Tennessee Titans Progress Report: Where Things Stand Heading into Week 16

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistDecember 18, 2012

No. 18 isn't available, but could his old buddy Tom Moore help resuce the Titans in 2013?
No. 18 isn't available, but could his old buddy Tom Moore help resuce the Titans in 2013?Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans are 5-9 on the 2012 season and in third place in the AFC South.

In Week 16, they travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers.

The Titans rank 28th on offense, 24th on defenses and 29th overall in DVOA (via Football Outsiders).


What Went Wrong in 2012

Having already addressed the defensive issues, it's time to look at the Titans offense.

Tennessee has averaged just over 20 points a game (23rd in the league) and has committed 26 turnovers (23rd in the league).

No matter how you slice it, the Titans dramatically underperformed in 2012.

It's easy to blame the quarterbacks, but Jake Locker and Matt Hasselbeck each performed competently in spots.

It's easy to point a finger at Kenny Britt, who was largely invisible, and will end the year as one of the lowest-rated receivers in the game.

Chris Johnson is a convenient target. He's the author of the classic "Chris Johnson Game." He'll boom his way to 4.8 yards a carry, but bust his way to six different games in which he posts 51 yards or fewer. He's had five games this year in which he averaged under 2.4 yards a tote.

Jared Cook and Nate Washington saw their numbers drop after promising turns in 2011.

Then there's Kendall Wright, who has picked up an impressive 62 catches for a very unimpressive 9.5 yards a reception.

The fact is that there is no one thing wrong with the Titans. The parts were greater than the sum, and that's why Chris Palmer didn't survive the season.

The raw materials for a good offense are all present in Tennessee, but someone has to make them all work together better in 2014.


Injury Update

Colin McCarthy and Damian Williams both missed Monday's game with injuries.

Kendall Wright likely has cracked ribs. His status for Sunday is unknown.


2013 Draft Status

The Titans are one of six teams with five wins on the season. Technically, that puts them in a tie for the sixth overall pick.

Tennessee has the 17th toughest schedule so far. That would place them behind all 5-9 teams in draft order except for the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers.

Because strength of schedule (easiest gets preference) determines the tiebreaker, the Titans would currently be in line to pick ninth in the draft.

Recent players selected ninth overall include Luke Keuchly, Tyron Smith, C.J. Spiller, B.J. Raji and Keith Rivers.


Stat That Must Improve in 2013

The Titans have faced teams that are currently above .500 seven times in 2012.

They've played the Houston Texans twice. Two losses.

New England? Loss.

Indianapolis? Two losses.

Minnesota? Loss.

Chicago? Loss.

For those scoring at home, that's 0-7. They've been outscored 219-94 in those games. That's an average whipping of 34-13.

The best team the Titans have beaten all year is the 7-7 Pittsburgh Steelers.

If there is anything that indicates just how far away the Titans are from contention right now, it's that.


Coaching Watch

If the Titans can climb to six wins on the season, it's more than plausible that Mike Munchak keeps his job.

The most interesting development of the last several weeks is long-time Indianapolis coordinator Tom Moore being invited to consult with the team.

If Moore wants back into to coaching, the Titans would likely be more than happy to brush Dowell Loggains aside to make room for him.

Munchak's first two years were held back substandard work from his coordinators, and there will likely be a coaching overhaul even if the head coach remains.

The best way for Munchak to earn a longer leash would be to show that he can attract some top-notch coordinators to his staff.

Fans will likely be more patient with Munchak if they feel there has been an overall upgrade of the coaching staff.

The only question is if Bud Adams agrees.


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