Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New England Patriots [Print without images]

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Ten quick-hit thoughts on the Titans

By Mike Reiss

Getting to know the Tennessee Titans, the Patriots' next opponent, with 10 quick-hit thoughts:

1. They are 0-5, with road losses to the Steelers, Jets and Jaguars, and home losses to the Texans and Colts. They have a bye after visiting the Patriots on Sunday (4:15 p.m.).

2. Jeff Fisher, now in his 15th full season, is the NFL's longest tenured head coach with the same team. Chuck Cecil is in his first year as defensive coordinator, taking over for Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. Mike Heimerdinger is in his second season as offensive coordinator, a role he previously held from 2000-2004.

3. Speedy running back Chris Johnson, a 2008 first-round draft choice out of East Carolina, ranks third in the NFL with 468 rushing yards, and his 594 total yards from scrimmage is the most of any player in the league. Johnson has big-play ability, with a 91-yard touchdown run and a 69-yard touchdown catch-and-run this season.

4. Quarterback Kerry Collins is off to a tough start, his seven interceptions the second highest total in the NFL, behind only Jake Delhomme. Collins' 185 pass attempts are the second most in the league, behind only Tom Brady (207).

5. Sustained drives that extend deep into opponents' territory have been hard to come by. The Titans' nine trips inside the red zone are tied for the second fewest of any team, behind only Oakland (7).

6. The Titans' pass defense ranks 31st, and just took another hit with starting cornerback Nick Harper expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a broken right forearm. The other starting cornerback, Cortland Finnegan, was an All-Pro in 2008.

7. In part because the Titans have been vulnerable against the pass, they rank first in run defense (opponents averaging 2.8 yards per carry). They've adopted a rotation along the defensive line to fill the void by Albert Haynesworth's free-agent defection.

8. Five-year veteran Michael Roos, who is not often mentioned among the game's elite left tackles, was a 2008 All-Pro. He anchors an underrated, physical offensive line.

9. Rookie receiver Kenny Britt, a first-round draft choice out of Rutgers, has a team-high 19 receptions. Free-agent signee Nate Washington, formerly of the Steelers, is next with 17.

10. They have been careless with the football, their 13 giveaways the second highest total in the NFL (7 interceptions, 6 lost fumbles).