Here is where I personally break from the group's opinion. I have the Tennessee Titans has a .500 ball club, but have obviously been overruled. This team won seven games last year with their quarterback injured for half the season. Not only have they added talent at marquee positions, but they have also built themselves a solid offensive line to keep their young quarterback upright.
29. Tennessee Titans (2013 Record: 7-9)
Why am I a believer in Jake Locker? In games he played in last season, the Titans went 4-2 and one of those losses was a two point defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars that Locker was knocked out of in what would be a season-ending injury. Without Jake Locker, the Titans would win just three games out of ten.
Key Losses: Alterraun Verner, Chris Johnson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kenny Britt
Key Acquisitions: Michael Oher, Wesley Woodyard, Dexter McCluster, Shaun Phillips, Charlie Whitehurst, Al Woods
The Titans must have known this, because they drafted a tackle with their first round pick and also snatched up Michael Oher in free agency. Their front office isn't stupid either, apparently, because they picked up a Zach Mettenberger as insurance to the oft-injured Locker.
The main reason I broke so hard from the party line is because of the Titans regular season schedule. It's a freaking cake walk. Not only do they match up against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars and unpredictable Houston Texans twice each, they also face the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs. Those should all be winnable games for this team.
Projected Record: 8-8
MHR Staff Rankings
MHR Staff Commentary
Kyle: I like their free agency moves a lot. Wesley Woodyard and Shaun Phillips will each do them well.
Jon: The Titans could be a bit of a surprise team in 2014. The Colts are obviously still the team to beat in the division, but Tennessee will be fighting for a Wild Card spot.
Pete: They were decent last year, and should be decent this year. My only point of contention with them is that they have yet to put it all together. They have semi-recent year Detroit Lions written all over them; They SHOULD be a playoff team, but they just seem to refuse to put it all together and capitalize on their "on paper" strength. They are my "show me" team. Show me you can do it, and you will be ranked higher.
Topher: I was a Jake Locker fan coming out of college but between injuries and average performance, I no longer have faith in him. Combine that with almost zero offensive talent, Ken Whisenhunt (the QB guru who hasn’t produced a good QB) being their head coach and only a handful of quality players on defense, I find it hard to put any faith in them. They do benefit from a weak division, which is how they got most of their wins last year, never beating a team with a winning records, hard to see that trend continuing since both Jacksonville and Houston got better this off-season.
Jacob: After years of mediocre play from Jake Locker, it’s truly surprising to me that the Titans didn’t address the QB position in the off-season. Locker is average on his own, and it doesn’t help that he has relatively no supporting cast on offense. The Titans will struggle to put up wins as the rest of their division gets stronger. 4-6 wins.
Mike: Should sport a decent defense and much like Houston, an offense that will keep them on the field.