A championship eluded Peyton Manning while at the University of Tennessee—and signing with the Titans won't help him bring glory to the Volunteer State either.
The Titans are said to be among four teams in the running for Manning's services, and are wise to be pursuing him. He's a proven winner and an instant draw as one of the most recognizable athletes to ever play in the state.
While significant questions about Manning's long term health and ability to hold up under the grind of a full season remain, the Titans believe they have the opportunity to hit the next level if they can land the four time NFL MVP.
The numbers don't support that conclusion.
The 2011 Titans were just a game away from a playoff spot, but they were also a flawed club.
Offensively, they only scored 325 points, good for just 21st in the league. A closer look at the numbers, however, would indicate that bringing Manning on board wouldn't dramatically help their offense.
The 2011 Titans actually had a reasonably efficient passing attack, ranking 13th in DVOA (an efficiency metric favored by the Football Outsiders).
The problem with the Titans offense was that they were dead last in running the football, nearly 10 percent below average.
The conditioning and attitude problems of Chris Johnson were a far bigger problem than was their quarterback play.
The Titans' combination of Hasselbeck and Locker averaged 7.0 yards an attempt last year, more than what Manning was able to generate in 2010 before his most recent neck procedures.
Manning's DVOA that year was only incrementally better than what the Titans posted in 2011.
The Titans lacked a vertical component to their offense in 2011, especially after the injury to Kenny Britt.
Unfortunately, Manning isn't the man to bring that element.
His diminished arm strength has been common knowledge in Indianapolis for years. He's an intermediate range weapon now, lacking the necessary consistency deep to stretch defenses like he did when he was younger.
Peyton Manning is one of the five greatest quarterbacks in history, but he would have to play significantly better in 2012 than he did in 2010 to make enough impact on the Titans offense.
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