Tennessee Titans Progress Report: Where Things Stand Heading into Week 10

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistNovember 7, 2012

The Tennessee Titans are 3-5 and in third place in the AFC South

In Week 10, they travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium.

The Titans rank 28th on offense, 29th on defense and 31st in DVOA in the 32-team NFL.


Primary Talking Point for Week 10

"Throw the bums out!" may be a typical election day cheer, but the Titans hear it ringing from the rafters of LP Field.

From ownership on down, no one is happy with the state of the team, and there's a growing movement against Mike Munchak and his staff.

The Titans have a challenging road game against Miami in Week 10, and while the team doesn't have to win to avoid firings, if they come out flat like they did against the Bears, the bye week may well be used to dismiss members of the coaching staff.

Fans can talk about playoff pressure all they want. Playing and coaching for your job is real pressure.


Injury Outlook

Jake Locker's status is of primary concern. According to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, Locker's chances of playing against Miami are rising thanks to an encouraging round of tests on his shoulder. Even if he does play, he'll probably share snaps with Matt Hasselbeck.

Leroy Harris was put on the injured reserve list after knee surgery, and the team elected to leave Markelle Martin on the physically unable to perform list for the rest of the season.

Kendall Wright had his elbow banged up, but isn't expected to miss time.


Player on the Rise

Akeem Ayers now has sacks in consecutive games, a welcome sight for a Titans' squad desperate to find a pass rush.

Ayers is having a solid season both rushing the passer and stopping the run. Just in his second year, he's exhibiting signs of exactly the right kind of growth.

Early in the year, he was completely lost in pass coverage, but his responsibilities in that area have decreased as he gets involved in more opportunities to chase quarterbacks rather than wideouts.


Feel-Good Stat of the Week

Kendall Wright's catch rate was a problem early in the year, but it's steadily risen. He's getting more comfortable each week, and now has a catch rate in the mid-60s instead of the mid-50s.

Wrights yards per reception is still low at 9.1, but that's almost a full yard improvement over his first four games.

Wright was pegged as a player on the rise a few weeks ago, and the trend is continuing. He's visibly improving each week, and the stats reflect his growth.


Troubling Stat of the Week


That's the QB rating allowed by the Titans.


That's the QB rating of league-leader Peyton Manning.

The Titans defense turns every quarterback they play into Manning. I wonder what would happen if they actually played him.

Would he would become uber-Manning and destroy the streets of Nashville?


Overall Trend: Falling

The Bears can make anyone look bad, but the listless performance by the Titans in Week 9 was indefensible.

They've already dropped their fifth game and now have two consecutive road tests followed by a home game against the Texans.

The schedule sets up poorly, and the only hope this team has of a strong finish is that Locker can step up and play well down the stretch.


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