During a season that has had more than it’s fair share of ups and downs, the Tennessee Titans have had some impressive individual performances thus far.
These individual performances have helped lead to one of the best starts this franchise has had over the last decade. It certainly doesn’t feel that way after the last four weeks, but this team still has everything they want in front of them for the taking.
The 2020 Titans are at a crossroads where their season can go either way over the next couple of weeks in a stacked AFC.
If Tennessee is going to give itself another chance at making noise come playoff time, they will need their Pro Bowl-caliber players’ individual success to translate to team success as well.
With all that said, let’s take a look at who has a realistic chance at being on the Pro Bowl roster by the end of the season.
You can place your Pro Bowl vote here!
QB Ryan Tannehill
(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill is on pace to shatter nearly every single-season franchise record at his position. Tannehill was once considered a legitimate MVP candidate, and although that has cooled down a bit, he is unquestionably still in the Pro Bowl conversation despite the ever-changing offensive line in front of him. Through nine starts, Tannehill has thrown for 2,128 yards, 20 touchdowns, and just three interceptions, all while completing nearly 65 percent of his passes. If the Texas A&M product continues on that trajectory for the rest of the season, he will finish the year with over 3,700 yards, 36 touchdowns and just five interceptions. If that doesn’t get him another Pro Bowl bid, I don’t know what will.
RB Derrick Henry
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
This is an obvious choice for football fans everywhere. Derrick Henry has been one of the more consistent players in the NFL throughout the entire season and is a virtual lock for the Pro Bowl. The King has four games in which he eclipsed over 100 yards, along with another where he topped 200. Henry is currently second in the NFL in rushing yards (946) and is only eight yards behind the Minnesota Vikings' Dalvin Cook (954) for the most in the league through nine games. The former Heisman winner also has three games in which he has scored multiple touchdowns, and has accounted for eight rushing touchdowns in total this year. It’s no secret that the Titans' offense runs through Henry, and they are going to need him down the stretch in order to have any chance at playing in a much bowl than the one that Henry is already virtually locked in for.
WR A.J. Brown
(AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)
This one is tricky simply because A.J. Brown missed a few games early on and that might be his downfall when it comes to the Pro Bowl. Despite missing two games, the Ole Miss product has 478 yards on 32 catches, and six touchdowns. As of right now, Brown is on pace to finish with approximately 850 yards and 11 touchdowns on 57 catches. The Titans' top receiver is the definition of a playmaker and he will need to be every bit of that over the next month in order to have a legitimate chance at securing his first ever Pro-Bowl nod. I fully expect Brown to have a couple of monster games down the stretch to put him over the 1,000-yard threshold. If so, that will surely help his individual case for the Pro Bowl and would likely help his team get back into the tournament come January.
TE Jonnu Smith
(AP Photo/Joe Howell)
Titans tight end Jonnu Smith has an extremely strong chance at making his first Pro Bowl in 2020. Smith has been incredible to everyone who has watched him this year, but more importantly in terms of Pro Bowl voting, he has the stats to back it up. A big chunk of Pro Bowl voters are causal fans who will likely just look at stats and base their opinions off that alone. Fortunately for Smith, he is currently tied with Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce for the most receiving touchdowns at the tight end position with six. Throw in another rushing touchdown for Smith and he easily passes the eye test on top of having the numbers to back it up. The Florida International product has a legitimate Pro Bowl argument in 2020, which will undoubtedly help him in a few months come contract negotiation time.
DL Jeffery Simmons
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
On a brutally down year for the Titans' defense, they have had one extremely bright spot that has legitimately displayed superstar potential. Jeffery Simmons has been every bit as advertised prior to his knee injury that ultimately caused him to fall to the No. 19 pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Simmons is a disruptive force who often embarrasses opposing blockers despite what’s going on around him. The former Mississippi State star has been a complete player this year. He has displayed much better lateral movement in the run game and looks to be fully back from that unfortunate pre-draft knee injury. Whether Simmons is manhandling the opposition, or getting his hands in throwing lanes, ‘Big Jeff’ seems to be one of the only defenders that consistently shows up on a play-by-play basis for this defense. What he is doing out there should not be overlooked simply because his impact isn’t always translated to success for the entire unit. But if there is anyone on this disappointing 2020 Titans defense that warrants a Pro Bowl spot, it is unquestionably Simmons.