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Monday, August 22, 2011

Sportaholic Tennessee Titans Season Preview

The NFL season is approaching fast and with that in mind, its time to preview teams and project their season outcome. I have enlisted some help in that department, as I have a few guest bloggers to go over a few teams. First up is my good blogging buddy Jim Irwin from Chicago. Jim's blog is titled http://jim-heftyinfo.blogspot.com/ and he has a ton of knowledge for football and (Surprise) Politics. Make sure to check his blog, for easy access just click his link on my blog roll. Jim is in the process of previewing every NFL team in the league and he is so kind to allow us here at the Sportaholic to use his Tennessee Titans article on our site. Now its time to turn Jim loose as he gives us the lowdown on our Titans.








TENNESSEE TITANS







2010 RECORD: 6-10-0


(4th in AFC South)






HEAD COACH: Mike Munchak

By: Jim Irwin






Offense: Matt Hasselbeck (3,001 passing yards with 12 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions in 2010) comes over from the Seattle Seahawks and will be the starter. Rookie Jake Locker (Washington) will back up Hasselbeck.

Hasselbeck will be replacing Vince Young (now with Philadlephia) and the retired Kerry Collins as the quarterback and brings much experience and leadership to the team. He helped lead Seattle to a Super Bowl appearance in 2005.

Chris Johnson ... aka CJ2K is in a holdout and when he does return, he will give the team perhaps the premier running back in the game.

The numbers for Johnson were way down from his 2,000 plus yards rushing season of 2009.

Last season, Johnson gained 1,364 yards rushing for a 4.3 ypc average and scored 11 touchdowns. In addition, Johnson led the Titans with 44 receptions and also had one receiving touchdown. Javon Ringer (239 rushing yards and two TD) will spell Johnson and the fullback is Ahmard Hall.

Kenny Britt (42 catches for 775 yards and nine TD) and Nate Washington (42, 687, six TD) will be the main targets in 2011. Tight End Jared Cook, who made 29 catches for 261 yards last season, is back and will be backed up by Craig Stevens. Justin Gage (20 grabs for 266 yards) and Damian Williams (16 catches) are the other wideouts.

The offensive line consists of center Eugene Amano, tackles David Stewart and Michael Roos and guards Ryan Durand and Leroy Harris.



Defense: This was a unit that would bend but not always break a year ago, evidenced by the numbers.

The Titans finished in the middle of the pack in points allowed (339), but near the bottom of the league in total yardage allowed (368) per game and passing yards (252) as well. The run defense gave up 116 yards per game, which ranked 20th in the NFL.

Up front in the revamped 4-3 defense for the Titans will be ends William Hayes and Jason Jones along with tackles Shaun Smith and rookie Karl Klug (Iowa). There are others who will see action, including rookie Jurrell Casey (USC), along with David Ball, Derrick Morgan and Jovan Haye.

The linebackers also have a rookie starter with Akeem Ayers (UCLA) playing along with Will Witherspoon and Barrett Ruud. Also in the mix are Colin McCarthy, backing up Ruud in the middle and outside linebackers Gerald McRath and Tim Shaw.

The leader in quarterback sacks from a year ago (Jason Babin) is no longer around, but David Ball (seven sacks) is up front for the team, which totaled 40 sacks last season. Jason Jones had 3.5 sacks and Witherspoon three from the linebacker position.

In the secondary, which was a big problem last season, the Titans have Cortland Finnegan and Jason McCourty at the corners with Chris Hope and Michael Griffin (four interceptions) playing the safety spots. Alterraun Verner (three picks), Vincent Fuller, Robert Johnson and Jordan Babineaux will give the Titans depth in the secondary.

The Titans had 17 interceptions last season, but ranked 29th overall against the pass, giving up 252 yards per game. They also were torched frequently by the long pass in 2010 and that has to improve as well.



OUTLOOK: The Titans are looking to unseat the Colts in the AFC South (which they did three years ago) in 2011 but have an uphill battle ahead of them.

The Colts are odds-on favorites in the division with Houston and Tennessee looking to battle for second place this year.

The offense for the Titans still will rely on Johnson (if and when he plays) in 2011, along with Hasselbeck getting acclimated to new Head Coach Mike Munchak's system.

Munchak replaces longtime (former) Head Coach Jeff Fisher for the Titans. In a bizarre scenario following the 2010 season, Fisher announced he wouldn't be back if (former Titans QB) Vince Young remained with the team.

Young departed, but so did Fisher.

It all adds up to a new look for the Titans, as they look to improve an offense that was 27th overall last season, averaging just 302 yards per game. The rushing game was solid, getting 108 per game, but the passing game averaged less than 200 yards per game in 2010 and that must improve.

The team must also score more. The Titans only had 356 points last season and were shut out by Houston (30th ranked defense last year) and had a four-game stretch when they put up just 39 total points in those losses.

The defense is looking to be revamped, especially in the front seven and will look to improve the pass rush and the coverage in the secondary as well.

Look for a 8-8 season from the Titans as they are definitely rebuilding and Hasselbeck will hold the reigns on offense until Locker is ready to take over in the future.



TEAM SCHEDULE:

Week 1- at Jacksonville

Week 2- vs. Baltimore

Week 3- vs. Denver

Week 4- at Cleveland

Week 5- at Pittsburgh

Week 6- BYE WEEK

Week 7- vs. Houston

Week 8- vs. Indianapolis

Week 9- vs. Cincinnati

Week 10- at Carolina

Week 11- at Atlanta

Week 12- vs. Tampa Bay

Week 13- at Buffalo

Week 14- vs. New Orleans

Week 15- at Indianapolis

Week 16- vs. Jacksonville

Week 17- at Houston





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