After the end of the 2010 season, many wondered how good this team could be with a brand new coaching staff, an NFL Lockout, and a running back holding out for more money. Shortly after the lockout, the Titans made former Seattle Seahawk, Matt Hasselbeck, their starting quarterback and also, the rookie Jake Locker's mentor. We were fortunate enough to see a glimpse of the 8th overall picks's talent, and he looked pretty solid in relief appearances. In 2011, we had many ups and downs, but it was still a fun season nonetheless. Click through the jump for a brief synopsis of each game.
Week 1: Titans @ Jaguars
I remember how confident we all were knowing the Jaguars had Luke McCown as their starter for this game, but a key catch by Mike Thomas over the middle coupled with a sluggish start sealed the deal as the Jaguars won 16-14. Kenny Britt did have 136 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, however.
Week 2: Titans vs. Ravens
I thought for sure we were staring 0-2 right in the face, but the Titans were ready for this game. LP Field was rockin' and the Titans made the plays they needed to win this game. Kenny Britt had 9 receptions for 135 yards as the Titans sealed the game with a 4th down completion to Quinn Johnson and won 26-13.
Week 3: Titans vs. Broncos
Fresh off a big win against the Ravens, the Titans had a great chance to improve to 2-1 on the year against Kyle Orton and the Broncos. The Titans won this game 17-14 with a late interception by Will Witherspoon, but this game was remembered as the day Kenny Britt tore his ACL and was lost for the season.
Week 4: Titans @ Browns
Titans made effective use of Jared Cook in this game as he had a catch and run touchdown that totaled 80 yards. Jordan Babineaux returned a Colt McCoy interception for 97 yards and the Titans won this game 31-13.
Week 5: Titans @ Steelers
The talk all week was whether or not Ben Roethlisberger would be playing in this game with his foot injury, but he appeared just fine as he torched the Titans secondary for 5 touchdowns and the Titans were embarrassed 38-17 going into the bye week.
Week 6: Bye Week
Week 7: Titans vs. Texans
I thought for sure the Titans would win this game coming off the bye as they had 2 weeks to get ready for this game, but someone forgot to tell the Titans there was a game going on. We were embarrassed again losing 41-7.
Week 8: Titans vs. Colts
The Titans could not lose to the winless Colts, and they made the plays they needed to avoid doing this. Nate Washington had 2 touchdowns on the day and Jason McCourty recovered a blocked punt for his first career touchdown as the Titans rolled to a 27-10 win.
Week 9: Titans vs. Bengals
I figured if we lost this game, it would come back to haunt us and just as we saw, it did. Andy Dalton threw 3 touchdowns and Jared Cook pretty much ended all hopes of a comeback when he completed a catch, but fumbled it fighting for more yards. Titans lost 24-17.
Week 10: Titans @ Panthers
Chris Johnson looked like the old CJ rushing for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns and the Titans steamrolled the Panthers 30-3.
Week 11: Titans @ Falcons
This game was the first time we really saw what Jake Locker was capable of when he came in for Hasselbeck who injured his right elbow. The 8th overall pick threw for 2 touchdowns, both to Nate Washington, but the Titans could not complete the comeback falling 23-17.
Week 12: Titans vs. Bucs
CJ had his best game of the season rushing for 190 yards and Matt Hasselbeck hit Damian Williams in the back of the endzone on a 4th and goal late in the 4th quarter, eventually winning 23-17. Colin McCarthy also intercepted Josh Freeman in this game.
Week 13: Titans @ Bills
The play I will remember most from this game was the 4th down attempt for the Bills where Fitzpatrick was scrambling and walloped by Colin McCarthy causing him to fumble. The rookie MLB even got up and recovered the fumble 15 yards away. Chris Johnson rushed for 153 yards on the day and the Titans won 23-17.
Week 14: Titans vs. Saints
I thought for sure this would be a blowout, but after Hasselbeck injured his calf, it was the Jake Locker show. Locker rushed for an acrobatic touchdown that brought back shades of Steve McNair (RIP) and completed a beautiful touchdown pass to Nate Washington to close the gap. However, a big stop as time expired gave the Saints the 22-17 win.
Week 15: Titans @ Colts
We couldn't possibly lose to the still winless Colts right? Titans were extremely sluggish and the Colts wound up winning 27-13. As Forrest Gump would say, "That's all I have to say about that."
Week 16: Titans vs. Jaguars
Hasselbeck had a great game throwing for 350 yards and Jared Cook had the strangest touchdown celebration of the year as the Titans hung on for the 23-17 win on Christmas Eve.
Week 17: Titans @ Texans
This was such a frustrating game as it looked like the Titans had this game in hand and just needed to convert one more first down to run out of the clock. Well that would make too much sense; Ahmard Hall fumbled and an old Jake Delhomme completed a touchdown pass bringing the Texans within one. However, a typical Texan gaffe allowed the Titans to hang on for the 23-22 win.
2011 was a fun year, but it was frustrating. A couple of coulda, wouldas and we could be playing next weekend. Our schedule next year appears to be quite difficult but let's hope the FO does everything they can to put the best product on the field.