The Tennessee Titans are moving up in the NFL power rankings of most experts after an impressive Week 8 victory over the Atlanta Falcons that improved their record to 3-4.
Our round-up begins with USA TODAY’s Nate Davis, who has the Titans a whopping 12 spots, from No. 29 to No. 17. Here’s what he had to say about Tennessee:
An offer for Titans fans
17. Titans (29): Rookie QB Will Levis is in pretty heady company, joining Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton and former Titans QB Marcus Mariota as the only players to connect for four TD passes in their NFL debuts. Tennessee’s 28 points were its most in nearly two years. Time to see if the team and Levis can sustain their momentum going into a three-week road trip.
While the excitement surrounding Levis is certainly warranted, we’ll have to see him stack good games before truly getting hyped for his future. He will be immediately tested with a three-game road trip that starts with a good Pittsburgh Steelers defense on Thursday night.
Now, the rest of our round-up:
Jarrett Bailey, Touchdown Wire: 25 (+3)
Oh my, the Mayo Missile, Will Levis, looks good, doesn’t he? He joins Marcus Mariota and Fran Tarkenton as the only quarterbacks in history to throw four touchdowns in his debut.
Barry Werner, The List Wire: 23 (+1)
Will Levis’ starting debut was wonderful, with 4 TD passes. Did it seriously take this long for the Titans to recognize D’andre Hopkins as a game-breaker? Why did it take this long?
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: 18 (+9)
Will Levis lit it up in his first NFL start, throwing four touchdown passes. Now he will face a more challenging start this week against the Steelers on the road.
NFL Nation, ESPN: 22 (+6)
Ryan Tannehill had an up-and-down season before suffering a right high ankle sprain in Week 6. He played well at home in two of the Titans’ wins, but he struggled on the road. Tannehill has two passing touchdowns and 1,128 yards on the season. Will Levis doubled that touchdown total in his first start with four passing touchdowns. Now Mike Vrabel is tasked with deciding who the starting quarterback will be. Fortunately that decision doesn’t have to be made yet as Tannehill continues to heal. Levis will get the start after a short week. If the rookie turns in another stellar performance it will be hard for Vrabel not to name him the starter going forward.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: 25 (+3)
The Titans unleashed a new style of aggressive downfield passing offense with rookie QB Will Levis in his debut and it was a great look with DeAndre Hopkins. It also got Derrick Henry and the running game with new lanes. Mike Vrabel rocked it after the bye and the youth movement can pay off sooner rather than later.
Frank Schwab, Yahoo Sports: 20 (+5)
Will Levis will get another start Thursday if Ryan Tannehill is out, which is no surprise after Levis threw for four touchdowns in his NFL debut. Unless Levis is horrible in his next couple starts, he should get the rest of the season. It’s not like Tannehill was playing well anyway, and he’s almost certainly going to be gone by 2024.
Dalton Miller, Pro Football Network: 20 (+4)
Will Levis had himself an impressive debut, and DeAndre Hopkins shoved his way to an incredibly impressive performance, scoring three touchdowns while being the rookie quarterback’s top target.
The Titans leaned on Derrick Henry and the run game, but their defense was also opportunistic. They sacked Falcons quarterbacks six times, and Desmond Ridder lost another fumble. But Levis brought an explosiveness to this passing attack that hasn’t existed all season, and it will be something to monitor moving forward.
Josh Schrock, NBC Sports: 23 (+3)
Did Ryan Tannehill just get Wally Pipped by Will Levis? Certainly looks that way.