Titans skip past rebuilding year

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We’re checking in with each team during their bye week for a look at their state of the season. 

The Chiefs, Broncos and Chargers already got the treatment this week. The Titans are up.

So much for the crippling lockout

When coming up with teams hurt by the lockout, the Titans should have been at the top of the list. They had new systems to install on both sides of the ball. They had a new quarterback and a star holdout at running back.  The Titans haven’t been phased at all, going 3-2 early. Expectations should be adjusted.

Consistently inconsistent

The Titans have looked very powerful at times, soundly beating the Ravens at home and the Browns on the road. They have also looked overwhelmed in a blowout loss to the Steelers and a deceptively close loss to Jacksonville.

Inconsistency isn’t a shock with this team. It’s more surprising how well they can play when they are “on.”

Hasselbeck a perfect pickup

The Titans are paying Matt Hasselbeck a lot of money, and it’s still not enough. He’s showing first-round pick Jake Locker how to get it done.  Hasselbeck is a terrific leader and has avoided the mistakes that plagued him in Seattle.  His protection has been excellent.  Hasselbeck threw nine touchdowns with four interceptions and a 7.8 YPA in the first five weeks.

Johnson’s slump a good sign?

We’ve written about Chris Johnson’s struggles here plenty. In the long run, they could be viewed as a good sign for this team. The Titans won’t stay last in rushing all year. Johnson won’t stay so ineffective. (Right?) It’s a good sign the Titans have won while C.J2k isn’t on pace for 1k.

Britt’s loss a huge blow

Few wideouts meant more to their team. The Titans are thin in the playmaker department. It is going to be difficult to consistently generate offense without Britt in the final 11 weeks.

Preventing points

The defense has come along faster than expected. The Titans are sixth in points allowed this season and tenth in yards allowed. They don’t have great pass rushers, but rookie Akeem Ayers looks like a keeper and Derrick Morgan has shown flashes since returning from injury.

Finnegan leads strong secondary

Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray has moved Cortland Finnegan around a lot to great effect. He’s playing like a Pro Bowler again in a contract year. Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner have also played well for an underrated secondary.

A division there for the taking

The Titans are the only team other than the Colts to win the AFC South since Peyton Manning became Peyton Manning. With Manning out, it looks like a two-team race between the Titans and Texans.  The Jaguars are 1-4 with a rookie quarterback and a brutal upcoming schedule. The Colts are 0-5.

The Titans have three straight home games after the bye, starting with the Texans.

While Tennessee is a developing team, the time for playoff contention is now.

23 responses to “Titans skip past rebuilding year

  1. They beat the Broncos and the Browns and lost to the Jaguars…I wouldn’t exactly say they’re world beaters.

    I know they beat the Ravens too, but that Ravens team was coming off of their Superbowl (since they haven’t been to any lately) against the Steelers the week before…it was a trap game.

  2. theyve played three bad teams and two good ones.. their record is what it should be.
    Good for them for not listening to everone say how awful they should be.

  3. Glad to see Hasselbeck doing so well, sucked to see him leave seattle after doing so much for this team, but I’m glad he got out of here. Despite watching the Ruskell-plagued team deteriorate around him, and getting abused behind a crappy o-line and no run game, he didn’t complain and gave his best.

    He’s the perfect guy to have mentoring Jake Locker, who’s another class-act leader and teammate. I don’t know if Locker will end up being a good pro QB or not but he couldn’t have a better situation than a dude like Hasselbeck showing him the ropes.

  4. I am a packer fan, which is why I am a Hasslebeck fan, and I have to say cudos to the titans for bringing this guy in. The lack of love he got in Seattle was ridiculous considering what they brought in to replace the guy. Titans got a steal and Matty will get a shot at the playoffs which would make that the last laugh.

  5. The INT against Jacksonville looked all too familar to Seahawks fan..a poor game, but still a chance at the end to win, but then forcing up a rainbow into double or triple coverage.

    Good for him for having success, he has something left in the tank, but it was clear a couple years ago that Seattle had to move on in a number of ways.

    Lets not go too overboard with the mentoring…if Locker can learn what a pro QB does in perperation and process week to week from Hasslebeck, that’s fine. But Hasseleck is prone for trying to do too much when down on the scoreboard, and trying to get it all back too quickly and in turn, blowing chances the team has.

    Hasselbeck never seemed to be any sort of mentor for Seneca Wallace in the 5 years he was his backup, Wallace was as clueless on the field when he left Seattle as he was when he started.

  6. “His protection has been excellent.”

    This is why Hass is a great choice for the Titans, and why staying in Seattle would have been bad for both him and the Seahawks.

    Tavaris Jackson, who is far more mobile than Hass, has taken 18 sacks this year behind the Seahawks’ very young and still-learning offensive line. This puts him on pace for nearly 60 sacks, although, to the offensive line’s credit, they are improving (he was on pace for 80 after the first two games).

    In Tennessee, Hass has taken 7 sacks, which puts him on a pace for under 30 for a full year.

    Given Hass missed at least one full game due to injury in each of the last five seasons, the chances of him remaining healthy throughout the year in Seattle were zero.

    Most of Hass’ struggles in Seattle the past few years were a direct result of Timmay Ruskell severely neglecting to add talent and depth to the offensive line. The current management is trying to rectify that, but it’s still a work in progress.

    As a Seahawks fan, I’m glad to see him in a place where he can more fully reach his full potential at this time in his career.

  7. rodgerthat says:
    Oct 14, 2011 2:30 PM
    I am a packer fan, which is why I am a Hasslebeck fan, and I have to say cudos to the titans for bringing this guy in. The lack of love he got in Seattle was ridiculous considering what they brought in to replace the guy. Titans got a steal and Matty will get a shot at the playoffs which would make that the last laugh.

    There was no lack of love for Hass in Seattle as far as fans are concerned. Most of us are just glad to see him go someplace he could actually have a shot at doing something with the remainder of his career. Matt will have his place in Seattle’s ring of honor mark my words.

  8. One of the many Seattle fans who watch Matt on our CBS affiliate every week.

    So happy to see him doing so well! He was a playoff machine here, and I bet he gets the Titans in there as well.

  9. rodgerthat says:
    Oct 14, 2011 2:30 PM
    I am a packer fan, which is why I am a Hasslebeck fan, and I have to say cudos to the titans for bringing this guy in. The lack of love he got in Seattle was ridiculous considering what they brought in to replace the guy. Titans got a steal and Matty will get a shot at the playoffs which would make that the last laugh.

    ***************************************

    Seattle offered 7 mil/yr…seems like a lot of love to me. Hass said no. It was obvious Hass would be in heading straight to the morgue behind this new O-Line so they decided that 8-9mil/yr would be a bad investment. Tenn offfered 9 mil/yr and Hass went for it. Good for him. A great Seahawk, great community guy, and a leader. Hope he continues to flourish.

  10. The way I see it, Tennessee should try and trade for one of the “name” WRs on the trading block. They are in good shape for making the playoffs.

    The Jags and Colts aren’t contenders for the AFC South title and the Texans are missing their 2 best players. If the Texans lose this week VS the Ravens and then lose again next week VS Tennessee, things look real good for the Titans.

    Assuming that Britt can come back fully next year, getting a WR like Wayne or Lloyd or one of those other soon-to-be-free-agent WRs would be a nice addition for their passing game.

    Doubt it will happen but who knows…

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