I’m going to be honest with you here. The Tennessee Titans are probably the least interesting team for me in 2012. That’s probably one of those “it’s not you, Titans, it’s me” type of things. Having said that, they will probably go on to one of the wackiest seasons ever. That’s the nature of the beast.
Really bad teams are interesting in a train wreck way, and much like a petri dish can provide interesting results, the bad teams often provide compelling experiments. The really good teams of course have the stars and glitz and the glamour.
The Titans, meanwhile, play in a smaller market, and are sort of flying in that middle ground. They had one of the quietest almost-playoff runs last year. They were in the mix all year, just on the outside looking in, and even though they were still alive entering the last week, never really felt like a playoff team. That’s okay, I’m not sure any of the teams battling for the sixth spot last year did.
So, I would direct you to Tom Gower at Total Titans, who also writes at Football Outsiders and is very passionate about the Titans. Tom has them at 7-9, which is exactly in that nether region of respectability without flash. Tom breaks down the team, but I’ll quickly go through some key questions.
Jake Locker— is he ready? Locker may not have fully earned the job, but simply was close enough to Hasselbeck (and Hasselbeck threw more interceptions) that the team felt they needed to move forward. I think Locker’s upside is more Jake Plummer, but he can complement a running game with his athleticism. I wouldn’t expect a completion percentage above 56%, and there will be inconsistency here.
Kamerion Wimbley– The Titans pass rush was dreadful last year. The Titans have a history of finding edge rushers who were not successful elsewhere (Babin, Vanden Bosch), though that was the previous regime. This one will need Wimbley to emerge in a full-time 4-3 end role to make an impact.
Chris Johnson– will he be better this year? He was pretty average at best last year, and plenty of people are expecting a big year out of Johnson.
Kenny Britt– he’s been great when he actually plays. Injuries and off the field problems always put that in jeopardy. That game against Baltimore last year showed what he is capable of, and how much better the Titans are with him in the lineup. Without him, this offense will not be very dynamic in the passing game.
[photo via US Presswire]