Titans grades for the first five weeks

Now that we’ve got a bye week, I thought it would be a good time to review the first five games and take a look at the performances by the different position groups.
Quarterback: C — Going into the season, who could have predicted Kerry Collins would replace Vince Young and lead the team to wins in their first five games? Collins hasn’t been a star by any means, but he’s done a good job as far as game management. More importantly, he hasn’t lost any games with poor play.
Running backs: B — Chris Johnson and LenDale White have proven to be an effective 1-2 punch. While Johnson has turned out to be something of a boom-or-bust proposition on each carry, he does have his fair share of three and four-yard gains in addition to a few longer ones.
Receivers: D — By far the most disappointing position group on the team, they’re also very inconsistent. Collectively, they’ve caught only 33 balls for 479 yards and just one touchdown.
Tight ends: B — Bo Scaife has played well and leads the team in both receptions and receiving yards. Alge Crumpler has been quiet in the passing game but has blocked fairly well.
O-line: B — They’ve been better than average in run-blocking this year and have been outstanding in pass protection. Eugene Amano isn’t as good as Jacob Bell was, but Jake Scott has done a good job in replacing Benji Olson.
D-line: B+ — Albert Haynesworth is once again disrupting offenses and Kyle Vanden Bosch is still relentless. The left side of the line has been adequate. I was impressed with the way the reserves played in the Ravens game. That depth will become more important later in the season.
Linebackers: B+ — It’s rare for Jeff Fisher to make changes to the starting lineup in non-injury situations, but that’s what he did in making Stephen Tulloch the starting MLB. Keith Bulluck seems to be playing a little better than he was a year ago and David Thornton seems to be playing not quite as well. It’s a good trio.
Cornerbacks: A — Cortland Finnegan is tied for the league lead in interceptions and may be headed to his first Pro Bowl. Nick Harper has been making some plays, Vince Fuller has seen plenty of playing time at nickel and Eric King has been a solid reserve.
Safeties: A — Michael Griffin has begun his sophomore campaign with a bang, tying Finnegan for the league lead in interceptions. Chris Hope seems to be fully recovered from his neck injury last year and is once again the leader of the secondary.
Special teams: C — Craig Hentrich is doing his usual good job as the punter and holder. Rob Bironas is 8 for 8 on field goal attempts and is booming his kickoffs. No residual effects of the groin injury in the preseason. The return game was not good in the first three weeks but Chris Carr has had three great returns in the last two weeks. The coverage units remain a cause for concern. The Titans could use an upgrade at gunner. The snapping has been erratic at times but Hentrich has prevented it from becoming costly.

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