Sunday, September 5, 2010

2010 Preview: Tennessee Titans

2009 Record: 8-8

2009 Rankings:
Total Offense - 12
Run Offense - 2
Pass Offense - 23
Scoring Offense - 28
Total Defense - 23
Run Defense - 10
Pass Defense - 31
Scoring Defense - 28

The Titans 2009 season was a tale of 2 halves. The Titans went 0-6 to start the season, with retribution still flowing from the Great Cope for desecrating the Terrible Towel. After LenDale White made a public apology and donation to Cope's charity (and the Titans installed Vince Young at quarterback) Tennessee finished the season 8-2, making a push for the playoffs. 

The Titans offense, much like the Jaguars, is completely reliant on the success of their running game. Vince Young is more elusive than David Garrard, but Garrard is more accurate. Additionally, Chris Johnson is probably the most elusive running back the league has seen since Barry Sanders. Johnson is a flashy runner with a ton of speed. Tennessee has a good offensive line that can dominate the point of attack. They are a physical team that is perfectly capable of breaking a big running play at any time. Their passing game definitely doesn't scare anyone, with mediocre receivers Justin Gage and former Steeler Nate Washington as their top 2. They drafted Kenny Britt last year to improve their receiving corps, and he led the team with over 700 yards receiving in 2009. 

On defense, Tennessee lost linebacker Keith Bulluck, their 2nd leading tackler from 2009. Their linebacking corps, arguably one of the best 4-3 units in the league in 2008, is now only a shell of its former self. Their secondary, which seemed so full of playmakers on that '08 team, now looks like it's treading water as the front 4, without Albert Haynesworth, Kyle Vanden Bosh, or Jevon Kearse, can't get any pressure on the quarterback. The Titans drafted Georgia Tech star DE Derrick Morgan in the first round to improve their pass rush. 

In conclusion, playing in a division with Houston and Indianapolis means that Tennessee will have to exploit the weak run defenses and play ball control if they want to have another winning season. This isn't a team that can afford to get into shootouts with people, and the secondary is going to have to play better this season. Vince Young is a winner, there's no doubt about that, but Tennessee has a tough schedule ahead, with the NFC East as their interconference foes. They do get to play the whole AFC West, which is a bit of a break. 

Ian's Prediction: 9-7

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