The tale of two Tennessee Titans teams

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There is a method to the madness of the Titans

The Titans have been an inconsistent team with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. Against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks the Titans are seemingly begging for points on offense, while a stout defense struggled to hold offenses at bay. However, against the Indianapolis Colts and the Oakland Raiders the team looked like they were in rhythm. So what is the difference between these two teams

Turnovers

In the nailbiter against the Colts and the win against the Raiders, the Titans didn't turn the ball over on offense. Fitzpatrick had a clean sheet in both of those games, and Chris Johnson and company did a great job holding on to the ball. As we saw earlier this year, the Titans can be lethal when they play clean on offense and that has to be the key to getting in the playoffs for them.

Justin Hunter over Kenny Britt

Despite playing nearly 50 less snaps than Britt, Justin Hunter has been much more productive and has been an impressive factor on third downs and when the Titans look for long gains. The graph points out exactly how much better the rookie has been. (all numbers thanks to ProFootballFocus.com)

Kenny Britt 242 snaps 8 rec. 67 yards 0 TD 6 drops
Justin Hunter 196 snaps 13 rec. 231 yards 3 TDs 1 drop

The emergence of the rookie threat has provided big plays in the games against Oakland and San Diego, and in both of those games a big play by Hunter may have decided the game. As he become a more versatile player (running the full route tree) the Titans have seen his role grow from pure vertical threat to third down target and mismatch.

Issues at MLB

For those that think that Colin McCarthy should be the starter (or think that it is even close) take a look at how he compares to usual starter Moise Fokou.

Moise Fokou 427 snaps 4-3 record PPG: 19.1 Rush YPG: 108.5 Team Sacks: 18 Rush TD PG: 0.71
Colin McCarthy 273 snaps 1-3 record PPG: 27.8 Rush YPG:126 Team Sacks: 8 Rush TD PG: 2.25

What it all means?

With a healthy Fokou, and with Fitzpatrick surrounded by an arsenal of weapons the Titans may have a chance to rebound hard after a discouraging stretch of games. Is this team a playoff caliber team every year? Probably not. But they don't have to be. If the Titans can get in, they do have the pieces to be a thorn in the side of teams like the Chiefs and Colts, and once you are in anything is possible.

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