The Tennessee Titans underperformed last season. Coming off a 9-7 season in 2011-12, most fans were anticipating an even better record. The Titans doused those hopes with their 6-10 performance. There are a multitude of reasons as to why the Titans didn’t live up to expectations in the 2012-13 season. The roster was decimated by injuries, both quarterbacks were mediocre-at-best and the offensive line was more offensive than a rap concert. After such disappointment, most fans would be wise to limit their expectations and win-loss predictions this go-round.
Let me tell you why you should not only be more excited than you were at the beginning of last season but why you should expect the Tennessee Titans to be on the cusp of the playoffs.
Jake Locker – When Locker went down, so did the Titans playoff chances. In Week 3 against the Detroit Lions, Locker showed that he’s capable of performing at a high level of play. Locker threw for a career high 378 yards while tossing a pair of TD’s. If Locker can come back and perform at that level consistently, then the Titans should be on their way to their 1st playoff appearance since the 2008-2009 season.
Improved O-Line – To say the Tennessee Titans offensive line played poor last season is a huge understatement, so it’s no surprise the front office went to great lengths to completely revamp the line. They moved quickly to snatch up the best guard in free agency, Andy Levitre, as well as signing guards Rob Turner and Chris Spencer. They didn’t stop there. When the NFL Draft rolled around, the Titans selected offensive guard Chance Warmack #10 overall and center Brian Schwenke in the fourth round. Head coach Mike Munchak, a Hall of Fame lineman and the former o-line coach, said he would be “hands-on” with the offensive line. That’s just an added bonus for the lineman who are already coached by Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews.
Run-First Offense – The Tennessee Titans are a running football team. They are at their best when they are running the ball down the opponent’s throat and keeping the opposing offense on the sideline. This past season, the Titans tried to become somewhat of a pass-first offense with varied results. That’s about to change according to Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson. “Last year … we basically were trying to turn into like a passing team. Coming in this year it’s going to be a run-first offense.” With the new and improved offensive line and the addition of Shonn Greene to get those tough yards and short TD’s, the Titans should have great success in the running game this season.
Look for the Tennessee Titans to not only improve in the win column but expect them to be in playoff contention. They’re not quite ready to take on the Houston Texans for the AFC South title, but a 10-win season and a wild-card berth is certainly achievable.