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2013 NFL Previews: Tennessee Titans

by Photo of Kenneth Teape

The foundation is being built for a successful Titans team, but it all hinges on the growth of one player.

2013 NFL Previews: Tennessee Titans

In this article…

The NFL Season is getting closer and closer. The Baltimore Ravens took home the Super Bowl last year, but this next season will surely come with plenty of surprises. It's time to get ready for the start of the year by taking a look at all 32 teams to gauge where they are, starting with the worst and ending with the reigning Super Bowl Champs. It's the CHARGED.fm 2013 NFL Preview, and today we're previewing the Tennessee Titans.

Last Season

It was an up-and-down 2012 season for the Titans who missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season and saw a decrease from nine wins in 2011 to six this past season. The biggest reason for the regression was the play of the defense.

After surrendering 317 points in 2011 the defense crumbled in 2012, allowing 471 points, the worst in the NFL at 29.4 per game. The Titans defense ranked 26th in opponents passing yards with 247.8 per game and 24th in opponents rushing yards with 127.2 per game. The Titans suffered six embarrassing blowout losses last season in which the defense surrendered 34, 38, 38, 30, 51 and 57 points in; even the greatest of offense would struggle putting up those types of numbers week in and week out.

The Titans were unsuccessful also because they did not have anything that resembled a great offense. With name players like Chris Johnson in the backfield and Nate Washington and Kenny Britt on the outside led by the young Jake Locker the results were underwhelming on the offensive side of the ball last season for the Titans. The Titans were unable to build a flow offensively because of injuries at the quarterback position and inconsistent performances from their big name players.

Chris Johnson struggled early in the season, rushing for 24 yards or less in four of the first five games in the season; a stretch the Titans went 1-4 during. He also did not score a touchdown until the seventh game of the season against the Buffalo Bills. With Locker missing time early in the season because of injury and only being able to play in 11 games the chemistry between the receivers and quarterbacks was off all season, resulting in underwhelming seasons across the board from an offense that should have performed much better than 22nd in passing offense and 21st in rushing offense.

Kendall Wright had a decent rookie season and he is one of the players whose development will be paramount to the Titans becoming a playoff team once again. Here are some of his highlights from his rookie season:

Offseason

Key Losses (New Team): Jared Cook, TE (St. Louis Rams); Will Witherspoon, LB (St. Louis Cardinals); Leroy Harris, C (Detroit Lions); Deuce Lutui, G; Matt Hasselbeck, QB (Indianapolis Colts); Sen’Derrick Marks, DT (Jacksonville Jaguars); Javon Ringer, RB; Mitch Petrus, G; Zac Diles, LB (Kansas City Chiefs); Ryan Mouton, DB; Xavier Adibi, LB

Key Additions (Old Team): Bernard Pollard, S (Baltimore Ravens); Andy Levitre, G (Buffalo Bills); George Wilson, S (Buffalo Bills); Shonn Greene, RB (New York Jets); Chris Spencer, G (Chicago Bears); Delanie Walker, TE (San Francisco Giants); Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB (Buffalo Bills); Kevin Walter, WR (Houston Texans); Robert Turner, C (St. Louis Rams); Ropati Pitoitua, DE (Kansas City Chiefs); Barry Richardson, OT (St. Louis Rams); Antonio Johnson, DT (Indianapolis Colts); Moise Fokou, LB (Indianapolis Colts); Sammie Lee Hill, DT (Detroit Lions); Jackie Battle, RB (San Diego Chargers)

Players Re-Signed: Rob Bironas, K; Fernando Velasco, G; Keyunta Dawson, DE; Quinn Johnson, FB; Darius Reynaud, RB/KR

Players Drafted: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama; Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee; Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Cornerback, UConn; Zaviar Gooden, OLB, Missouri; Brian Schwenke, C, California; Lavar Edwards, DE, LSU; Khalid Wooten, CB, Nevada; Daimion Stafford, S, Nebraska

The additions made in the draft and free agency point to one thing: the Titans intend to run the ball in 2013. They are building one of the most physically imposing offensive lines in the NFL headlined by number 10 overall draft pick Chance Warmack. Wreh-Wilson and Edwards both fill needs and were great value where they were selected in the draft. Both have a legitimate chance of stepping in and producing right from the start of the 2013 season. This offense also added some more weapons to surround Locker in deep-threat Hunter and workhorse Greene, who can spell Johnson hopefully better than Ringer did. Walker is a good addition to the offense as he can produce playing tight end or coming out of the backfield in packages as a fullback, giving the Titans an intriguing H-Back option. Pollard will bring a winning pedigree and much needed talent boost to the worst scoring defense in the NFL last season.

Season Outlook

The Titans are starting to build the foundation of a solid team; the question is how far can Locker take them? He has everything a successful quarterback needs: athleticism, a rocket arm, speed. The only thing he lacks is accuracy, which is quite important for a quarterback to be successful. If he does not improve upon his accuracy it may be time for Fitzpatrick to come in and take the reins. The Titans are surrounding Locker with some pretty serious talent and if he does no start to produce they could move onto someone else.

The defense should be much improved with the signing of Pollard alone as he comes over from the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Also adding Wilson to the starting tandem of Pollard and Michael Griffin gives the Titans one of the better safety trios in the NFL. This is a defense that should improve upon their horrid scoring numbers from last season. An improvement from the defense will help but this team will only go as far as Locker can take them. They are committed to Locker to start the season but do not be surprised it at some point Fitzpatrick is under center either because of a Locker injury or his ineffectiveness.

Let CHARGED.fm find you the best Tennessee Titans tickets all season long!


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