Why The Tennessee Titans Will Make The Playoffs

By Adam Grice
May 06, 2013 11:29 am
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Jake Locker The Tennessee Titans don't have one of the nicest schedules, especially when you face the Seahawks and the 49ers back to back. However, the Titans showed enough last season to move up and surprise a lot of people this season.

Jake Locker was injured against the Houston Texans, after missing some games, he came back and didn't look as good as he should.

This offseason, Locker has had shoulder surgery to repair the small damage remaining and he should not be playing under duress. 

Towards the end of last season, Dowell Loggains showed he wasn't scared to use Locker the way he should be, in a pistol offense.

Watching Nevada in the NCAA when they had three 1,000-yard rushers, you can see the pistol in full effect, Loggains will revive it in the NFL on the shoulders of both Locker and Johnson.

Draftee Justin Hunter is a player who can fit the pistol style offense; he has the quickness to get past defenders at the second level if they bite on a play action and can help the Titans stretch the field. Offensive coordinator Loggains showed at the end of last season that Locker will be used on a lot of bootleg plays, a way which is suited to Locker's strengths.

Chris Johnson is another player who will strive under this type of offensive management. With defenses not knowing what will come at them, will it be a pass, a QB scramble, a run? This will allow for the Titans to put more points on the board, with an expertly-crafted offensive line this offseason, the Titans have a great chance for success.

When you look at the teams they play this season, most games are winnable. The middle of the schedule before their bye is where the real test will be for the Titans. Back to back physical contests with the Seahawks and 49ers. If the Titans pull a win from either of these matchups, they will make the postseason.

In the first encounter of the season with last year's divisional champions in 2012, Houston, the Titans showed great defense to hold a productive offense to three points over a three quarter period. Unfortunately, a handful of interceptions thrown by Matt Hasselbeck - that were returned for touchdowns in the first quarter - inevitably sank the Titans.

This season, the Titans fare a lot better on paper against their divisional rivals than they did last season. Sen'Derrick Marks is finally off the roster, being replaced by Sammy Lee Hill, a definite upgrade to plug the middle. A refurbished offensive line with top draft talent, Chance Warmack and top free agent guard, Andy Levitre. Houston are beatable and well Jacksonville shouldn't be too hard either. Indianapolis is where the real challenge begins for Tennessee.

If the Titans can beat the Colts both home and away, they win this division. They have the potential to beat the Texans' play-action offense as when they shut down Arian Foster, they almost beat the Texans. An upgraded roster from last season should see them get over the line this time.

The first six matches will define the season for the Titans, the first game of the season is away to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Last season they defeated the Steelers in extraordinary fashion; they can do so again with the Steelers missing some key components.

The Texans at Reliant Stadium is the next match; this will be the place where they can turn the season on its head -- a win here is crucial and they can pull it off by taking Foster out of the contest and eliminating the play-action game.

The Chargers have long been the Titans' kryptonite -- in 2008, the Chargers ended the Titans' win streak and last season ended their own losing streak against Tennessee. This could be another tricky encounter for the Titans, but home-field advantage will help them get over the line in this one. This is a match that is a double-edged sword, it could go either way.

The New York Jets and the Chiefs follow the Chargers with visits to Nashville, these two matches would be expected wins by most fans of the Sky Blues, who are celebrating their 15th season as the Titans.

The sixth match of the season is away to Seattle. This will be their first, true, physical match. With corners Browner and Sherman sticking Hunter and Britt at the line, it may be up to underneath man Kendall Wright to get the job done for the Titans.

The Seahawks have one of the most impressive rosters and defeating last year's surprise rookie QB, Russell Wilson, will prove difficult. A win here will certainly catapult the Titans into the playoff stratosphere.

Beating the Seahawks, the Titans will most likely be at a level of 4-2 or 5-1 at this stage and will be the surprise side of the season.

The new pistol offense that Dowell Loggains will implement is something Titans' fans can get excited about. They should definitely see more points on the scoreboard than there was last season.

