So we, admittedly, underestimated the commitment required for us both to preview all 32 NFL teams together in a little more than a month. It's tedious, thankless work. So from now on we're splitting the rest of the teams among the two of us to get done twice as quick (and with half the work). It is with that that we're proud to bring to you the 31st of our 32 team previews for the upcoming NFL season, the Tennessee Titans.
Are you from Tennessee? Because you're the only ten I see -- if we're ranking your football team on a scale from one to a hundred.
I've already touched up on Tennessee this year, blasting them for signing Kerry Collins. Since then, it looked more and more like Collins will actually be the starter.
If Billy Volek starts, he can try to keep them competitive. He's always had a good relationship with Drew Bennett. In 2004, the two of them hooked up for nine touchdowns in five games. Although they probably won't set that pace again, it's good to have the rapport with your receiver. I can't imagine that success from Kerry Collins. In fact, I can't imagine success from Kerry Collins at all. He holds on to the ball for too long and folds in pressure situations. As for Vince Young, he's still new to the game, but I'd start Young over Collins. If you're going to lose, you may as well get your rookie some experience. The team's other receiver, David Givens, was a favorite target of Tom Brady's for a bit, but he was never a big-play receiver. Neither is Drew Bennett, and it will hurt any quarterback not to have a go-to guy.
Their running game isn't too pretty either. Chris Brown isn't even happy to be there, and he and Travis Henry took turns running and getting injured. Henry also missed the first four games of 2005 due to failing a drug test. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see former USC running back LenDale White -- the thunder to Reggie Bush's lightning -- start soon enough. Of course, he sustained a hamstring injury before the draft this offseason and has had a toe and hamstring problem currently. The Titans sure do love injury-prone runners. However, being a younger player, White will recover and probably start some games for the Titans.
The bright spots for the Titans come from their defense. Kyle Vander Bosch impressed a lot of people at defensive end last year with 12.5 sacks and 65 tackles. David Thornton is a great pickup from the Colts at linebacker. The other outside linebacker, Keith Bulluck, is a monster -- not the kind of monster that hides under your bed but the kind that records 138 tackles. Let's see the boogey man do that.
Their secondary has David Hope, who played for Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh last year. However, they also have Adam "Pac Man" Jones. He got his nickname because he supposedly drank milk with the same voraciousness as Pac-Man. Now, he's drinking alcohol with that very same voraciousness and getting into shouting matches outside bars. His play was disappointing last year since he was touted as one of the top cornerbacks of his draft.
The Titans could stuff the run this year with their tough run defense, but their offense is going to keep their defense on the field so often, that it shouldn't matter how good their run stoppers are. The Titans are in a division with the Colts and a gritty Jacksonville team. And with the Texans improving their game, the Titans have reservations in the basement. I think they are going to win about six games this season, but it all depends who quarterbacks this team -- they could do worse than six games if Collins sees a lot of time. Either way, the Titans will have to wait a little longer than four months to see the postseason.