Winning your division is the primary goal of any head coach, and with that in mind, the Titans drafted Chance Warmack in the first round last year largely to counter the dynamic J.J. Watt of the Texans.
Going into this year the Texans were the cream of the crop in the AFC South and Watt was a big part of the reason. The Titans offensive line had no answer for the Pro Bowler so they spent their first round pick on what was as sure a thing at offensive guard in almost twenty years.
Later in the draft the Titans highest rated center, Brian Schwenke, fell in their laps in the fourth round and they had to take him. The favorite going into camp had an injury that kept him on the sidelines until there was no choice but to insert him in the lineup midway through the season.
The fine researchers at Pro Football Focus put this article out this week, and Schwenke stood out to them in the Jacksonville game...in a bad way. The offensive line had one of its best performances of the year except for Schwenke who earned a -2.3 rating for the game. If you're not familiar with PFF's rating system, just know that negative numbers is bad.
Other than rookie center Brian Schwenke's -2.3 overall grade, the Titans' offensive line had a strong day both in pass protection and in the running game. Schwenke was simply handled too often by Jaguars' defensive tackles at the line of scrimmage, but the rest of the line made up for it led by left guard Andy Levitre's +3.7 overall grade.
Schwenke has led to a noticeable improvement in the run game since taking over regardless of the Jacksonville game. There's also been reports that he's still not fully healthy, and is playing on a bad ankle. This weekend Chance Warmack will have his hands full of J.J. Watt and Schwenke needs to be at his best or the the Texans could be in the Titans backfield early and often.
Overall this is a young group learning to play with each other in the middle of the line. Another year in camp together could make a huge difference. Hopefully the trio, including free agent Andy Levitre, is set for the future and won't need to be tinkered with for awhile now. Hopefully Schwenke can be the savior at center the fans and coaching staff were hoping for as the team needs to move on and address other areas of the field.