Have the Titans solved their red zone woes?

One of last season’s most frustrating recurring themes was the Titans’ inability to score touchdowns in the red zone. The Titans ranked dead-last in the league in red zone touchdown efficiency in 2007, crossing the goal line on only 20 of their 55 possessions inside their opponents’ twenty-yard line.
A vivid example of the Titans’ struggles in the red zone was during last year’s excruciating 38-36 win against the Texans. In the victory, Rod Bironas kicked an NFL record 8 field goals as a result of the Titans’ miserable performance in the red zone that consisted of only two touchdowns in nine opportunities.
Will the 2008 Tennessee Titan offense produce in the red zone?

The signing of Alge Crumpler is an indication that bigger and better things are in store for the Titans’ red zone offense next year. Crumpler has always been a reliable target in the red zone and his presence in the lineup should help the Titans tremendously.
Titan tight ends only accounted for one of the team’s league-low nine touchdown receptions in 2007. If Crumpler is able to stay healthy, that putrid total should increase significantly in 2008.
The presence of dynamic rookie RB Chris Johnson should also open things up in the red zone. Johnson provides the Titans with a legitimate multi-threat who can score by running or catching the football. Even if Johnson isn’t scoring touchdowns, his unique skill set will be accounted for by opposing defenses, which should open up scoring opportunities for other Titan offensive players.
The return of Mike Heimerdinger should also be a help to the Titans’ red zone offense. I expect Dinger to take more risks than Norm Chow did in the red zone while also trying to utilize Young’s running ability a lot more.
During the beginning of last month’s OTA’s, increasing their scoring in the red zone was one of the Titans’ biggest priorities.
Finishing as the league’s worst red zone scoring unit in 2007, the Titans have nowhere to go but up in 2008.

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