The Tennessee Titans finished the 2012 season a 6-10 record.
Looking to improve on a disappointing 2012, the Titans made a lot of noise in free agency, brining in tight end Delanie Walker, guard Andy Levitre, safety Bernard Pollard, defensive linemen Sammie Lee Hill, Antonio Johnson, Lavar Edwards, and Ropati Pitoitua, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and running back Shonn Green.
Tennessee watched tight end Jared Cook sign with St. Louis and safety Jordan Babineaux decided not to return to the Titans.
2013 will be a make or break year for the Titans young quarterback Jake Locker. Here is the Titans 2013-2014 season preview.
Jake Locker had an average 2012 season, throwing for 2,176 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. Locker was the 8th overall pick a few years back, and has not lived up to the expectations of a top draft pick. If the Titans want to make it back to the playoffs, Locker is going to have to lead them there. Tennessee will only go as far as their third year QB will take them.
Chris Johnson had a nice bounce back year in 2012, rushing for nearly 1,300 yards
and 6 touchdowns. Johnson has said this offseason that he wants to break 2,000 rushing yards this year, and it could be possible. With the additions of Andy Levitre and rookie Chance Warmack to the Titans offensive line, Tennessee appears to have one of the top units in the league. This offensive line should open up some huge alleys for Johnson to run through.
The Titans didn’t have a backup running back in 2012. Chris Johnson had 276 carries on the year, and Jamie Harper had the second most carries of any running back with 19 (Locker had 41 carries). In Shonn Green’s time with the Jets, he proved that he was a serviceable back, and should be a solid compliment to Johnson in the Titans’ backfield.
According to the Titans first depth chart, Nate Washington is their number one receiver, Kenny Britt is their number two receiver, and Kendall Wright is their number three receiver. When healthy, Britt has been extremely productive. He has just had some serious issues staying on the field. Wright had a good rookie season last year and is looking to improve on that in 2013, and Nate Washington was once again very solid in 2012. Justin Hunter, the Titans second round pick, has all the physical tools to be a great receiver, but just needs time to develop. It will be interesting to see how much the Titans use him early on in the season. Delanie Walker is a versatile offensive weapon that can play in the back field or line up as a receiver. Look for Tennessee to use him in as many different ways as they can to create favorable mismatches for themselves.
The Titans had one of the worst statistical defenses in 2012, finishing the season ranked 26th against the pass and 21st against the run.
The four new defensive linemen the Titans brought in this offseason (Hill, Johnson, Edwards, Pitoitua) should really help secure their run defense. Hill is slated to start at one of the defensive tackle positions next to Jurrell Casey, and Kamerion Wimbley and
Derrick Morgan are slotted in to start at the defensive end spots. Wimbley and Morgan combined for 12.5 sacks in 2012, but Tennessee will need more production from these two if they want to make it back to the postseason.
Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown, the Titans two outside linebackers, both had solid 2012 seasons, finishing first and third respectively on the team in tackles. Colin McCarthy played sparingly in 2012, but is slated to start at middle linebacker in Week 1.
Adding Bernard Pollard to the secondary was a good move for the Titans. Pollard is a hard-hitting safety that can play in coverage, and can also come into the box and play against the run. His versatility will fit nicely next to Michael Griffin who is more of a coverage, ball hawking safety than a run stuffer. Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourtney are still relatively young cornerbacks, and it’s time to show that they’re as good as experts thought they could be.
2013 Prediction: 5-11
In a make or break year for Jake Locker, he breaks. The Titans running game will be very good in 2013, but teams will start putting 8 defenders in the box and force Locker to beat them. Tennessee’s defense will be decent in 2013, but not good enough to keep them in a position to win every week.
Wins: San Diego, New York (Jets), Jacksonville, @Oakland, @Jacksonville
Losses: @Pittsburgh, @Houston, Kansas City, @Seattle, San Francisco, @St. Louis, Indianapolis, @Indianapolis, @Denver, Arizona, Houston
Follow me on Twitter: @mlukes14
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