (AND HE PLAYED A TON OF SNAPS AS AN OFF-BALL LINEBACKER), ten points higher than Miller’s rate in his first year. To remind you: That. Does. Not. Happen. A rookie dip-and-rip edge-rusher posting a 24 point pass-win rate is like a poodle completing the Song of Ice and Fire series (finish the books, George!).
Parsons crushes folks off the snap, and his ability to arc, dip and sink to levels lineman cannot allow him to play as a ‘flat’ rusher, making the distance from the contact phase to landing in the quarterback’s lap narrower. There is a smoothness to everything he does, a smoothness that cannot be matched by clunkier linemen. You might get 90% of your pass sets correct, but if you whiff on even ten percent, Parsons is punishing you – and your quarterback is feeling it.
Reports out of the preseason suggest that Parsons has worked relentlessly on the mid-phase. The goal: To map out a true pass-rush plan, and to diversify his moves. Last year, he was a dip-and-rip guy with a savage euro step, allowing him to knife inside a tackle if they overset. Developing more of a nuanced pass-rush arsenal (ghost rushes, knowing how to better use his hands, etc.) will elevate his game to another level – a terrifying thought for the friends and family of everyone involved.
The Cowboys might fall below preseason expectations. Parsons will not.
9. The league’s explosive pass-play rate continues to slide
The explosive pass play rate over the first half of last season was 9 percent, a mirror of the 2020 and 2019 rates. Over the second half of the season, that figure dropped to 7 percent, below the marks set in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. It was a trend. Defenses that do not naturally sag in two-deep coverages upped their usage to try to fend off the offensive explosion we’ve seen over the past three seasons.
Defenses will continue to find counters. The use of two-deep-then-rotate coverages and static two-deep shells are both on the rise.
The counter to those counters: Running the ball and getting into empty to throw it, using the pass to move the ball more efficiently rather than trying to launch shots down the field.
Hitting explosives will be a challenge as offensive football becomes a war of attrition. I reckon the explosive pass-play rate hovers around that 7% mark for the bulk of the season. Get them while you can, folks.
10. Josh Allen is the league MVP… and the Bills cruise in the AFC East
Want to know what it’s like to gameplan vs. Allen? Do you muddy the rush and try to force him to slink and slide in the pocket? Do you bring secondary rushes (stunting and twisting) to try force his eyes down or to get him to bail the pocket early? From one Patriots staffer working on the first gameplan vs. Allen and the Bills last season. “If we keep him in the pocket, we’re fucked. If we let him break the pocket, we’re double fucked.”
The Pats tried to find a happy meeting ground: They used read-blitzes and some odd-mirror concepts to try to bait Allen to certain spots before applying the pressure. It was a clever plan, a creative solution to an impossible problem – and it didn’t matter. Allen roasted them anyway.
It’s Allen’s time. Buffalo has the best roster in football, and Allen’s story (from questionable prospect to so-so pro to destroyer of worlds) is just the kind of narrative that can feed an awards campaign. The Bills should win 15-games. If they do, it’s Allen’s award to lose.
11. Von Miller finishes with another 80+ pressure season
Talk of Miller’s contract appears to have obscured the fact that he was as dominant as ever in 2021. Miller finished the season with 82 total pressures, his fattest mark since 2017. You need to go all the way back to 2015, when Miller was the most valuable player on the Super Bowl champs, to find a year in which he outperformed 2021 – and all while playing on two different teams.
Look, Miller’s contract might not age well. It might prove to be another example of a team thinking it’s one move away from pushing itself over the championship ledge – only to fall on its face as other, less obvious, holes are exposed. If you’re looking for the most efficient, analytical, savvy approach to team building over the long-term, penning a 33-year-old pass-rusher with a history of PED use to a six-year, $121 million contract (with $50 million guaranteed) is not the smartest path. But… who cares? In the here and now, the Bills added Von Miller!
Adding a future Hall of Famer who is still at the peak of his powers when you already have the best roster in the league? That’s fun. Isn’t football supposed to be fun?
