Don't miss Part 2 where Jon addressed questions about the Patriots.
Here is Part 1:
1. What has been the catalyst for this seasons trouble, offense, defense or something else?
Charlie Bernstein: Its been a little bit of everything for the Titans. In the season opener, the usually reliable Rod Bironas missed a pair of field goals that wouldve given the Titans a win at Pittsburgh. Week two, the team was gashed by Andre Johnson and the Texans, and following that, rookie Ryan Mouton muffed a pair of punts that led to the team losing a tight game to the Jets. In the last two weeks, Jacksonville and Indy have pounced on the Titans early and they havent recovered. The secondary simply hasnt been good and they are missing some of the intangibles that you would expect from a Jeff Fisher coached team.
2. How big of an impact has the loss of Albert Haynesworth been on the Titans defense? Who is filling in for him?
Bernstein: A lot of people are going to point to Haynesworths absence as the primary reason the Titans have struggled defensively, and it just isnt true. Jason Jones and Jovan Haye have been solid filling in, and Kevin Vickerson has been a find. The Titans are so deep on the defensive line, that second-round pick SenDerrick Marks hasnt seen much playing time.
3. The Titans have the 17th ranked offense averaging 335 yards per game, ahead of teams like the Bengals, Bears and Jets and just behind teams like Green Bay, Atlanta and Arizona. Why are they having so many problems winning games?
Bernstein: The Titans havent been converting in the red zone and theyve been turning the ball over. Last season, Tennessee forced turnovers, was careful with the ball, and had a great rushing attack. This year, the offensive line hasnt played nearly as well, and its causing everything else to suffer.
4. Kenny Britt seems to be a bright spot for the Titans offense. How big of an impact has he had on their offense and when teams take him away, who else is making plays?
Bernstein: Britt appears as if hes going to be a star in the league, but hes just one guy. Opponents have done a better job of stopping Chris Johnson this year, and Justin Gage makes a lot of insignificant catches, but will drop the big one. When teams focus on Britt, Nate Washington and Jared Cook must elevate their games.
5. How have injuries impacted this team?
Bernstein: When Pro Bowl corner Cortland Finnegan was hurt, the team was gashed by the Jaguars passing game (hardly an explosive unit). Nick Harper is now down and rookies Jason McCourty and Ryan Mouton will have to step in at corner and there will likely be plenty of mistakes.
6. Except for the past two games, the Titans have been close to winning their first three games. Whats different? Is it the opponents or has something changed?
Bernstein: Thats what everyone is trying to figure out. It appears in the fourth game against Jacksonville the team got down early and appeared to quit. The Colts are simply a better team and that caused the lopsided score. Fisher needs to reel the team in or theyll be in great contention for the top pick in the draft.
Bernstein: Its almost inevitable that if they keep losing Vince Young will be forced to play. It wouldve happened already if Young wasnt such a terrible quarterback. Collins hasnt played well, but hes far and away a better option than Vince Young, who would be out of the league if he wasnt the former third-overall pick.
Bernstein: If you have Pats on your fantasy team this would be a good week to start them. I believe the Titans will come out focused and inspired, but they are simply out-manned in the secondary.
9. Matt Light is hurt and may not play, what do you expect Tennessee to do to try to take advantage of this matchup?
Bernstein: Teams have had some success against the Pats when they bring the house against Brady, and I believe that will be the defensive philosophy. Tennessee isnt good enough in the secondary to lie back and cover, so they should probably try to force things up front.
10. The Patriots are barely getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Last week they let Kyle Orton march downfield to tie and win the game. Where is the weakness in the Titans passing offense and how can the Patriots exploit it?
Bernstein: The Titans offensive line hasnt been playing nearly as well as they did a year ago, and Kerry Collins hasnt been as accurate as he was following a Pro Bowl season. Justin Gage cant be counted upon in big situations, and theyre depending on a rookie, Kenny Britt to be the man. The Titans have many more options than they had a year ago, but they just arent playing well. It starts with the line and filters to the quarterback and then the receivers
Charlie Bernstein is the host of CB Sports on ESPN Radio 1420 in St. Augustine, and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America.
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