Tennesse Titans: Who Is the Best Player for the Titans Right Now?

Marlon MaloneyCorrespondent ISeptember 25, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 23:  Head coach Mike Munchak, Karl Klug #97, and Will Witherspoon #92 of the Tennessee Titans and the Titans bench react after the Titans defense held the Detroit Lions on a fourth down at LP Field on September 23, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

When a team plays as poorly as the Tennessee Titans have through the first three weeks of the season, it's tough to find any players that standout as the team's best.

Tennessee's Week 3 victory over the Detroit Lions may prove to be the impetus for an upward swing in the Titans' season, but it was not the most reassuring win.

A 44-41 win with nearly half the points coming from special teams and defensive scoring isn't something the team can count on.

If there's one guy we can definitely cross off the list for the team's best player it is Chris Johnson. In three games, Johnson has carried the ball 33 times for 45 yards.

That's good for an average of 1.4 yards per carry and 15 yards per game. The defense has been atrocious across the board: 31st in total defense, 30th in pass defense, 29th in run defense and 32nd in points allowed.


Kendall Wright

Rookie receiver Kendall Wright has been of great value to the team's offense, proving to be a reliable chain-mover. 

He leads the team in receptions with 14 and has been targeted a whopping 25 times—no one else on the teams has been targeted more than 16 times.

While Wright hasn't produced the big plays people expected during the offseason, the arrival of Kenny Britt should open things up for Wright underneath.


Jake Locker

Jake Locker has been hit-or-miss in his first season as an NFL starter. In Weeks 1 and 3, he is a combined 52-of-74 for 607 yards for 3 TDs and 1 INT.

In Week 2, let's just say he wasn't himself.

There's a lot of added pressure on Locker's shoulders with him not having any semblance of a running game to help give the team's offense some balance, resulting in several stalled drives.


Darius Reynaud

This may deserve to just be an honorable mention, but Reynaud has helped spark the team's return games after the season-ending injury to Marc Mariani.

The Titans are ranked fourth in kickoff return yard average and second in punt return yard average. Reynaud played an integral part in both of Tennessee's special teams touchdowns this past week, though.


Akeem Ayers

Ayers has turned into a tackling machine in the early absence of Colin McCarthy. In Week 3 alone, Ayers racked up 16 tackles, a sack and a pass defensed.

It's tough to have a defensive player on this list when the Titans' defense has been deplorable, but Ayers has been a glimmer of light for the defensive side of the ball.

When McCarthy returns from his high ankle sprain, Ayers should be more free to do what DC Jerry Gray had planned for him at the beginning of the season—like shifting to defensive end on passing downs.



With all that being said, it's not even remotely close in my book who the Titans' top best player has been through Week 3: Jake Locker.

Locker has taken over the role of lead rusher, unfortunately, and played the quarterback position brilliantly for two weeks of the season.

As a first-time starter, Locker's accuracy has not been the major issue that analysts had made it out to be during the preseason. 

He has shown a lot of signs of being a quality talent capable of playing for a long time in this league. In Week 1, he exhibited the ability to read a defense before the snap and audible into the perfect play to counter.

During Week 3, he showed how quickly and decisive he is at progressing through his reads, not playing favorites, and finding the open receiver.

A lot can change on this list in the coming weeks, but there's no question in my mind that Locker wears the crown for the Tennessee Titans.