2009 Tennessee Titans: Season Preview
By Wilson of Predictem.com
2008 Record: 13-3 (1st in AFC South) ATS 12-4, O/U 7-8
Stadium: LP Field
Head Coach: Jeff Fisher
Superbowl Odds: 16 to 1
Training Camp Site: Nashville, Tenn.
Training Camp Dates: July 29 August 26
Intro: The Titans will be a team that should easily make the playoffs again this season. Tennessee has one of the most stable and deep rosters in the league but they will miss Pro Bowl DT Albert Haynesworth, who signed with the Washington Redskins. However, even with a few changes the Titans have always competed well and adjusted to most roster changes.
Head coach Jeff Fisher has been the man since the Titans relocated from Houston, which is part of their success as he is not afraid to make big decisions and keep the team moving forwardjust ask Vince Young.
After going 13-3 last year the Titans are expected to win at least ten games or more this season and possibly make an appearance in the 2010 superbowl game. They should have no problems taking 1st or 2nd in the AFC South.
Whos New? WR Nate Washington (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Whos Gone? QB Chris Simms (Denver Broncos) WR Brandon Jones (San Francisco 49ers)
Offense: With one the NFLs best offensive lines behind OLT Michael Roos and OLG Eugene Amano, the Titans will have a stellar running game as they ranked third in the AFC last season. Also the success of QB Kerry Collins has allowed Tennessee to expand their playbook a bit and cater to his range down field.
Collins can be effective most of the time but he does struggle with accuracy at times especially the deeper he chucks the ball. However, his leadership skills on the field overcome his minor fallacies (scrambling, long ball accuracy) but no matter what he does get the job done most of the time.
Running back Chris Johnson opened everyones eyes last season as a rookie and that will certainly carry over to the 2009 season. Johnson carried the ball 253 times last year and had 43 catches to boot. Those number will likely increase as some analyst predict he will touch the ball close to 300 times in the ground attack alone. LenDale White will provide relief for Johnson. White is a solid tailback but probably needs to show up in better shape this season as he enters the last year of his contract with negotiations around the corner.
Welcome WR Nate Washington form Pittsburgh. Washington is anticipated to be the No. 1 Titan WR and the clutch guy for Kerry Collins when the game is on the line. Washingtons biggest threat is his ability to streak down the field for the bomb-a-roo-ski. The only issues with Washington is if he can improve his hands as he has a history of dropping balls, and also it will interesting to see how he responds to being a first time starter.
Defense: Jim Schwartz is gone to Detroit as the Lions new head coach, so enter the new Titans defensive coordinator, Chuck Cecil. Ceil will continue to run the 4-3 base defense, but he might work more blitzes into the mix now that Albert Haynesworths pressure will be missed. Without Haynesworth, the Titans will have to apply pressure on QBs from a different source and blitzing may be the best answer.
The defensive line will consist of DT Tony Brown, possibly Jason Jones, who may replace Haynesworth, and DLE Jevon Kearse will make up the bulk of attack. Reserve DEs William Hayes and Dave Ball will also give sufficient pass pressure as they earned respect last season as players to watch.
Tennessees defensive backs are feared by most opponents. They are all fast, strong, and play with a ton of confidence. CB Courtland Finnegan has great hands, is extremely tough and can read a QB better than most at his position. Nick Harper is a seasoned veteran who knows the game well and uses his smarts to break up plays and cause turnovers. FS Michael Griffin and SS Chris Hope are considered the two best safetys in the NFL.
Special Teams: The Titans have a solid kicking game behind the leg of Rob Bironas who hit 29 of 33 FG attempts last season to go along with a 67.2 yard kickoff average. Punter, Craig Hentrich is one of the most accurate in the league every year and usually averages between 36 and 39 yards a punt.
The return man for the Titans is still questionable with the departure of Chris Carr but it may likely be Mark Jones who gained 24 yards per kickoff and 11.4 on punt returns for the Carolina Panthers last season.
2009 Tennessee Titans Schedule:
September 10at Pittsburgh Steelers
September 20Houston Texans
September 27at New York Jets
October 4at Jacksonville Jaguars
October 11 Indianapolis Colts
October 18 at New England Patriots
October 25 BYE
November 1Jacksonville Jaguars
November 8at San Francisco 49ers
November 15 Buffalo Bills
November 22 at Houston Texans
November 30 Arizona Cardinals
December 6 at Indianapolis Colts
December 13 St. Louis Rams
December 20 Miami Dolphins
December 25San Diego Chargers
January 3 at Seattle Seahawks
Betting Odds and Projections:
Tennessee is expected to go at least 10-6 this season but they may do much better than that if they keep moving forward like they have in the past.
The Titans are getting 16 to 1 odds from most sportsbooks to win the Superbowl. If Tennessee can maintain their health and use all of the talent that they have acquired over the past few years they will be atop the league.
The Titans have a good history of covering games as they covered 12 last season but were 7-8 on the total. Will the Titans win the big game this year? If you like their chances youre not alone. Coach Fisher should be excited to see how his team performs in the 2009 NFL season. Luck to ya.