2013 Record: 7-9
Alright, so joke all you want about 37-year-old Matt Hasselbeck’s weak arm. The truth is that Hasselbeck was actually better than young Jake Locker at quarterback in 2012, even after Hasselbeck was benched midseason to allow the Washington product to start. Locker can run, rushing for 291 yards and 7.1 yards per carry, but his completion percentage was below 57% and he threw too many interceptions for the amount of playing time he got. Ryan Fitzpatrick was a strong sign for insurance. And luckily he still has running back Chris Johnson (1,243 yards, six touchdowns). Johnson can be maddeningly frustrating, so the Titans signed Shonn Greene for insurance. Locker also has formidable weapons in Nate Washington, Kendall Wright, and Kenny Britt. Wright (64 receptions, 626 yards) had a great rookie season after playing college ball as RGIII’s top target at Baylor. Hasselbeck and Locker also spread the ball well as four guys ended up with four touchdowns each. But one of those guys, tight end Jared Cook Jr., signed with St. Louis in the offseason. Tight end remains a major weakness on the roster. Michael Roos doesn’t have the same ring as a Greg Olsen. Up front Locker also needs more stability on the line and he’ll get it with Alabama right guard Chance Warmack.
There are some mainstays on a defense that doesn’t impress much on the scoreboard. Akeem Ayers, Jason McCourty, Michael Griffin, and Will Witherspoon represent the core of a defense that probably needs significant change if the Titans are going to win soon. McCourty led the team in tackles with just 73. They signed safety George Wilson to help with their inability to stop big plays—the Titans had a tendency to allow teams to go deep on them last year. They also allowed the third-most first downs in the NFL and opponents converted on third down 39.7% of the time. That has to change or defensive backs will lose all confidence in themselves as a unit. Special teams could also be an issue. Old kicker Rob Bironas is still one of the strongest in terms of distance but he had too many easy misses last year. Overall, the Titans aren’t sure what they have offensively (it all depends on Locker), and know they need help defensively. It’s uncertain whether or not they’ll get that this year.