Dumping an 80-pressure edge-rusher – whose game travels independent of scheme – onto a defense that finished first in the league in EPA per play a year ago is borderline cruel. Miller will make everyone around him better. Are you already picturing exaggerated split fronts (ala the halcyons of Miller in Denver? Or the ‘Boss’ front used in Tampa?) with Ed Oliver and Miller to one side and an ocean of bodies to the other? Me too. Who does the offensive line slide towards? Do they give extra help to the numbers or to the superstars?
Who knows? Good luck.
Miller’s contract might look ugly in two years. Right now, it feels really, really nice to have an 80-pressure-type pass-rusher on an already stacked roster. He might not be the difference between the Bills falling short or winning a title, but Miller is one of those few players who conceivably could be.
12. The Patriots' defense finishes in the bottom five in EPA per play
Last season taught us to never, ever, ever, ever (!) doubt Bill Belichick’s defensive acumen. He switched out long-running principles in favor of a disguise-based approach. He upped his usage of locked coverages, leveraging the advantage of JC Jackson and his speed at safety to help out a rickety secondary and iffy linebacking corps. He ran an old-school ‘Okie’ front with uncapped guards in an era when covering the guards is a point of emphasis at headquarters all across the league.
It worked! It was a classic case of the GOAT zigging while others zagged. But Belichick and his crew spent the offseason reversing course. They’ve tried to get quicker and more athletic at linebacker. They’re back to running as much man-coverage as is physically possible. The only issue: There’s no more JC Jackson.
Whether or not the Pats should have paid Jackson is not up for discussion. Not paying the likes of Jackson is what the Patriots do. But Belichick did not effectively replace the corner during the offseason. Canvas the Pats secondary and you start to see all sorts of concerns. There is an over-reliance on Adrian Phillips and Kyle Dugger to act as the kind of flex pieces that can cover up any schematic issues. Phillips is great. Dugger is good. If one goes down? Oh no.
The rest of the secondary is flooded with question marks: When does Father Time come for Devin McCourty? Is Jalen Mills good enough to play in a heavy man-coverage team, up against the top receivers in the game (spoiler: no)? How do you go about building out the rest of the group when every other corner is sub-six-foot?
And that’s before you get to concerns about the re-jigged linebacking corps and the fact there are only two specialist pass-rushers on the roster: Christian Barmore and Matthew Judon.
There is a world in which the Pats defense is really good. Barmore is a borderline super-duper star. Belichick could lean back into the disguise world, with a springy linebacking corps subbing in for the cement-footed group he trotted out last year. With a trio of versatile safeties, he could run some pretty funky stuff in the secondary, betting on the fact his defense can force turnovers rather than banking on efficiency.
That world exists. But it exists in a narrow band. It exists in a world where the four principal players stay healthy all season, Belichick acquiesces to the talent of his group rather than reverting to type, and the team scores outsized performances from fringe players.
The alternative is a world in which the defense picks up a couple of knocks and the thing falls apart.
13. Malik Willis replaces Ryan Tannehill before the end of the season
The loss of Harold Landry last week has put the Titans in a precarious position heading into the season. AJ Brown is gone. Derrick Henry is a year older, with another injury tagged onto his body. The offensive line is a rotating morass of mediocrity.
Throughout the Ryan Tannehill-Henry run, the Titans' success has been thanks to a steady run game, an overpowering offensive line, a special back, a receiver who could conjure magic, play-action shots, and a relentless defense. Lose one of those and they could be in trouble. Lose three and you’re in ‘oh no’ territory.
Without Landry and AJ Brown, the Titans lack juice on both sides of the ball. A combination of Ryan Tannehill, Treylon Burks, Austin Hooper, Nick Ikhine-Westbrook and Robert Woods returning from a knee injury isn’t scaring anyone. And, at some point, the Derrick Henry train will stop running along. Even if the running back doesn’t start to creak this year, a less-than-stellar offensive line could drive Tennessee’s all-important run game into the ditch.
The AFC is too strong for a team to compete with multiple issues on the same side of the ball.
Just think about this: The Titans' non-division opponents this year include the Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos, Packers, Bengals, Eagles, Chargers and Cowboys. They get some reprieve with the Texans, Jags, Giants and Commanders. Still: Dropping seven out-of-division games is not out of the question. Call it a split with the Colts and all of a sudden you’re at nine wins and needing to clean up against the rest of the AFC South.
