The Tennessee Titans may not be the favorites to win the AFC South this year and may not have the support from many of the big name sports writers, but at least one seems to be on par with how talented I think the Titans are.
Today I was going through BleacherReports’ Matt Miller’s articles and came across a couple articles that should be quite appealing to Titans’ fans.
The first was ranking teams positions against each other. The first position ranked was quarterbacks.
The Titans came in 3rd, behind only the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots. Here’s what Miller had to say about them:
"3. Tennessee TitansThe battle between Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker is one of the most exciting training camp battles of the season. Both played well in 2011, with Hasselbeck providing the experience to manage the offense, and Locker bringing the spark to fuel a high-octane system."
The Titans ranked 10th in running backs:
"10. Tennessee TitansChris Johnson may not be his old self, but he doesn’t have to be with Javon Ringer more than capable of stealing carries."
They also came in 4th in the offensive line rankings:
"4. Tennessee TitansYou would be hard-pressed to find a better tackle duo than the Titans have with David Stewart and Michael Roos. The team also made a smart move by picking up Steve Hutchinson at guard, which will make Eugene Amano’s job at center much easier. The Titans have a damn good starting group, but their depth is just average."
* As I’ve had time to think about it over the offseason, Eugene Amano got a pretty bad rep and has been the scape goat for the offensive line but I think a lot of blame lies with the guards. Jake Scott is gone after a less than memorable season and LeRoy Harris’ job is on the line. With Hutchinson in there and Velasco possibly taking Harris’ job, this line really could return to form, even with Amano at center.
That was all for the Titans as they fell out of the top ten in all the defensive categories, as well as the TE/WR category (Both should be there next year).
His next article went on to predict all of the final records for teams in the NFL. He had the Titans finishing at the same mark as last year, 9-7:
"Tennessee TitansPredicted Record: 9-7The Titans are close, but not quite ready to enter the playoff picture. Jake Locker will be a breath of fresh air at quarterback, and Kendall Wright should have a huge season opposite Kenny Britt.Once the Titans defense matures, especially at cornerback, watch out."
I’ll forgive Matt for being one off of my prediction of 10-6. He did pretty well for having to do this for every team in the NFL. His biggest flaw in the above reasoning?
"Once the Titans defense matures, especially at cornerback, watch out."
Another under estimation. McCourty and Verner are both ready to be stars. The only question is who will be on the outside opposite McCourty, whether it be Campbell or Hawkins, or maybe even Mouton (however doubtful that may be).
He does make a good statement before that about the maturity of the defense. This defense is as young as it has been in a long time. Three young LB’s, a group of young DT’s, two young CB’s, and a couple young DE’s.
Maturity is a big question, but I think it’s one the Titans will answer early. They draft quality guys that are eager to learn and excel. We saw quick development from the rookies last year as they easy took over larger rolls on defense. I expect to see the same from DT Mike Martin as well as OLB Zach Brown.
This may not be the year for the Titans, but you can bank on them turning some heads.
You can also find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart