After losing to the Chicago Bears 52-20 on Sunday, the Tennessee Titans sit at just 3-6 going into their week ten match-up against the Miami Dolphins.
Jake Locker has been out with a shoulder injury during week four against Houston, but has been cleared for contact this week, although it is not likely he will get the start this coming Sunday with the Titans bye week coming up in week 11.
Matt Hasselbeck has held the starting role in Locker's place, and has not done anything spectacular to help the Titans out so far this season. Including the week four game Hasselback relieved Locker in, the Titans have gone 2-4, with the only wins in back-to-back weeks against Pittsburgh and Buffalo. While he has been efficient throwing the ball with a 62.7 percent completion rate, Hasselback has thrown for only seven touchdowns compared to the five interceptions. The ratio isn't terrible, but he hasn't provided any spark for an offense that has been lacking a consistent scoring threat all season.
Running back Chris Johnson started off horrendously, but has shown a nice turnaround since the week four game against the Texans. Johnson has shown his big play potential over the past few weeks, with an 83-yard touchdown run against the Bills and an 80-yard touchdown run against the Bears. After only 45 the first three weeks of the season, Johnson has racked up 691 yards in the past six weeks, for a total of 736 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. CJ2K also has 132 receiving yards out of the backfield on 23 catches so far. After the rough start, he has been able to pull through and has done his best to give the Titans a shot.
The production from the Titans receivers is one of the big factors holding them back on offense. Nate Washington is their leading receiver thus far, with a total of 478 yards and four touchdowns. Kenny Britt has been a huge disappointment this season, starting in only four games (has appeared in seven total) with 276 yards on 25 receptions, with just one touchdown. Rookie Kendall Wright has pulled his weight so far, although nothing special, as he has reeled in 42 catches for 381 yards and three scores. There hasn't been anyone to step up and help out Hasselback, so there can't be too much blame on the quarterback. Seven games remain on the schedule and there is plenty of time for one of the wide outs to catch fire after the bye week.
Another factor holding the Titans down has been how they have dealt with tight end Jared Cook. He has been openly upset with how they have used him this year, so much so that many reported that he may be dealt before the trade deadline. Well, he is still in a Titans uniform, and is one of the more athletic players on the team, so they may as well use him to their advantage. Cook has 379 yards with two touchdowns while coming back from a few early season injuries.
The offensive line has showed glimpses of powerful play, many times just resorting back to awful technique the next game. They have allowed Johnson and Hasselback to have some strong games, but have also blown blocking assignments constantly in other games. They have faced a few injuries, most notably losing center Eugene Amano before the season, but they need to get into a rythm that gives the offense a chance to work efficiently from game to game.
A week off is just what the Titans need right now, especially if they can pull out a win against the Miami Dolphins this Sunday.
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