Tuesday, August 25, 2015

2015 NFL PREVIEW - Tennessee Titans

TENNESSEE TITANS                                                     

2014 Record:  2-14-0 (4th in AFC South)

HEAD COACH: Ken Whisenhunt

New Players in 2015 - LB Brian Orakpo; WR Hakeem Nicks; OL Byron Bell; DB Perrish Cox; WR Harry Douglas; TE Anthony Fasano; WR Jacoby Ford; WR Clyde Gates; DB Da'Norris Searcy.

OFFENSIVE RANK in 2014 -  29th in NFL (303.7 ypg)

DEFENSIVE RANK in 2014 -  27th in NFL (373 ypg)

Offense:  With the second pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Titans selected quarterback Marcus Mariota (Oregon) and he will be the starter this season. Zach Mettenberger (1,412 passing yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions) and Charlie Whitehurst (1,316 yards with seven TD and two INT) will back up the rookie.
The running game will likely see Bishop Sankey (569 yards, 3.7 ypc and two TD) as the featured back. Dexter McCluster (131 rush yards and 26 receptions with one score) and rookie David Cobb (Minnesota) will back up.
The wide receivers are Kendall Wright (57 receptions, 715 yards, six TD), Justin Hunter (28, 498, two TD) and Harry Douglas, who made 51 catches for 556 yards and two touchdowns with Atlanta last year. Tight end Delanie Walker led the team with 63 receptions last season for 890 yards and had four touchdowns.
Others in the mix for 2015 include Hakeem Nicks (38, 405, four TD with Indy), Jacoby Ford, Clyde Gates, rookie Dorial Green-Beckham (Missouri) and tight ends Anthony Fasano (25, 226, four TD with Kansas City) and Craig Stevens.
The offensive line has tackles Taylor Lewan and Byron Stingily. The guards are Andy Levitre and Chance Warmack and the center is Brian Schwenke.

Defense:  Sammie Hill (three QB sacks) plays nose tackle in the 3-4 set with end Ropati Pitoitua and Jurrell Casey (five sacks) at tackle. Karl Klug, Al Woods and Mike Martin are also available up front.
Outside linebacker Derrick Morgan led the Titans with 6 1/2 QB sacks last season and will be joined by free agent Brian Orakpo, who comes over from Washington. The inside backers are Zach Brown and Avery Williamson, who made three sacks.
In the secondary will be Perrish Cox and Jason McCourty (three interceptions) at the corners along with safeties Da'Norris Searcy and Michael Griffin, who made two picks last season. Backing up are Coty Sensabaugh, Brandon Harris, Daimion Stafford and Marqueston Huff.

OUTLOOK FOR 2015 -  It's a new era in Tennessee as rookie QB Marcus Mariota takes over behind center.
The Titans finished in last place in the AFC South in 2014 and Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt will be looking for the team to go forward this season with Mariota and company on offense improving on their 29th ranked unit from 2014. The Titans averaged just under 16 points a game last year as well, which was 30th in the NFL.
The defense needs to improve in stopping the run (31st in NFL last season) as they gave up 137 yards per game while also holding down the opposition on the scoreboard, where they finished 29th overall, yielding 27.4 points per game.
This year definitely will be the beginning of the rebuilding process for Tennessee, but recent history has shown that teams can improve in a hurry. Indianapolis has done so since Andrew Luck took over as their quarterback in 2012 and prior to numerous injuries, Washington made a one-year turnaround with RG3 at quarterback.
Mariota will learn as he grows in the offense and Whisenhunt is a good coach who runs a good system, so look for the Titans to improve from last year. A 5-11 (possibly better) record looks to be in store this season.
But the future should get much better in Tennessee as the team looks forward to better days ahead.
Week 1- at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 2 - at Cleveland Browns
Week 3 - vs. Indianapolis Colts
Week 4 - BYE WEEK
Week 5 - vs. Buffalo Bills
Week 6 - vs. Miami Dolphins
Week 7 - vs. Atlanta Falcons
Week 8 - at Houston Texans
Week 9 - at New Orleans Saints
Week 10 - vs. Carolina Panthers
Week 11 - at Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 12 - vs. Oakland Raiders
Week 13 - vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 14 - at New York Jets
Week 15 - at New England Patriots
Week 16 - vs. Houston Texans
Week 17 - at Indianapolis Colts

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