The Tennessee Titans finished the 2013 year with another pedestrian season, finishing at 7-9. It was the franchise’s 5th straight season without a playoff appearance and this year marks a straight decade that the team has not won a playoff game. The AFC south was not especially tough this year, and the Titans 3-1 start had fans thinking playoffs until quarterback Jake Locker was severely injured twice and ended up missing the last 9 games of the season. The Titans were competitive in every game this season, but could only pull out 4 wins in the last 12 games of the season, which led to the firing of former Head Coach Mike Munchak.
Jake Locker started off 2013 with good performances in his first three games, looking like the quarterback of the future that all fans were hoping he would be; but a serious hip injury in Week 4 had everyone questioning his toughness. Locker returned to action 5 weeks later against Jacksonville, only to suffer a season-ending Linsfranc injury while handing the ball off to Chris Johnson. 31-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick took over the reigns of the Titans offense while Locker was out with injury and acted as a serviceable backup, but not by any means a quarterback that the franchise can build around. The Titans are in serious trouble if Jake Locker continues to have the same toughness as fine porcelain on the football field and will need to look at other options if he cannot stay healthy.
Running Backs C
Chris Johnson was again able to break 1,000 yards rushing in 2013, but is still not playing up to the 2,000 yard per season money he is getting paid. He only broke 100 yards twice this season and has been asked to take a pay cut in order to free up the Titans to make moves in the offseason to help improve the roster, which he refused to do. Now Johnson went almost all of the 2013 season with a meniscus tear, so new Titans’ Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt will have to decide if keeping Johnson on the roster is a smart move for the future. 1st year Titan Shonn Greene was expected to take some of the carries off Chris Johnson and add size in the backfield, a role similar to the one held by LenDale White in Tennessee years ago, but he struggled to keep healthy and only carried the ball more than 10 times in a game this season twice.
The receivers for Tennessee had a good year apart from the ongoing drama with Kenny Britt. Kendall Wright recorded a league’s seventh best 94 receptions and Nate Washington showed that his career wasn’t yet finished by recording almost a 1,000 yards receiving. Rookie Justin Hunter also showed promise in his first year and also had a game-winning catch against San Diego early in the season. First year Titan tight end Delanie Walker also played 70% of snaps and showed that he could be a go-to receiver for whomever the Titans have under center in the future. No matter if Kenny Britt finds his place in Tennessee or not, the Titans have a good, young core at the receiver position and fans should be excited at what this group could do for the club.
Offensive Line B
Tennessee brought in Andy Levitre, drafted Chance Warmack, and Brian Schwenke to try to secure the offensive line. While these players played well in 2013, the line was still very hot and cold at some points. Run blocking was very spotty during the whole season and its inefficiency definitely had something to do with Chris Johnson’s below-par season. The pass-blocking also needed work, but Michael Roos, David Steward, and the new, younger lineman should be able to improve greatly for the 2014 season and once again be able to create time for the quarterback and open holes for CJ or whoever is running the ball for Tennessee next season.
Edited by Will Lomas