Getting compared to the first of two back-to-back AFC Championship participants? That’s respectable. Now is it realistic and/or accurate?
Monday Morning Quarterback contributor Greg A. Bedard on what he expects from the 2013 Tennessee Titans. Bedard starts his article with this descriptive overview:
With a renewed focus on running the ball and playing stout defense, the Titans look like the Jets circa 2009. They just need Jake Locker to be better than Mark Sanchez.
For those who are unaware, circa means “approximately.” Bedard is comparing the Titans from what he saw in the preseason opener to the New York Jets from around the time that Rex Ryan had taken over and Mark Sanchez was a rookie whom many considered to have tremendous potential.
It’s a pretty straightforward comparison that follows these three principles: a run-heavy offense with a stout defense and inexperienced quarterback. Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene will carry the offense. With Gregg Williams as a senior defensive assistant, the Titans are expected to become much more aggressive on defense. Jake Locker enters his third NFL season with just 11 starts, only one of which he was healthy.
Don’t tell that to Greene, a member from those Jets playoff teams. According to Greene:
Nah, I think our nickname is going to be Score Points.” We just want to score as many touchdowns as we can.
Statistically, the 2009 Jets had the NFL’s No. 1 run-offense (172.2 yards per game) and No. 1 overall defense (252.3 yards per game). Their defense surrendered 32.1 yards per game fewer than anybody else. Their pass-defense allowed a mere 153.7 yards per game. That’s fewer yards than the Titans run-defense allowed in their preseason opener.
Can the Titans defense carry its weight in 2013? After surrendering a franchise-worst 471 points just one season ago, they’re probably not cutting that down to 236 points—not that quickly. Their sideline symbol isn’t exactly a defensive mastermind; Mike Munchak is a Hall of Fame offensive lineman who has been with the organization since 1982.
There’s a difference between “the Titans look like the Jets circa 2009” and “the Titans are trying to look like the Jets circa 2009.” Following this comparison theory, one could say the Titans are trying to look like the Titans circa 2000. Those teams had a run-heavy offense, stout defense and an inexperienced quarterback who was playing second-fiddle to Eddie George.
No doubt that Munchak—and almost any Titans enthusiast—would like to see that type of football return. Just with a more satisfying final result.
Regardless, all that matters is once this season ends, the 2013 Titans are a team who fans compare their future teams to.
What are you expecting from the 2013 Titans? Leave your feedback in the comments, Twitter or Facebook.