The offense took a step in a new direction last season by passing more and relying on the running game less. It proved to be very effective and produced some solid numbers for several players on offense. Players like Matt Hasselbeck, Nate Washington and Jared Cook had career years and based on the upcoming schedule I’m expecting much more from the passing game. I’m actually expecting the Tennessee Titans to be among the league leaders in all passing categories.
With my first glance over the Titans schedule for 2012, I have to admit that I was very concerned. They face several potent offenses and some of the best QBs in the game today. Having quarterbacks like Brady, Rodgers, Rivers, Stafford and Schaub (twice) on your schedule is not exactly what I would have ordered for the Titans defense but I feel much better about their chances today then when I first looked at the schedule.
Some may ask why the confidence. Several 2012 opponents for the Titans were some of the worst passing defenses in the league last season. Many of these teams gave up huge chunks of yardage in the passing game and also gave up a large amount of points as well. The receivers, Cook and even CJ should feast on these defenses this season. Below are some of their opponents and their defensive passing rankings from 2011.
Patriots (31) Chargers(13) Lions (22) Vikings (26)
Bills (19) Colts (15) Bears (28) Dolphins (25)
The team will face challenges of passing effectively against the Texans, Steelers, Jaguars and Jets but the rest of their opponents are going to have problems matching up with the Titans offense. Now with Kendall Wright on the team the Titans should definitely feature more three, four and even five WR sets to take advantage of their opponents’ weaknesses.
The Titans are one of the rare offenses in the league that will feature five talented WRs, an elite level tight end and one of the top running backs in the game. There are only a handful of teams in the league that post similar talent. The good news is that the majority of them are in the NFC.
I questioned some of the play calling from Chris Palmer last season. The offense stalled too many times and never seemed to get into a flow. This season, his game plans should feature a heavy dose of the pass and less of the running game. Spread the field and allow our QB (Hasselbeck or Locker) to toss the ball around at least 35-40 times a game.
I want Chris Johnson to return to CJ2K status just as much as anyone but don’t be surprised if you see a similar season to 2011. I’m a firm believer that you should develop game plans based on your talent and the weakness of your opponent. Many of the teams on the schedule are so terrible against the pass that it would not make a lot of sense to run CJ 20-25 times a game. The offense should post huge numbers from the quarterback, wide receiver and tight end positions this season.
This upcoming season, the Titans offense should post a number that they have not done in over 20 years. This season should feature the first 4,000 yard passer since Warren Moon did so back in 1991. Hard to believe that it’s been that long but with the talent on offense and the upcoming schedule the Titans QB should have a monster season across the board.