Tennessee Titans: 2013 NFL Midseason Report
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Halfway through the Tennessee Titans' 2013 campaign, they're very much alive as a playoff contender.
While their 4-4 shows improvement from last season and they are certainly a better team than the one that finished 6-10, they've blown multiple chances that could have left them in better position.
They let a lead slip away in Houston in Week 2 and lost in overtime, and could have pulled an upset against Kansas City or Seattle in Weeks 5 and 6.
If they had won one of those games, they'd be in the lead for the AFC's final playoff spot.
Sunday's win in St. Louis saw the Titans finally manage to play as they desired, running the ball very effectively. The second half of the season will tell us if that was an aberration or the start of something.
GRADING THE TENNESSEE TITANS
|Quarterbacks||Jake Locker's a B-minus or C-plus, but Ryan Fitzpatrick's poor substitute effort was an F and drags the grade down.|
|Running Backs||It would have been a D before the great showing against the Rams. Even with that, it's well below average for a group that's supposed to carry a big load. Shonn Greene's injury hindered production.|
|Wide Receivers||Kendall Wright has been good and should get the ball even more. Nate Washington has slowed and Kenny Britt's been a disaster. Justin Hunter has five catches and two touchdowns. How about more?|
|Tight Ends||Delanie Walker's been a nice addition and Craig Stevens was a big piece of the run-game breakout against the Rams. Still, they could be getting more.|
|Offensive Line||Pass protection has been pretty good, though Sunday's first half was terrible. Until the Rams game, the group had clearly underperformed as a run-blocking unit. The Titans are 15th in rushing offense. They expected to be way better than middle-of-the-pack.|
|Defensive Line||The sack numbers aren't fantastic, but they've mixed it up, shown good depth and defended the run well for much of the first half of the season.|
|Linebackers||Moise Fokou's done well to run the defense but hasn't made as many plays as the Titans might suggest. Zach Brown mades a good share of plays early but has quieted. Akeem Ayers still isn't producing regularly.|
|Secondary||Alterraun Verner is constantly in on plays and breakups. It's a season that will make him a lot of money. Jason McCourty and Coty Sensabaugh have been good as corners, too. Bernard Pollard has backed up his talk with his play and Michael Griffin has improved while surrounded by better play. George Wilson's contribution has been significant.|
|Special Teams||It moved up from a D with their decision to cut ties with returner Darius Reynaud. Brett Kern dropped a couple of punts. Coverage is OK and the penalty problems have slowed.|
|Coaching||Mike Munchak still had his guys believing in the staff and the plan when they lost three straight and fell to 3-4. But after all the emphasis on the offensive line and the run game, they've done far too little in that department. He has shown a willingness to pull unproductive guys out of the lineup. And defensive assistant Gregg Williams has had a very positive impact.|
WEEK 12 - SUNDAY 11/23 - 11:29 2ND QTR - CBS
2014 AFC SOUTH STANDINGS
Play Podcast Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic share their thoughts on the Steelers' win over the Titans, Le'Veon Bell's performance during the game and the state of the AFC North.
Play Podcast Dan Le Batard & Stugotz talk about the J.J. Watt and Zach Mettenberger "selfie" debate, are joined by Eric Allen to talk about Rob Gronkowski & George Foreman.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Eric Allen tells Dan Le Batard about Rob Gronkowski's impact on the Patriots, J.J. Watt's remarks regarding Zach Mettenberger and more.