Titans: Will they go winless?

October, 29, 2009
10/29/09
11:01
AM ET
Unbeatens: Colts | Saints | Broncos Winless: Rams | Titans | Bucs

Posted by ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky

Analysis: Assessing the Titans' final 10 games, I see at least three winnable games (Jacksonville, Buffalo, St. Louis) and still believe they are capable of pulling a surprise in a game where most people wouldn’t give them a chance. It’s highly improbable that they go without a win all season.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Titans running back Chris Johnson always gives his team a chance to win.


For all their issues they have some reasons to expect better results. Explosive running back Chris Johnson remains capable of a home run at any time. A healthy pass defense struggled early, but once both starting cornerbacks, Cortland Finnegan (hamstring) and Nick Harper (broken arm), and nickel back Vincent Fuller (broken arm) are back in place, things have to get better against the pass. Young players with upside such as receiver Kenny Britt, linebacker Stephen Tulloch and defensive linemen Jason Jones and William Hayes are due for growth spurts even in the miserable context.

Best chance for a win: Versus St. Louis in Nashville on Dec. 13. The Titans have better personnel and seem more likely to be held together by a struggling Jeff Fisher than the Rams do under a first-year coach in Steve Spagnuolo.

Repercussions: After the 59-0 loss at New England, owner Bud Adams told The Tennessean he’d have to consider ending Jeff Fisher's tenure if things don’t improve.

"If we end up losing every game or don't look better, I'd have to look at that pretty hard, you know what I mean?'' Adams said. "The way it is going, I don't know if we'll win any games, and that is unheard of in the National Football League."
Titans remaining schedule
Nov. 1: Jacksonville
Nov. 8: @San Francisco
Nov. 15: Buffalo
Nov. 23: @Houston
Nov. 29: Arizona
Dec. 6: @Indianapolis
Dec. 13: St. Louis
Dec. 20: Miami
Dec. 25:San Diego
Jan. 3: @Seattle


Even if the Titans win a handful of games, it’s likely a youth movement is coming. The futures of veterans at the end of their contracts are very much in doubt. That includes stalwart linebacker Keith Bulluck, center Kevin Mawae, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and Harper.

And of course quarterback will remain a huge issue. Vince Young is due a roster bonus of $4.25 million and carries a salary-cap number of $14.21 million in 2010. For all the money the Titans have already given him, it’s impossible to see them writing another big check considering his failures. And while Kerry Collins is under contract, it will be difficult for the Titans to go forward without finding a quarterback of the future.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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