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Monday, November 8, 2010

Tennessee Titans Mid-season Awards

The Titans are at the mid-point of their 2010-2011 season and are enjoying their bye week. This gave me the perfect opportunity to reflect on the season thus far and hand out some awards for the season so far. Sorry guys, I don't have any actual hardware but hey you still being rewarded. Without further interruption, I present to you the inaugural Sportaholic mid-season awards

MVP - Chris Johnson. Who else could it be other than Johnson? I am more impressed with him this year than last year, although his numbers are down from his NFL offensive player of the year standards of last year. Its because of more teams focusing on him defensively but he still shows toughness and leads the team with 721 yards rushing on 178 attempts. He also has 22 receptions for 90 yards.That puts Johnson at 5th in the league in rushing and on pace for 1,646 yards. It may not the 2,500 he wanted at the beginning of the season but as long as the Titans are winning, I think he is fine with that.  He is the straw that stirs the offense in Tennessee as the offense centers around his abilities. He should be able to rush for even more in the second half with the addition of Randy Moss.

Defensive Player of the half - The Defensive Line. I tried to narrow it down as much as I could but after researching the stats, the Titans entire defensive line have delivered the goods so far this year. By the numbers they have 25 as a unit which led the NFL going into their bye week. As you break down player by player number of sacks, you see that everyone is in on the action: Jason Babin 7.0, Dave Ball 6.0, Tony Brown 2.5, and Derrick Morgan 1.5 sacks. You have to give a lot of credit to defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil. No team gets after the quarterback like the Titans do. Cecil coaches the players to go after the QB each play but to also stop the run if the play turns out that way. And while we are on the subject of Cecil, you just have to love the bird flip he gave the refs in the game. Players love playing for guys like that and the defensive line is showing it.

Rookie of the half- Alterraun Verner. The Titans are getting some solid contributions out of their rookie class. Marc Mariani has a been pleasant surprise in the return game averaging 26.8 yards a return and who can forget the one he returned for a 98-yard touchdwon against the Cowboys. Damien Williams has also been moving up the depth chart and has contributed nicely. But this honor has to go Alterraun Verner. The cornerback out of UCLA has earned the starting spot in his rookie season and has 2 interceptions and 8 passes defended to date. He plays the physical brand of football that Jeff Fisher loves. He was just what the Titans needed to go along with Cortland Finnegan in the other cornerback position.

Breakout player of the half - Kenny Britt. Britt has served the league notice that he will be a force in years to  come. His performance against the Philadelphia Eagles was awe-inspiring. 7 catches for 225 yards and 3 touchdowns and he didn't even play in the first quarter! He was on pace to have a monster year before he went down with the hamstring injury but when he does get back to field. I look for more of the same for him when he gets back especially now that he has Randy Moss on the other side.

Most Improved - Vince Young.  Its hard to put a guy in slot who has been injured a lot this year but if you look at Vince's numbers, you will see he is having his best year as a Titan. He has a QB rating of 103.1 which ranks him number two in the league behind only Micheal Vick. His previous high was 82.6 from last year. Now with the addition with Moss his numbers should only go up. Tom Brady and Brett Favre's rating actually went down after Moss left their respective teams. The one good thing Vince does on a consistent level is throw the deep ball well, so this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship with Moss. As long as Young can stay out of harm way, which isn't a given the way this year is going for him, he has the chance to have his best year in Titan blue.

The Titans have a lot to be happy with at this point of the season. They have a share for first place in the division and a a 5-3 record. The Randy Moss trade has made them the talk of the league. The second half of the season is a going to be a tough slate. The Titans haven't even played Houston or Indianapolis yet and those are always tough games. If they can 3 of 4 of those games they should be able to take the division. I also look for the Moss effect to take place in Nashville. The offense should be able to take it to another level with the addition of the former all-pro. The defense should continue to be solid as well. Titans fans, we have a lot to look forward to so stay tuned and keep rooting for your Tennessee Titans.

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