Quick Hit: Getting to know the Tennessee Titans


Oct 6, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright (13) rushes against Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Quintin Demps (35) during the second half at LP Field. Kansas City won 26-17. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow, the Seahawks will host the Tennessee Titans in their quest to improve their home-winning streak to 11 games and bounce back from their first loss of the season.

In an effort to understand the opponent better, I spoke with Joshua Huffman, the editor of Titan Sized.

Here is the conversation:

1. The Titans are 3-2 this season, but came close to beating both the Texans and Chiefs in their only losses this year. Is this team playing up to or below its expectations at this point in the season?

Above the media’s expectations (who would’ve had them around 2-3, even 1-4). As for fans such as myself? Most of us were expecting an 8-8, 9-7ish type of year. The defense has exceeded expectations. Excluding Jake Locker, the offense hasn’t met them. That’s largely due to an offensive line that hasn’t performed as well as people expected with Andy Levitre and Chance Warmack. That unit is still trying to develop chemistry with one another.

2. What are the Titans biggest strengths on the field? Their biggest weaknesses?

Biggest strength comes with their front four and cornerback duo who have both played at an All-Pro level. Senior defensive assistant Gregg Williams has inserted a much more aggressive approach to this defense. While the Titans can rush the passer with four defensive linemen, Williams like to bring additional pressure, e.g. Zach Brown.

Main weakness is the interior offensive line. Titans fans are wanting to see fourth-round pick Brian Schwenke replace Rob Turner at center. Chance Warmack has been a major liability in pass protection and on short-yardage scenarios. It’s more noticeable now that Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced Jake Locker. That’s because Fitzpatrick isn’t quite as mobile.

3. How have the Titans adapted to losing Jake Locker, one of the leaders of their team, to a hip injury earlier this season? Is Ryan Fitzpatrick a good replacement in Tennessee’s offense?

Fitzpatrick made his first start last week. During the first half, the Titans were held scoreless as the Kansas City Chiefs’ front seven harassed every single offensive linemen, Michael Roos included.

The problem with Fitzpatrick comes with his turnover-prone nature. Through the first four games, the Titans had zero giveaways. Against the Chiefs, Fitzpatrick threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter. The Titans offense isn’t explosive enough to overcome those types of mistakes, especially when they’re deep in their own territory.

4. The Titans are underdogs coming into Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. What do they need to do to beat Seattle on their home turf?

First off, the Titans must get to third down. There’s a huge mismatch that favors the Titans: third downs. The Seahawks have the NFL’s 27th-ranked third-down offense. The Titans have the NFL’s third-best third-down defense. If that trend continues, the Titans win the turnover battle and they stop giving up points on special teams gaffes? The Titans will remain competitive for four quarters…at least until Fitzpatrick goes into hero mode.

5. What is your prediction for the final score of Sunday’s game?

I have Seahawks winning 27-10. The Seahawks defense will swarm over the Titans offense. Fitzpatrick makes a mistake that’s about 10, maybe 14-point swing. Now if that doesn’t happen, then expect a closer game with Seattle win.

Joshua Huffman is the editor of the Tennessee Titans fan blog Titan Sized and a project manager at Pro Football Spot.