Titans power rankings round-up: Tennessee among the elite after Week 9

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After a huge Week 9 win over the Los Angeles Rams, their fifth in a row, the Tennessee Titans find themselves ranked as one of the elite teams in the NFL in the power rankings of most experts.

USA TODAY’s Nate Davis has the Titans moving up nine spots to No. 4 on his list. Davis had Tennessee moving backwards last week despite a win because of the injury to running back Derrick Henry.

4. Titans (13): Minus RB Derrick Henry, they go into LA and KO the Rams (last week’s No. 1 team in this space), solidifying themselves atop AFC standings. Oh, and any idea who owns easiest remaining schedule (.343 opponents winning percentage) in the league? You guessed it. These guys might just be OK.

As Davis points out, the Titans have the easiest remaining schedule, and with a commanding lead in the AFC South, this team is in position to weather the storm of losing Henry until his possible return.

Now, a look at where other experts have the Titans ranked.

Barry Werner, The List Wire: 2 (+4)

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Werner: The defense rose big time on a national stage against the Rams. The Titans didn’t miss a beat — this week — without Derrick Henry. Whether that will hold up in the long, ahem, run remains to be seen. Next: vs. New Orleans Saints

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: 3 (+3)

AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Iyer: The Titans threw down again in a big spot against the Rams in prime time, building on their wins over the Chiefs and Bills. The defense put it all together for Mike Vrabel and the offense proved it could be effective in different ways without Derrick Henry.

Dalton Miller, Pro Football Network: 2 (+9)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Miller: The Titans are a frustrating team, but they’ve been effective in 2021. The loss of Derrick Henry is massive. The offense was not good against the Los Angeles Rams. However, that didn’t matter. The Titans’ defense was opportunistic and stout against the Rams.

For the first time this season, LA’s offense struggled through the air. Matthew Stafford threw 2 interceptions and looked disjointed at times for the first time in his Rams career. In a week full of crazy results, this was an underdog win that made sense, even if it didn’t happen the way we thought it would.

Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: 3 (+6)

AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Hanzus: Derrick Henry might be the most talented player on the Titans, but dismissing this resilient and battle-tested team is always a mistake. Case in point: Tennessee’s 28-16 dismantling of the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football. Playing against an NFC powerhouse, the Titans looked like the more prepared, better disciplined team. Tennessee’s defense has been a revelation during a brilliant four-game winning streak that has included conquests over the Bills, Chiefs, Colts and Rams. The star in L.A. was Jeffery Simmons, who had three of the Titans’ five sacks of Matthew Stafford. That’s more sacks than any member of the franchise has recorded in a single game in 13 years.

NFL Nation, ESPN: 2 (+8)

AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Turron Davenport: Bold second-half prediction: Kevin Byard will reach double-digit interceptions. The Titans’ defense is on fire, having recorded interceptions in each of their past six games. Byard has interceptions in each of the past two games. He is in the zone right now, as shown by how both of his most recent interceptions came through him making in-play adjustments to get to the football. Tennessee’s front four is putting plenty of pressure on quarterbacks, forcing them to make bad throws that lead to interceptions. Pairing the pressures with Byard’s ability to find the football along with plenty of opportunities — especially in games against turnover-prone teams such as the Dolphins, Texans and Jaguars — will result in a lot of interceptions. — Turron Davenport

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: 3 (+2)

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Prisco: They are such a tough team. Going to Los Angeles and winning without Derrick Henry is special. They are the best team in the AFC.

Josh Schrock, NBC Sports: 4

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Schrock: OK, fine, the Titans are more than just Derrick Henry. Happy?

Frank Schwab, Yahoo Sports: 2 (+6)

Syndication: The Tennessean

Schwab: You’re going to hear a lot about how good the Titans are this week, and a lot of it is deserved. Don’t forget this team lost to the Jets though. Everyone in the NFL is susceptible to really, really bad weeks. The Titans’ bad week just happened so long ago that we’ve moved on.

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