The Titans finished the 2011 season 9-7. This came as a surprise to most people, being as there was no offseason for a brand new coaching staff to help teach the players and 2 brand new QB's to adjust to playing in new systems. Matt Hasselbeck carried this team for a majority of the season and was the reason the Titans won a lot of those 9 games.
It would appear there is no where to go but up, right? After all, the players get a full offseason with the coaching staff, the Titans will add more young talent through the draft, and improve with veteran leadership with free agency.
Whoever starts at QB will win the battle outright and be a very solid QB for us, regardless if it's Locker or Hasselbeck, and will provide steady leadership as well as the ability to carry the team.
Kenny Britt returns from his torn ACL, and by all indications, he is ahead of schedule on his rehab and will be good to go for training camp. Nate Washington had a career year. Lavelle Hawkins and Damian Williams are sure to improve. More than likely the Titans will at least add one more semi-competant WR via free agency or the draft, improving that position from where it was last year.
Jared Cook adds another year of experience under his belt and Craig Stevens returns as an integral part of our blocking scheme as well as a solid pass catching tight end.
Chris Johnson has a full offseason to prepare for the start of the season rather than one week. Ringer and Harper add another year of experience to their resume. Ahmard Hall probably won't be back, but you know they will find the right fullback (whether or not it's Quinn Johnson).
The offensive line probably can't get much worse than it was (run blocking wise) last season. Munchak has openly stated they will improve the offensive line in some form or fashion via free agency or the draft, and they are already a solid pass blocking group, so you expect improvement from them.
Defensively, the defensive line stands improvement, but you know they will target someone to shore up the line. The key LB's (Ayers and McCarthy) are both young and have have no where to go but up at this point. Witherspoon brings solid leadership to the group. With McCourty and Verner, the Titans have a pair of solid CB's, but you expect at least one veteran CB will be added to compensate for the loss of Cortland Finnegan (sorry, but I don't see him returning at this point). Babineaux should return as safety, and you know the Titans will either draft Mark Barron (much to the chagrin of Jimmy) or find a safety in free agency/later draft rounds to replace Griffin, who was awful last season.
So, again, looks like no where to go but up from here right?
Enter a possible snag in our Super Bowl parade plans. Meet the 2012 Titans regular season opponents.
Let's take a look at our opponents, game by game:
Jaguars (x2): Jacksonville should be at least slightly better than they were last season, but not enough to pose as a significant threat. Way-too-Early-Prediction: 2 wins
Texans (x2): Houston is legit, and we know it. They return Schaub to the team that won a playoff game sporting TJ Yates. I think they'll be at the top of the division again, based on the fact that their defense is insanely good with Wade Phillips as DC. Way-too-Early-Prediction: Home win, Road Loss
Colts (x2): Indianapolis is in rebuilding mode (or so we think). They will draft Andrew Luck and begin another 10-15 years with a franchise QB leading the way. It was tough goings for Manning in his rookie year, I expect Luck to do good things, but not enough to pose a major threat in our division. Way-too-Early-Prediction: 2 wins
Patriots: I loathe these guys. I'd love nothing more than to beat them down in Nashville. But Tom Brady and company pose a major challenge. Way-too-Early-Prediction: Close Loss
Bears: Matt Forte is a tough matchup for the Titans, and the Bears have a pretty good defense. These are the games the Titans have to win to become elite. Way-too-Early-Prediction: Close Win
Lions: The young Lions are roaring. Matt Stafford is a great QB, and Calvin Johnson is one of the NFL's best WRs. I'm not sure if we're capable of beating them in a shootout. Way-too-Early-Prediction: High scoring Loss
Steelers: I cannot stand the Pittsburgh Steelers, simple as that. But they seem to have had our number since 2008. I like our chances to win in Nashville, and I think this will be one of the games we win that we aren't supposed to win. Way-too-Early-Prediction: Win
Bills: Hahahaha. Way-too-Early-Prediction: Win
Dolphins: Miami is an up and coming team, but certainly not unbeatable. It will be tough to win in Miami, so we may slip up and lose this one. Way-too-Early-Prediction: Close Loss
Packers: It pretty much goes without saying. Way-too-Early-Prediction: Loss
Vikings: Minnesota kinda sucks right now, and Peterson is iffy. Definitely like our chances if this is early in the year, and still like em even with Peterson is there. Way-too-Early-Prediction: Win
Chargers: We suck against the Chargers. I do not know why we can't beat these guys. Way-too-Early-Prediction: Loss
It's a gauntlet schedule, but we can certainly overcome it with the proper offseason success.
Make your way too early predictions here.