Matthews will be part of a much deeper position group in 2017, Jason Wolf of The Tennessean reports.
The Titans opted not to re-sign slot receiver Kendall Wright, but they then drafted Corey Davis in the first round and Taywan Taylor in the third round, later adding Eric Decker in June when he was released by the Jets. In an offense already featuring TE Delanie Walker and RBs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, there is suddenly a ton of competition for touches. Marcus Mariota's continued development should mean there's a bit more production to go around, but Matthews is still unlikely to match the kind of volume he saw over last season's final eight weeks, when he scored six touchdowns while averaging 4.8 catches for 73.5 yards on 8.8 targets per game. Decker's presence in the red zone could prove especially problematic for Matthews' scoring production, as the former Jet has caught 51 touchdown passes in 81 games since the end of his rookie season. To be fair, Matthews was one of the league's most efficient red-zone receivers last year, catching 12 of his 15 targets in the area, with five of his six targets inside the 10-yard line converted into scores.
Matthews emerged as quarterback Marcus Mariota's preferred red zone threat with nine touchdowns in the final 12 games of 2016, but Davis should immediately siphon off some looks in that area after scoring an eye-popping 52 times in 50 games at Western Michigan. While college football's all-time leading receiver figures to start in two-receiver sets from the get-go as long as he gets the playbook down in time, Matthews is still favored to edge out 2016 fifth-rounder Tajae Sharpe for the spot across from him.
Matthews caught nine of 13 targets for 114 yards and a touchdown Sunday against the Texans.
Matthews saw no decline in performance despite the downgrade at quarterback from Marcus Mariota (leg) to Matt Cassel. He was kept out of the end zone in his first four games with the Titans, but scored nine times in the last 12. With Mariota scheduled to be back from his broken fibula by the beginning of next season, Matthews will have a great chance to build on this 65-catch, 945-yard campaign.
Matthews caught three of nine targets for 31 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 38-17 loss to the Jaguars.
Matthews scored from three yards out in the second quarter, giving him eight touchdowns this season. He has doubled his scoring output from two to four to eight over his past three campaigns, but continuing that trend with 16 next season will be a tall order for the 27-year-old wideout. Quarterback Marcus Mariota broke his fibula in the second half, so Matthews will be catching balls from backup Matt Cassel in the season finale against Houston.
Matthews was the leading receiver for a
|P1||8/12/17||@ NYJ||7:30 pm|
|P4||8/31/17||@ KC||8:30 pm|
|2||9/17/17||@ JAC||1:00 pm|
|4||10/1/17||@ HOU||1:00 pm|
|5||10/8/17||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|7||10/22/17||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 8|
|11||11/16/17||@ PIT||8:25 pm|
|12||11/26/17||@ IND||1:00 pm|
|14||12/10/17||@ ARI||4:05 pm|
|15||12/17/17||@ SF||4:25 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|