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By Adam Grice
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Previous Comments (9)

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17 months ago
Did I miss where the Titans traded for Tom Brady and AJ Green? The Titans finished dead last in the league in points allowed at an insane 29.4! Seattle barely allowed that every TWO games! I have no idea where you get off thinking that the Titans will even get to 7 or 8 wins, let alone the 11+ they would need to win the division. I will give them both games against Jacksonville, Oakland, Arizona, san diego, and the Jets. If they are lucky they will steal one from indy...i'll wager quite a bit of money that they don't get to 8 wins.
17 months ago

Your not taling into consideration how weak the AFC South is as a whole. Making it as a wildcard is not far off. They finished 9-7 two seasons ago, they have the potential on the roster to change their fortune. The Colts are not going to be as strong next season as everyone will have figured Luck out just like they did Newton. Locker is still pretty fresh and has a lot of upside in a pistol offense. That is the whole reason they can. They were outscored because they never held the ball long due to the turnovers. Johnson will be more effective meaning they can have better clock management to wear down the opponents defense. Not everyteam has Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady who can hit an egg off the zebras head. Moving Locker around pistol style can bring more points and more time of possession - something they did not have a lot of last season.
17 months ago

That is crazy talk. You dont figure out a pure pocket passer. Teams haventfigured out tom brady or manning. Luck added weapons in the passing game like heyward bey and they drafted a solid RB in williams. The afc south had two teams with 12 and 11 wins last year. How is that weak? The titans have no chance at all to make the playoffs. I also think it is funny that you have them winning the division in your article, but then have them only grabbing the wild card spot in your reply...next you know they will be slipping in with an 8-8 record....not going to happen.
17 months ago

I said they 'can' win the division. Both game against tye Texans last year were closer tham everyone thinks. The Colts beat them in overtime once and by less than 7 the next. Jacksonville are not great. They had Chris Palmer running the offense for the start of their season who was useless at using his pieces properly. Either way anything can happen. The division was weak, tye Texans numbers were inflated and the playoffs showed it. The Colts were a surprise but Pagano is back, Arians coaches differently as he is a man who loves the deep ball, gotta wait and see if Pagano uses him as effectively.
16 months ago
Although the Chargers have been a thorn in our side, I just wanted to point out that the Titan's 2008 winning streak was broken by the Jets. Brett Favre had a big game. Don't know how you missed that one.
16 months ago

That was a typo, I meant 2007 when the Titans would have had a 5 game win streak, with the Chargers being the sole loss from week 13-17. thanks for pointing that out for me. It kind of makes me look like a buffoon to Titans' fans. Chargers seem to be Tennessee's kryptonite every season.
16 months ago
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand-grenades and deodorant. Titans mmight get to 9-7 if theybeat Indy twice. Every team in the division got better. 8-8 would be areasonable goal.
16 months ago

The Titans know all about close, getting 1 yard away from a Lombardi and all. However, the Jaguars have only improved on paper, losing Blackmon for four games will hurt them. The Titans need both games against Jacksonville to do any good and they can beat the Texans, they showed it last season, they only lost due to points from turnovers, eliminate those and they won. Indy is where the real challenge will be this season, the Titans took it to them last season and will do so again this season. Time will tell, the Titans have improved on paper exponentially compared to last season. 9-7 could be a good bet, but I still think they will surprise Seattle.
16 months ago
Don't forget Cushing will be back and he's a beast, uunless youOL is vastly improved, It will be long days for Locker. Crick would've been a first round pick if he'd left early. Swearinger is the real deal,as is Hopkins. Schaub gets all kinds of grief for ONLY throwing for 4000 yds. The injury bug is what doomed the Texans. They lost three ILB's, NT, DE, RT RB & Joseph played with a hammy.
These guys are all back and the Texans have much more qquality depth everywhere.
Sorry, but Titans don't match up. Don't forget they knocked Locker out, he's bound to be skittish with Watt&co.bearing down on him. He gets his bell rung and he'll get happy feet. I see one blowout and anothercomfortable win for the Texans.

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