Everyone knows how good the Patriots offense has been in recent years, and how good it is expected to be once again. When you have Tom Brady at quarterback, you're going to put up a lot of points. They averaged 32.1 points a game last year, one of only three teams to post over 30 points a game. Oh, and they're pretty good at moving the ball too. They averaged 428 yards a game last year, finishing second only to the Saints. What does this mean for the Titans? Well, the Patriots are going to score. They're going to move the ball and they're going to have success. The key on defense will be to limit the damage. We can't expect a low-scoring game from the Patriots offense.
By comparison the Titans offense was far from explosive last year, settling nicely into the middle of the pack in most statistical categories. Those stats are far less relevant now with a quarterback switch, but I don't think it's a stretch to note that the Titans will have to be great offensively (read: much better than last year) to give the Patriots a solid challenge. Do they have the firepower to make that happen? I must admit that I don't think the odds are high.
There are a few things working against us.
The biggest one is that Kenny Britt is still not completely healthy/suspended. There is no doubt he can swing a game in our favour almost by himself. Just ask the Eagles. Our offense is significantly less explosive without him.
Sunday's game will also mark the first career start for Fernando Velasco. The man lining up in front of him is likely Vince Wilfork (depending on what type of front they use). That matchup will be very interesting to watch. I think we're all excited to see what Velasco can do now that he's getting an opportunity to play, but that is an extremely tough situation. There are times when I wonder if Wilfork isn't just two DTs fused together by Bill Belichick.
There are also the usual questions for Titans fans. Will Chris Johnson play well? Will the offensive line even give him the opportunity to succeed? The answer to both questions far too often last season was no.
Now it's not all gloom and doom for us offensively. The Patriots defense was putrid last year. Even with some new faces, there will be opportunities to strike. Jake Locker and Kendall Wright are going to be fun to watch, and Nate Washington is still a very good receiver. In fact, a lot of your reactions to the question posed in the title will have to do with your expectations of Jake Locker. Locker has given us plenty to be excited about so far, but he'll be making his first career start. I hope to have more on his Week 1 expectations early on in the week. Right now I'm honestly not sure what to expect out of Locker.
So MCMers, how confident are you in this offense? Will we put up enough points to stay with the Pats?