The "Power Core" Pre-Season Power Rankings #16
Bruce Matthews finally retired. Hallelujah! He was definatley a class act, but at least we won't have to see anymore gratuitous Pro Bowl selections for Matthews. I'm still steaming over the fact that Bruce Matthews got chosen over Jeff Hartings. I mean the cord should have cut a long time ago with these voters. They did it with Dermontti Dawson, why not with Matthews? Oh…yeah…by the way, the Titans were one of the leagues biggest disappointments last year, but I like to think they were just heavily overrated.
#16 Tennessee Titans (7 - 9) Fourth in AFC Central
Injuries took their toll on this team last year and they never got into any winning rhythm. Most of the marquee players played with lingering injuries or simply didn't play. I think though that the lack of offensive fire power caught up to this team, in much of the same way it did to Baltimore. Gone are the days when a defensive heavy team can string two very successful season together. And for the Titans to be successful this offense must explode around Eddie George.
The Good: When George is on his game he is hard to bring down. In fact the only thing to truly stop him in the past three years was a bum toe. If that toe has healed as well as the publicist for the Titans says, then George could be in for a huge season. Steve McNair truly became "Air" McNair as the season wore on last year. They'll probably let him have more freedom in the pocket this year to go deep. Derrick Mason and Kevin Dyson are an underrated tandum. Jevon Kearse should settle in for another double-digit sack season. The Titans also get the luxury of the league's weakest division. Barring injury, Samari Rolle and Frisco defect Lance Schulters should provide high level play in the secondary.
The Bad: The defense took a major hit with loss of linebackers Greg Favors and Eddie Robinson…oh and Jason Fisk's depature to San Diego leaves a big hole on the defensive line. Kearse will see more double teams this year as the talent level thins out. The secondary although strong with Rolle and Schulters still have a weakness and his name is Dainon Sidney. Rolle also needs to prove he can come back from his neck injury without hesitation. Eddie George may never be the same runner without Lorenzo Neal in front of him. With the number of players recovering from injuries and the number of players that either retired or left via free agency, this team is not very deep anywhere. I won't even get into the pathetic display of fraud that was Kevin Carter.
The Ugly: This team plays and wins ugly. For this team to win they must play ugly, mistake-free, caveman-like football. Hey…that's just the way Jeff Fisher knows how to play. And could he please shave the moustache…it's so…1990's.Synopsis: I think Indy will still win the AFC South, but the Titans barring injury…again I say barring injury…should be playing on the road as Wild Card team. 9 – 7 looks very likely for this team.