September 30, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak watches from the sideline as his team loses to the Texans. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Wednesday July 10: On his television/radio show SVP and Russillo, Scott Van Pelt listed the teams he thinks are going to wind up as the bottom five teams in the NFL in 2013. Those five teams (in no particular order, he said) are the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, and— that’s right—the Tennessee Titans.
Van Pelt cited the huge blowout losses of last year’s squad as his key reason for grouping the Titans with the worst teams in the league:
"They lost ten games last year. This is what stood out to me… Jacksonville played some competitive games that they lost, Cleveland played some competitive games that they lost, that’s what happens in the league. Even when you lose, you generally are competitive. Six of Tennessee’s losses last year, six, were by twenty-one points or more. They had a seventh by fourteen points. That’s blowouts like a bad college team. It’s hard to get blown out this bad in the NFL.”"
Van Pelt did go on to say that if he was going to be wrong about any team, he’s probably “going to be wrong about Tennessee, because there’s no reason they should be this bad.”
SVP noted a few positives about the Titans’ 2013 roster, if you consider the following comments to be “positives”:
"You did make some moves to try to solidify the offensive line, you do have Chris Johnson, and I guess you can just try to ride the little man as best you can, but this is a make-or-break season for (Jake) Locker.“"
I think Van Pelt is overlooking a few important details. Locker only played 11 games last year, and that was with nagging injuries. Tennessee’s offensive line was decimated by injuries the entire season. And the defensive philosophy has been flipped completely on its head with the addition of senior defensive assistant coach Gregg Williams.
It’s hard to argue with Van Pelt’s logic, as he is stating solid facts and statistics, but the 2013 Titans are a very different team from the 2012 Titans.
What do you think? Is Scott Van Pelt right to rank the Titans among the bottom five teams in the NFL? Let me know in the comments or via Twitter, @JGra_TitanSized