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Tennessee Titans: Can Zach Mettenberger Save Ken Whisenhunt?

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A great QB doesn't equal a good coach.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It's easy to point fingers when a team is as bad as the Tennessee Titans.  Sitting at 2 wins with only 4 games left to play, it's actually hard not to.  Like it or not it all starts at the top and ultimately the head coach is responsible.

The most damning of the evidence against coach Ken Whisenhunt is that this team is regressing.  As the season progresses the defeats are becoming more and more lopsided.  The only consistent progression coming from the quarterback position.

A current narrative among fans is that apparently Mike Munchak and co. weren't so bad for getting more out of the same if not a lesser roster. In the Titans 9 losses last year, the average was by 8.3 points, with the Denver game heavily weighting the numbers.  6 of the 9 losses were within a score and 2 of them were in overtime.  So far in the Titans 10 losses this year, only 3 were within a score and the average loss is by a whopping 14.2 points.

At the current pace there is no way Ken Whisenhunt should make it through next season holding his job. You can point to injuries as well as other issues but back to back 2-4 win seasons are unacceptable regardless of the circumstances.  His propensity as an offensive coordinator to ignore the situational aspects of both game and opponent are condemning as is his inability to make the necessary adjustments and use the tools provided him.

A good quarterback can hide a lot of ills for a bad team and can make a good team great.  This raises the concern that Mettenberger just may save Ken Whisenhunt's job, or at least lengthen its tenure.  After setting the bar so low, a scramble back to .500 next year may have people convinced the team is heading in the right direction.  That would be fine, if it's for the right reasons and is truly the case.

Every game Zach Mettenberger has played in he has shown flaws and issues but nothing condemn-able or that can't be fixed with a little time and experience. In almost every game afterwards he shows a progression on those issues if not an elimination of them.  His trajectory is upward and at this point you would be hard pressed to say he's not the quarterback to start 2015 at the very least.  It's still too early to tell if he can be a great or franchise quarterback or not, but let's assume for the moment that he is.

The Titans are set to play a 3 game stretch against equally poor teams and a fourth against a Colt's team that will likely be resting it's starters.  The failings of this team are numerous on both sides of the ball.  If Zach Mettenberger's play can hide a handful of the staff's failures going forward, it may just drag out the process and elongate the new regime's tenure.  While Whisenhunt and Ruston Webster should get credit for drafting the gem in the 6th round, going forawrd it should be noted that Zach Mettenberger being a great quarterback doesn't mean Ken Whisenhunt is a good coach.