Special Report
State of the Titans: Part 1 of 3
By Greg Gutmann
November 9th, 2006, 05:47

In a word...TERRIBLE!!!

After drafting our franchise QB of the future and signing some good free agents (Mawae, Givens, Thornton, Hope), the team is on pace to win the SAME number of games as last year...FOUR!  If that wasn't bad enough, the Titans are on pace to score fewer points and give up more than last year's squad....and that's with an IMPROVED roster?

That is your first clue that there is a big problem outside of personnel issues.

A small part of the stats is not as bad as it seems.  The off-season and opening season roster debacle at QB put us in a terrible position heading into game one and hurt us in our first few games.  The Jets game was winnable and so was the Dolphins game.  And now we must endure Vince Young's growing pains which will cost us some games  this year and some next season.  But the numbers don't lie.  Even if you give our offense a bit of a break because of Young's inexperience, the defense doesn't rate any excuses.  The additions over last year's squad are dramatic including Hope, Thornton and Finnegan...arguably three of the top six players on the defense...and yet the D is not better???

That is your second clue that there is something wrong outside of the personnel.

So we're all on the same page, here are our team stats listed by stat with league ranking in parenthesis.

Offense
271.4 yds/gm (28th)
4.6 yds/play (t-25th)
15.8 First Downs/game-fd/gm (t-27th)
30.8% on 3rd down success (30th)
26.49min time of possession-top (31st)

Rushing stats
28.1 attempts (13th)
907 yards (12th)
4.0 avg (16th)
113.4 yds/gm (12)
5 TD's (t-17th)
46 FD's (t-13th)
2 20+ yd runs (24th)

Scoring
13 TD's (30th)
15.0 points/game (30th)

I won't list our passing stats because they aren't worthy of your perusal.  Let's just say they are worse than bad.

Analysis
The first thing that should jump out at you is 15.0 points per game (30th in the league).  When you compare that to our 271.4 yards/game (28th), that confirms we are NOT a good offense.  But if we look at our rushing stats, we find some decent numbers, right?  

Not exactly.  

While rushing is our strong suit, ask yourself how our rushing numbers would look if I took Vince Young's nearly 20 yards per game out of that avg?  I'll save you the trouble...we'd drop to about 26th in rush yards per game.  Still better than ranking 28th or 30th...but is our team really this bad?  Let's look at the defense.

Defense
368.5 yds/gm (32nd)
5.6 yds/play (30th)
22.4 FD's per game (30th)
3rd down % (19th)
33.11 min TOP

Run Defense
1308 yards (31st)
33 attempts (2nd)
163.5 yds/gm (31st)
10 TD's (t-28th)
65 FD's (30th)
11 20+yd runs (32nd)

Pass Defense
65.6% completion percentage (31st)
205 yds/gm (14th)
14 TD's (29th)
5 INT's (t-25)
14 sacks (t-26)

27.0 Points/gm (31st)

Analysis
The first thing that pops out is 27 points a game avg.  That's nearly 4 TD's a game our offense would have to score to win by 1 point!  That is an appalling number and WORSE than last year (and that's with having added, Thornton, Hope, Finnegan and Robaire Smith).

The run D numbers are a bit misleading...both good and bad.  On the plus side, since people are running so much, our total yards are skewed a bit high.  The bad side is, with more attempts, the yds/carry avg should be lower (yet we're giving up 5.0 avg) and the # of 20+ yard runs is atrocious.  Our pass D isn't any better except for one thing...our yards given up is lower vs the pass (14th) but part of that is because the run D is so bad.  Even still, our avg opposing qb is completing 65.6% for 205 yards and nearly 2 TD's and less than 1 INT per game. To give you better perspective, those numbers project to a QB having these numbers (65.6% complete for 3280 yards, 28 TD's and 10 INT's for the season) and probably a top 5 or 6 QB rating.  That is called BAD defense!

So WHAT is going on?  Unfortunately, a lot - which we'll get to tomorrow!


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