2014 Tennessee Season Predictions
The Tennessee Titans will usher in a new era in 2014 – the Ken Whisenhunt era! Whisenhunt replaces head Coach Mike Munchak who failed to turn this organization around in his three years in Tennessee, guiding the team to a 7-9 record last year and a 6-10 record the year before.
With the coaching position taken care of, the Titans season rests on the oft-injured shoulders of Jake Locker who has missed 14 games since being drafted eighth overall in 2011.
Locker will have a new offensive philosophy, a completely different backfield and a retooled offensive line ahead of him – but health is the biggest question mark ahead of the 2014 season.
Will all the moves pay dividends for the Titans in 2014? Let’s take a look.
Tennessee Titans Future Lines to Win the 2015 Super Bowl XLIX 100/1
Tennessee Titans Future Lines to Win the 2015 AFC Conference 40/1
Tennessee Titans Future Lines to Win the 2014 AFC South +700
Ken Whisenhunt brings with him an impressive résumé. He was tasked with re-kindling the career of Philip Rivers in San Diego and was largely responsible for the Hall of Fame career of Kurt Warner in Arizona. He favors an attack brand of football – something that appears to be right up Jake Locker’s alley.
Locker looked good in 2013, going 4-3 before suffering yet another season ending injury.
Locker will have a decent set of receivers to get the ball to in 2014.
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Kendall Wright was a revelation last year grabbing 94 balls in his breakout season, Justin Hunter showed flashes of brilliance highlighted by a 6 catch, 109 yard performance against Oakland and a 4 catch, 114 yard effort against Denver, reliable Nate Washington exists as well as potential stud Tight End Delanie Walker who will assume the Antonio Gate role in Whisenhunt’s scheme.
The Titans running game lacks experience, that’s for sure. Gone is Chris Johnson who was the face of the Tennessee rushing attack and in is second round pick in this year’s draft Bishop Sankey who has the potential to become a solid every down back for the Titans.
Sankey is a hard runner, a good pass protector and a threat on third downs – all qualities that Chris Johnson simply didn’t possess at this point in his career.
As previously mentioned, the health of Jake Locker is paramount for Tennessee and the team did all they could to ensure that their QB remains upright in 2014. They selected Taylor Lewan with the 11th overall pick – he will likely play the right side of the line, and they went out and snagged Michael Oher from Baltimore – a solid pass protector and stellar run blocker.
Tennessee looks much better offensively heading into the season – the O-line is suddenly formidable, the pass catchers appear solid and the running game is full of optimism with Sankey likely becoming the bell-cow.
The Titans will switch to a 3-4 defense under new coordinator Ray Horton – it could be good or it could be bad!
It remains to be seen if the bodies suiting up for the Titans defense has the ability to adapt to the new scheme. Shaun Phillips, off a 10 sack 2013 campaign was signed and Wesley Woodyard also landed in town after playing with Denver.
Again, it is a matter of whether these players can thrive under Ray Horton’s scheme or they become like Darnell Dockett in Arizona – his career was ruined when Horton arrived in town.
Super Bowl Betting Prediction:
The Tennessee Titans’ season is absolutely depends on Jake Locker.
That said Ken Whisenhunt has a habit of getting the most out of his quarterbacks. Tennessee’s defense may take a small step backward but the offense, as a whole will be much better. While I don’t expect Tennessee to challenge for any title this season I do like them to surpass the 7 win total that Vegas has set.
At very minimum, the Titans are an 8-8 team but they look more like a 9-7 team to me – good for second place in the AFC South.
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