With the NFL, there’s always a demand for discussion. In America, the NFL slaughters everything, while all other leagues are merely a niche sport. Even college football, which clearly comes in second, is a very distant second.
Anyway, let’s get this party started. We continue the never too early season preview series with the Tennessee Titans.
Last year’s AFC South title was won without any real competition, and the Colts are again the favorite in the AFC NASCAR division this year. Houston is their biggest threat; they won it in ’11 and ’12 and they’ll rebound from last year’s disaster faster than you think. Tennessee has been running on a treadmill as a franchise for awhile, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are well, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
If you don’t “remember the Titans” I can’t say I blame you. No other NFL franchise defines mediocrity more. Look at all the major statistical categories last season: the Titans ranked somewhere between 14th-24th in damn near all of them. Since their last playoff victory in 2008, they’ve been at or near .500 with a 7-9 finish last season. 2014 will bring more of the same.
Of course, there is the quarterback position. All the cliches, exhausted narratives and beaten to death story lines about Jay Cutler and his career defining year with Chicago, those all apply now to Jake Locker here.
Is Locker a real signal caller? The team declined his fifth year option, so now’s the time to find out. They also jettisoned Ryan Fitzpatrick, so it’s all his show now. In the meantime I’m going to keep mocking a QB to the Tennessee Titans in my 2015 mock draft, so what does that tell you. TN also released the face of their franchise for the past few years, one of the very few in the league who can “set the edge.” Or at least he could in his prime. Now it’s Bishop Sankey’s turn to lead them to the AFC NASCAR division crown.
They also brought in the kid from “The Blind Side” tup upgrade the OL and Dexter McCluster to make sure there’s no fusterclucks in the WR corp. All in all, they do have talent, but they’re still blah.
At least they were balanced: not just on defense, but overall as a team. They ranked in the teens and twenties in pretty much every stat that matters. Not gonna lie, this is one of the most boring teams in the NFL to do a preview on- boring place, boring characters, boring storylines. Once again the Titans are in transition on the DL. It seems this team is always drafting talented DEs, or at least has a plethora of talent at the DE position, but it never really amounts to much.
The linebackers are pretty solid, but Derrick Morgan and Jurrell Casey don’t seem like a true fit. Ray Horton could be a very special Defensive Coordinator. He’s worked bigger miracles with less before. Overall, this really shapes up to be a transition year.
Special Teams/Odds and Ends:
I like Ken Whisenhunt. I think he’s the right man for the job, but give him time. The Tennesse Titans will be exciting once he gets more of his pieces.
Bottom Line: 5-11 to 7-9 looks about right. I don’t think they’ll challenge the Colts, but they’ll be way ahead of the Jaguars
Paul M. The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports and Yahoo! He’s been a on news talk shows all across the world. He’s also a special contributor to the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. Banks has been featured in numerous including NFL.com, Forbes, Bleacher Report, Deadspin, ESPN, NBC, CBS, the History Channel and more. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)owns Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks