A Tennessee Titans midseason review

There is both good news and bad news as the Tennessee Titans own a 4-4 record at the halfway mark of their season.

The good news is that the Titans have won four games, more than most people expected at this point, won three of their first four games and are in second place in the AFC South.

My midseason MVPs, and more good and bad news, after the break.

MVP Offense – Matt Hasselbeck.  No telling how bad the Titans’ record might be if not for him.

MVP Defense – Cortland Finnegan.  He’s been the only Titans defender who’s looked good in every game.  In a few games, he was the only one who appeared to be trying.

MVP, Rookie – Jurrell Casey.  More than Akeem Ayers or Karl Klug, Casey is the rook who’s made his presence felt the most.  Casey has been very good in run defense and is arguably the Titans’ best defensive lineman to this point.  That’s saying something, since the d-line includes one first-round and two second-round draft picks.

And now for the bad news.  The Titans are headed in the wrong direction, losing three of their last four, with two of the losses being embarrasing blowouts.

New offensive coordinator Chris Palmer identified three players at the start of the season who he intended to feature in his attack.  It hasn’t happened.  Chris Johnson hasn’t lived up to his self-proclaimed playmaker billing – he hasn’t even come close being an average NFL back (see Tom’s related article here.)  Kenny Britt’s season ended prematurely with an ACL injury and Jared Cook’s contributions have been sporadic.

The defense has displayed an inability at times to stop both the run and the pass.

The combination of a struggling offense and less than stellar defense doesn’t bode well for the remainder of the season.

Here’s how the rest of the schedule looks for the Titans.  The current records of the opponents are included, along with my projections for each game.
 

Opponent W L Projection
at Carolina 2 6 Loss
at Atlanta 5 3 Loss
vs Buccaneers 4 4 Loss
at Buffalo 5 3 Loss
vs Saints 6 3 Loss
at Indianapolis 0 9 Win
vs Jaguars 2 6 Win
at Houston 6 3 Loss

You can easily make a case that the Titans won’t win more than two of their remaining games.  If the Titans are going to turn the season around, two things need to happen.

1) The running game needs to get going.  If that means benching CJ and Eugene Amano, then I’m all for it.
2) The Titans need to get a pass rush.  They can’t expect their secondary to keep opponents covered without one.

If those two things don’t happen, and soon, we’re looking at another disappointing 6-10 season after an encouraging 3-1 start.

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