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Today: The Tennessee Titans
Last Year: 7-9 (2nd place in AFC South)
I hadn’t really considered it until Drew Magary mentioned it in his “Why Your Team Sucks” article yesterday, but, now that the thought has entered my mind, I can’t really push it away. The Tennessee Titans are easily the most boring team in the NFL.
Let me break it down for you. At quarterback, they have a former first-round pick. Should be exciting right? In theory, yes. Jake Locker has all the potential in the world. But, in three seasons, Locker has averaged less than eight games played per season. Nothing is more boring than not playing.
At running back last year, they had some guy whose nickname is CJ2K. Except he averaged 3.9 yards per carry in 2013. At wide receiver, the Titans have Kendall Wright. Actually, I think Wright is pretty damn exciting, so okay, the Titans beat me there.
The point is, I can’t think of one Titans game from last year without looking at their schedule/results first. The team won seven games? How?
The Titans have to be the most anonymous 7-9 team of all time. The thing is, they might have been better than a normal 7-9 team. I’m not shitting you, I promise.
Consider these results from a season ago: a 7-point loss to the Seahawks in Seattle, a 3-point OT loss to the Cardinals, a 3-point loss to the Colts. The Titans lost seven games last season by single digits.
But, seriously, what a boring fucking team.
Last Year’s Stud: Kendall Wright
Wright, selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, made a seismic leap in this second year in the league. After finishing his rookie season with 64 catches, 626 yards, and four touchdowns, Wright’s sophomore year numbers look like this:
- 94 catches
- 1,079 yards
- 2 touchdowns
His touchdown number decreased, but don’t worry about that. Not only did Wright improve massively in terms of catches and yards, his average yards per catch increased from 9.8 to 11.5.
Runner-up: Alterraun Verner
Posted five interceptions and 22 passes defended.
Last Year’s Surprise: Mike Munchak
Apparently, after the season, Munchak was given the option to either fire his assistant coaches and keep his job as head coach of the Titans, or refuse to fire his assistants and lose his job. Munchak lost his job. Respect to Munchak for choosing loyalty and proving that there are good people in the NFL.
Runner-up: Jurrell Casey
Last Year’s Disappointment: Jake Locker
Before Locker got hurt last season, some thought he was in the middle of a breakout season. In an article published to Grantland on September 25th of last year, Bill Barnwell pondered, “Are We Witnessing the Rise of Jake Locker?” We never really got to find out though. Locker would only play seven games because of an injury.
In the two seasons that Jake Locker was expected to start, he’s only managed to play in 18 games. What made last season such a disappointment is that we actually started to see signs of Locker’s ascension before his injuries hit.
Runner-up: Chris Johnson
Bishop Sankey should be starting week 1. He was an absolute beast at Washington, and you’ve got to think he’s a better back than a soon to be 29-year-old Shonn Greene. Also, the Titans are about to have an all-Washington backfield with Sankey and Locker. Weird.
Other notable pick: Taylor Lewan
This Year’s Stud: Kendall Wright
He should keep improving, especially if the Titans gain some stability at quarterback.
Runner-up: Jurrell Casey
This Year’s Surprise: Jake Locker
I’m calling it. 16 games for Locker and a new contract at the end of the season.
Runner-up: Bishop Sankey
This Year’s Disappointment: Shonn Greene
Sure, Greene had a good season or two back in his Jets days, but, expecting anything from him this year is crazy. He apparently came into camp extra bulky. He shouldn’t be anything more than a below-average backup this year.
Runner-up: Nate Washington
Draft early: Kendall Wright
Good value in the middle rounds: N/A
Don’t draft: Shonn Greene, Nate Washington
What Vegas Is Saying (LVH Sports Book): 7 wins
What We’re Saying: 6-10 (3rd place in AFC South)
Just when you thought it wasn’t possible, the Titans went out and got even more boring in the offseason. Hire Ken Whisenhunt as your head coach? Draft an offensive lineman in the first round of the draft? Get rid of Chris Johnson (hey, at least he had the potential to be exciting)? Let Alterraun Verner walk on over to Tampa Bay in the offseason? Boooo!
In all seriousness, I’m predicting a one-win regression for the Titans because I’m not sure they got significantly better this offseason, and I think the competition around them improved. Let’s go to the schedule!
Two games against Houston this year isn’t the same as two games against Houston last year. The Colts are also on the schedule. Luckily for the Titans, they also get two matchups with the Jags. Okay, so let’s say out of those six division games, the Titans win two. I’m thinking either two against the Jags or one against the Jags and one against Houston. Then, I have two non-divisional wins coming against teams like the Giants and Jets. The other two will come somewhere in matchups against the Browns, Washington, Cowboys or Ravens.
So yeah, I have another boring finish for a boring team. With a 6-10 record, the Titans will be in the position of owning a good draft pick, but not good enough to pick next year’s Clowney.
[genericon icon=twitter] Follow Sean Wagner-McGough on Twitter @seanjwagner