July 14, 2014

Free NFL Picks: 2014 Tennessee Titans Team Preview & Win Total

The Tennessee Titans finished 7-9 last season. Tennessee was in the playoff hunt for a while, but in the end there just weren’t a good enough team. Tennessee made a move and picked up Ken Whisenhunt in the offseason. Whisenhunt has been great with quarterbacks in the past, and the team hopes he develop Jake Locker into a star.

The Titans definitely benefit from playing in a weak division. The AFC South is the weakest division in football, so there is an opening here for a surprise team. Even the Indianapolis Colts aren’t as good as their record would indicate. The rest of the division is very weak.

Tennessee is a team that has a bunch of interesting parts, but it’s hard to tell if that is going to be enough to come together and make a good team. CJ2K was the face of the franchise a few years ago, but now he is a New York Jet. The Titans really need Jake Locker to be the face of their franchise. If he can’t be, this team probably can’t win.

2014 Tennessee Titans Offense

Jake Locker has missed 23 games in his first three seasons in the NFL, so durability is definitely a concern. The Titans loved Locker from the beginning because of his 4.59 40-yard dash speed and his 6’3 frame. He is a good scrambler, but he needs to prove he can throw it from the pocket more often. As we have seen in recent years in the NFL, a quarterback really has to be able to throw it accurately and consistently to lead his team to wins. Keep an eye on Zach Mettenberger, who was a terrific choice in the seventh round.

With Chris Johnson now gone, it will be Shonn Greene and Bishop Sankey battling for playing time. I’m putting my money on Bishop Sankey being the one that wins the majority of the playing time. Sankey had a great career at Washington and he has great skills at the running back position. Sankey’s vision and burst of speed are terrific, and it won’t surprise me if he ends up looking like a steal of a draft choice.

Kendall Wright is the play maker on the outside here, but the Titans need a second receiver to step up. Justin Hunter is the guy I expect to do just that. Hunter has the physical tools, and as he learns the offense more I expect a good season from him.

Taylor Lewan was added to the offensive line in the draft. The Titans line should benefit from Whisenhunt’s short quick passes rather than the long deep dropbacks from last year’s offense. Last year’s offensive front was a major weakness, but the Titans should be improved here this season.

2014 Tennessee Titans Defense

Ray Horton is the Titans new defensive coordinator, and if you believe quotes from players in recent weeks, it should be a nice fit. Bernard Pollard said Horton is going a great job transforming this defense into a bunch of guys with much more killer instinct than they have had in the past.

The Titans were right in the middle of the pack in defense last year. Tennessee finished 14th in total defense and 16th in points allowed per contest. Tennessee plays a 3-4 style defense, so their looks are a bit unique. Shaun Phillips was a really nice add in the offseason, and he should fit into the system well. He is toward the end of his career, but he did have ten sacks last year. Alterraun Verner led the team in interceptions and he is gone this year, but the team does have some quality depth at the cornerback spot. Zach Brown is great at getting in the backfield from his linebacker spot, and he’ll be a guy to keep an eye on.

Overall, this Titans defense is a unit that lacks big names, but they have more depth than the average team, and they have played well as a unit the last couple seasons. Can they take another step forward this year?

2014 Tennessee Titans Schedule

Week 1- @Kansas City

Week 2- Dallas

Week 3- @Cincinnati

Week 4- @Indianapolis

Week 5- Cleveland

Week 6- Jacksonville

Week 7- @Washington

Week 8- Houston

Week 9- BYE

Week 10- @Baltimore

Week 11- Pittsburgh

Week 12- @Philadelphia

Week 13- @Houston

Week 14- New York Giants

Week 15- New York Jets

Week 16- @Jacksonville

Week 17- Indianapolis

Playing in the AFC South automatically makes a schedule much easier. Cole Ryan of BangtheBook rates this Titans schedule as the second easiest in the NFL this year.

Free NFL Picks 2014 Tennessee Titans Free Win Total Pick: Over 7

I like the offseason moves here, and I think the Titans had a very good draft. Whisenhunt has been great with quarterbacks before, so he gives Locker a real shot at improving drastically. The biggest reason I like the over for the Titans is this schedule. Tennessee won’t be one of the best teams in the AFC, but they might be a playoff team based on playing in an easy division with a very easy schedule. Look for a winning season from the Titans in 2014.

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