Week 4 Contender or Pretender: Tennessee Titans
The 2013 Tennessee Titans are 2-1.
[Insert Despicable Me minion "Whaaaaaaat?" here]
It’s true, the Titans have been a pleasant surprise through three weeks. Now, in a league where over-analyzing is essentially demanded out of all writers and reporters, I will try to take an objective approach here and not overreact.
The Titans have beaten both the Pittsburgh Steelers — handedly — and the San Diego Chargers — who have played pretty well thus far. Their only loss came to the Houston Texans, and by a mere six points.
Through three games, the defense is where Tennessee is thriving. The Titans rank 11th in the NFL in opposing passing yards and 14th in opposing rushing yards — much better than most would have expected coming into the year. Tennessee is also tied at 8th in the league with nine sacks through three games.
The defense has three interceptions — one going for a touchdown — and two fumble recoveries. The Titans have also given up just 18.7 points per game defensively. Again, they’ve been impressive.
Offensively, Tennessee has struggled through the air up until their week three performance where Jake Locker threw just shy of 300 yards. Chris Johnson has averaged 85.3 yards per game on the ground while Locker has 81 yards rushing through three games, with 68 coming against the Chargers.
Nate Washington and Kendall Wright have established themselves as Locker’s favorite targets in the passing game, while Kenny Britt, well, I won’t even start on that topic.
The Titans have looked like a relatively complete team thus far, depending more on their defense to get it done. Like I said before, it’s early in the season and I can’t let myself over-analyze these guys. As of right now, I need to see a lot more from Locker in order to call them a true contender. If the defense can stay steady, Locker continues improving and Johnson can continue having success on the ground, that may change.