Mike Vrabel is a whiz, and he’ll have the Titans' defense well-coordinated, playing hard, and forcing turnovers through some of the league’s wonkiest looks. That’s what he does. But if any more of the team’s star-caliber players – Henry, Jeffery Simmons, Kevin Byard – miss time, the Titans will be in danger of falling out of the playoffs.
The ultimate roll of the dice: Throwing Malik Willis into the fray. There is no need to belabor the structural flaws of the Tannehill-backed offense. Regardless of the structure, Tannehill is beholden to that structure; Willis is a chaos agent capable of engineering offense on his lonesome.
Willis looked good in preseason, far further along in his development than I expected at this stage – on a recent podcast, Sam Monson disagreed with how far along Willis is in his development. For Willis to go from a high school-esque offense in college, built around his athleticism and RPOs, to a fully-fledged, full-field read, rhythm-based, dropback offense in the span of a few months was always going to be a stretch. There were flashes throughout the preseason, however, that Willis just gets ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ is. He showed all the trademarks of what made him a special prospect (his arm and legs), but there were also initial signs that he has already grasped some of the subtleties of the position that he was not asked to engage with in college.
Obviously, the explosive runs stood out – and dominated the highlight tapes. But it was Willis’ work as a traditional quarterback that should make everyone’s ears prick up: his footwork, reading and reacting off play-action (after turning his back to the defense), changing protections. Those are things that feel small but are, in fact, the whole enchilada. We know he can throw and run, that was never in doubt. What we didn’t know was whether he could command a multi-faceted offense that put the group in the best position to succeed pre-snap so that he could punish it efficiently post-snap.
That’s old hat for veteran QBs, but it’s high-level stuff for a guy who had little to no pre-snap responsibilities in college.
That’s the kind of play that lets you know Willis is farther along in his development than anticipated. He spies the pressure. He alters the protection, bringing a tight end in to stack another body on the line of scrimmage. He knows the ball needs to come out hot. All he needs is confirmation of who is coming and from where.
By bringing an extra body in to constrict the middle of the line of scrimmage, Wills buys himself a beat. He knows the widest rusher will be free, be it the nickel to his left or the slot over the tight end. The Titans are in a full slide protection, meaning the back is going to rip across the formation to pick up the widest rusher. Willis knows he has the numbers needed to his right, and so confirms with his slot receiver that he’s hot if the nickel also charges toward the backfield – a player barely concealing his intentions. As the nickel cuts loose, Willis replaces the blitzer, catching and firing for an easy completion vs. zero pressure that keeps the chains moving.
It may seem small. It may seem like nothing. For Willis, it’s the whole damn deal. Adding that to his portfolio would allow the Titans to shift to an offensive approach closer to the Kansas City Chiefs than the Liberty Flames – blending new-age RPO principles with some old-school west-coast classics, the idealized version of a modern NFL offense.
Willis still misses too many easy completions. His base is inconsistent, his feet a work in progress. That all impacts the consistency of his release and his accuracy – the biggest knock on Willis coming out of school. But he elevates an offense in a way few starters in the league can: Every zone on the field, at all times, is in danger. You can count on one hand the names of QBs with that kind of through-the-air and on-the-ground range: Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Justin Herbert, Russell Wilson.
Ryan Tannehill has been outstanding for the Titans for three successive seasons. Moving on almost feels harsh – he may have stumbled in the playoffs, but Tannehill has been much more than a caretaker through the Titans’ regular season runs. But there is a special something about Willis, a something that could inject some life into an offense if it’s flagging during the regular season.
It might not always be pretty. It might drive Vrabel nuts, but it might also be the coach's best bet to produce some fireworks and to prepare the franchise for life beyond the Henry-Tannehill axis.
To commit to Willis was to commit to a long-term project. But what’s that saying about adapting when the facts change? The flashes Willis showed in the preseason coupled with doubts hovering over the Titans’ offense could force Vrabel into some medium-term thinking.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Read Optional to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.