The Tennessee Titans are coming off a 9-7 season in which they barely missed the playoffs, having lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with Cincinnati. The Titans let a couple of games slip away, as well as handing the Colts their first win of the season in Week 15.
Matt Hasselbeck had an excellent start to the year, but faded down the stretch, being replaced by Jake Locker several times during games.
Now it's Jake Locker's team and the Titans will sink or swim with Locker's play. They'll have to take the bad with the good from the first-year starter. The defense will have to improve from 2011, Chris Johnson will have to have a bounce-back year and the Titans' receivers will have to stay healthy.
It's pretty impressive that the Titans managed a 9-7 record last year despite all their shortcomings. The key for the Titans this year will be to overcome their brutal early-season schedule. They'll have to come out of the opening month 2-2 to put themselves in a good position to contend for a playoff spot.
Even though the Titans will field a more talented roster than last season, a slow start would ruin their season, as they don't have the necessary talent to recover from one.