The national media is down on the Tennessee Titans entering the 2022 season.

We’ve already seen several playoff predictions that leave the Titans out of the postseason in 2022, despite winning back-to-back AFC South division titles and earning the No. 1 overall seed in the conference last season.

The loss of wide receiver AJ Brown (traded to the Philadelphia Eagles) and Ryan Tannehill’s bad game against the Cincinnati Bengals in the playoffs last season seem to be the reason for the national media’s disbelief in Tennessee in 2022.

The Titans, however, will have ample opportunities to prove the national media wrong in 2022, as there are several massive games on Tennessee’s schedule.

Three of those games, in particular, are especially critical to the team’s success this upcoming season.

Dec 12, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) scores on a touchdown run during the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Titans @ Buffalo Bills (September 19)

This is a potential AFC Championship game showdown. The Bills, unlike the Titans, are receiving a significant amount of hype this offseason. Buffalo is an early Super Bowl favorite and they’ll almost certainly be favored in this game. The Titans get an early chance to flex their muscle in 2022. If Tennessee wins this matchup, it could set a positive tone for the entire season.

Titans vs Indianapolis Colts (October 23)

Virtually all of the playoff predictions that have the Titans missing the postseason for the first time since 2018, have the Indianapolis Colts winning the AFC South. The Colts are undoubtedly the biggest threat to Tennessee in the division. The Titans will be coming off a bye week for this matchup, so they’ll be fresh. It’s imperative that Tennessee wins this game at home. It’ll allow them to put some distance between themselves and the Matt Ryan-led Colts as the first half of the season comes to an end.

Titans vs Cincinnati Bengals (November 27)

Here’s another potential AFC Championship game preview. The Titans let one get away from the Bengals last season in the playoffs. If Ryan Tannehill makes a different decision in the game’s final moments, it’s Tennessee playing in the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs instead of the Bengals. If the Titans win this week 12 matchup against the defending AFC champs, it will legitimize Tennessee as Super Bowl contenders.

Featured image via George Walker IV / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK