The Tennessee Titans season and home opener against the New England Patriots will be a great test early for the team.

The Titans barely missed the playoffs last year, finishing with nine wins and seven losses. The Titans looks to improve this year and make a playoff run; an opening win against the Patriots would be a great start.

Tennessee is in a transitional phase with a battle at quarterback between Matt Hasselbeck and second-year man Jake Locker. Hasselbeck is coming off a solid year throwing for 3571 yards and 18 touchdowns. Locker is the heir apparent and the Titans hope the signal caller for the foreseeable future.

The challenge of Week 1 will be trying to keep pace with the explosive New England Patriots. Last year the Patriots made a Super Bowl run, losing only three games in the regular season and narrowly losing to the New York Giants in the biggest game in football.

New England's potent offense has been their signature over the last few years. The Patriots were the fourth leading team in passing touchdowns last year, and could challenge a secondary without defensive anchor Cortland Finnegan.

If the Titans want to make a statement to their division and the league, beating the AFC champs will be a good start.

Tennessee has looked good in the preseason so far. With a 2-1 record going into the last exhibition game, the Titans have managed the game well on both sides of the ball. Running back Chris Johnson has been resurgent this year looking like the back that totaled 2,006 yards rushing in 2009.

The Titans will be contending with two good division opponents this year in the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans. Houston won the division last year and, even though the Jags finished at 5-11, they are a force in the NFL.

It will be a very interesting year in the AFC South, and if Tennessee can beat the Patriots there will be a clear favorite after Week 1.