In a year where there’s been a plethora of question marks surrounding the Tennessee Titans, there have been impressive play all over the field by numerous players. The Titans were faced with a completely new coaching staff, a lockout, a holdout, a new quarterback and a transition into a new era of Titans football. They answered all those questions and may very well exceed even more of the expectations if they win the game on Sunday.
Though the Titans aren’t one of the top ranked teams in the league and receive little to no attention on a national level, they’ve done some pretty impressive things this year.
Nate Washington has become a great leader for this offense, powering through all sorts of injuries to stay in the game and stepping up after Kenny Britt’s injury. Washington is having his best season ever and only needs 69 yards Sunday to reach 1000 yards receiving, which would be a career first. He is also currently tied for his career best in touchdowns, with 6. He’s recorded 6 touchdowns every one of the three years that he has been a Titan and it’s not unlikely he gets a new career high by getting one more against the Texans. Washington has played a season that will have him cemented in the hearts of a lot of Titans’ fans.
Damian Williams has grown leaps and bounds over the course of the season, doing his best to grow into the position left vacant by Kenny Britt. In his second year he has had 43 receptions for 571 yards and 5 touchdowns. He became Hasselbeck’s favorite red zone target and continues to show improvement every game. Hopefully it’ll continue into the offseason and the Titans will get even more out of him this next year.
Jared Cook’s season has been real up and down but looks to end on a real positive note. This past game against the Jaguars Jared Cook set a new franchise record for receiving with 169 yards and 1 touchdown. He caught every pass thrown his way that game. The game before that he had 9 receptions for 103 yards. On the whole he has 696 yard and 3 touchdowns on the year and hopefully will increase that Sunday when the Titans make their final push towards the playoffs.
The Titans’ rookie class has been just short of amazing. Karl Klug has registered 7 sacks in limited action, Jurrell Casey has been a beast in the run stopping department, and Colin McCarthy looks to have filled the hole left at the MLB position by Keith Bulluck. Seven of the rookies have contributed this year. Locker has entered the game on a couple occasions to take over for an injured Hasselbeck, Campbell has had a kick return for a touchdown as well as some great work as a gunner on special teams, Jamie Harper scored the first touchdown of his career this last week and Akeem Ayers has begun to grow into his position as a starting OLB.
In Jake Locker‘s limited action on the field we’ve been able to glimpse the Titans bright future. Locker has shown an ability to move the offense down the field, whether through the air or via the ground. He certainly has areas that he can still improve in, such as red zone efficiency and decision making, but thus far he’s shown some really great qualities. Locker’s accuracy, which was a big question headed into the draft, hasn’t been a problem. Locker has had a few balls go astray but has also threaded a fair share of needles. He currently has 4 touchdowns to 0 interceptions and 542 yards on the season.
It’s been a great season for the Titans, perhaps more than any fan could have asked for, given the circumstances. No matter what the outcome is Sunday, this season is something to be proud of and has shown a lot of things pointing to a promising future.
Though I wouldn’t mind seeing the Titans in the playoffs again…