Projected Record: 5-11
AFC South Rank: 3rd
Unless Jake Locker significantly improves this season, the Titans are going to be a running team this year. The Titans added running back Shonn Greene, from the Jets, and do it all tight end Delani Walker, from the 49ers. Over the last two seasons, Greene has recorded over 1000 yards and 6 touchdowns. Greene will be the back up running back to Chris Johnson for the Titans. The combination of the two running backs should be a good mixture because Greene is a physical back that will crush defenses. Johnson will be able to take advantage of the rest because he will be able to stay fresh and healthy. When healthy, Johnson showed that he can be a dynamic running back, based on his 2000 yard season. Although Walker did not record at lot of stats last season with the 49ers, he is a great blocker and making clutch third down catches that extend drives. Although it seems like the Titans overpaid for Walker, he is a valuable player that helps teams win football games. In the passing game, the Titans drafted wide receiver Justin Hunter in the second round. Before the start of the college season last year, Hunter was believed to be a top ten pick, based on his talent and physicality. Hunter will add talent to a deep receiving core. Although they do not have a legit number one, the Titans hope that one of their young studs, Kendall Wright or Justin Hunter, will take a leap forward and help their young quarterback Jake Locker. On the offensive line, the Titans should be extremely effective. During the draft and free agency, the Titans invested a lot of money and a top pick on Andy Levitre and Chance Warmack. As seen with the Jets during their two trips to the AFC Championship Game, a great offensive line can hide the multitude of deficiencies on offense.
On defense, the Titans did not change many of the players on the defensive side of the ball. The biggest free agent signing was safety, Bernard Pollard. After a huge season and post season with the Super Bowl winning Ravens, Pollard was able to cash in on a nice deal with the Tennessee Titans. Last season, the Titans were one of the worst teams at defending against the pass, 26th. Pollard will bring toughness and experience to a secondary that is sorely lacking talent and experience. The Titans did not add players to their line backing core because the average age is 24 years old. The core is young and has the potential to be a dominant group if they can gain experience and drive each other to improve. The Titans hope that the linebackers will improve their 24th ranked rushing defense from last season. The biggest weakness of the Titans defense that must improve if they are going to become a better rush defense is the Defensive Tackles. Currently, the Titans have Sammie Lee Hill and Jurrell Casey at DT. Neither play has a lot of potential or skill so the Titans must hope that they improve or breakout. The most talented players on the Titans defense could be their defensive ends, Kamerian Wimbley and Derrick Morgan. Both of the players were former first round picks and have a lot of talent. Although they did not post a lot of sacks, 13, they have the skill to rush the passer and force issues and turnovers.
The Titans play a tough schedule this year so the fans should not expect many wins this seasons
@Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers are a solid team that will be determined to make the playoffs. The Steelers are playing at home, which is one of the hardest places to play for a young team. The game should not be close because the Steelers have more talent and experience.
@Houston Texans – After a tough game against the Steelers, the Titans have a tougher task, on the road against the Texans. The Texans are one of the most talented teams in the league. Also, it is their first divisional game so they will come out prepared to beat the Titans. The Titans have one of the toughest first two games to the season.
San Diego Chargers – After an 0-2 start, the Titans will be hungry and searching for a win. The San Diego Chargers are not a great team and have a lot of injuries. The Titans have comparable talent to the Chargers. The Titans should be able to win this game or else they will be having a really bad season.
New York Jets – In one of the worst games of the season, the Titans will probably lose to the Jets. Like the Jets, the Titans are anemic on offense, but the Jets have a better defense. The Jets and Titans have one of the toughest starts to the schedule so the team that wants the win the most will come out ahead at the end.
Kansas City Chiefs – The breakout team of the year has a lot more talented than the team that only won two games last season. The Chiefs should have a good season because they have a solid offense and a good defense as well. Although they are playing at home, the Titans are not going to win the game.
@Seattle Seahawks – During the Titans ridiculously difficult stretch, they head to the great Northwest. The Titans will have no chance in the game. The Seahawks are already better than them and they are playing at home, where they may be the best team in the league.
San Francisco 49ers – The last game of the Titans’ hard stretch before the bye will likely end in a lost. The 49ers are a great team with a lot of talent. The game will probably be over in the third quarterback because of their stout defense and dynamic offense. At least the Titans will be able to rest because of their bye the net week.
@St. Louis Rams – After the bye, the Titans play the Rams. The Rams are the first team that they will have a chance against since the Jets in week four. The Rams are a little better team than the Rams because they are more explosive and are playing at home, where their speed is heightened.
Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jaguars are one of the worst teams in the league and the Titans should take advantage of that at home. The Jaguars are similar to the Titans because they do not have a lot of talent, but have a young quarterback and wide receivers. The Titans should win the game because they should have the home crowd on their size.
Indianapolis Colts – After a win against the Jags, the Titans will have more confidence going into the game against the Colts. The divisional game at home should inspire the Titans to play home and win a big game in an upset for their fans at home.
@Oakland Raiders – Although the Raiders are going to be bad this season, they have some talent and should be able to defend their field agains the Titans. By week 12, Terrell Pryor should have more experience and confidence. The Raiders will realize that this is one of the few games they can win so they should play their hardest and beat the Titans
@Indianapolis Colts – After defeating them in week 11, the Colts will be determined to return the favor on their home turf. The Colts are a talented team with the best young quarterback in the league so they should be able to handle the Titans. Luck is a great talent and will not let his team to lose to a bad team at home.
@Denver Broncos – After seeing the best young quarterback, they are going to see maybe the best quarterback ever. After week one, the Broncos look like they will be good. The game in the altitude will be tough for the Titans to score many points and keep the game close.
Arizona Cardinals – After two tough games, the Titans return home for the Cardinals. The Cardinals are a horrible team so the Titans should be able to run wild and win the game at home. This will give the Titans their fourth win of the season.
@Jacksonville Jaguars – Although it is only preseason, the Gabbert-Blackman combination looks like it can be potent during the regular season. By week 16, Gabbert should be improving as a NFL quarterback and Blackman will be the reason why he succeeds. The Jaguars should be playing well and defeat the Titans at home.
Houston Texans – The Titans need to hope that the Texans have a good enough record so they will not try. As mentioned earlier, the Texans are a lot better than the Titans. If the Texans’ future is already determined, they may take their foot off the gas and give the Titans a chance, but I do not believe that it will be true.
Jake Locker must improve this season, if the Titans are going to succeed. During his career, Locker has not experience much success. This is a huge year for him because he has shown little progress and there are doubts that he is an NFL quarterback. Unlike other young quarterbacks, Locker has not taken the league by storm and may be demoted if he does not have a good season. The Titans need him to have a good season if they are going to have any chance at reaching 500. The Titans have a great running game and a solid wide receiving core, so they should not be held back by Jake Locker. If he cannot meet their demands, the Titans will probably be looking for a new franchise quarterback in the next two drafts.
Derrick Morgan needs to have a good season for the Titans’ defense. Morgan has a lot of talent and should be able to record more than 6.5 sacks per season. Morgan is a big, fast, and physical player that should be able to get around a lot of tackles and get to the quarterback. The Titans ranked worse than 24th in rushing and passing defense against last season. At the defensive end position, Morgan can improve both numbers by rushing the passer and creating issues. Morgan can also stop the run by recognizing plays before they occur and recording a lot of tackles for loss. Like Locker, Morgan must improve if he is going to maintain his starting position on the defensive line. I believe in Morgan and he should record double digit sacks next season.
All pics and stats from espn.com