Chris Schneider/Associated Press
1. Justin Hunter
The Titans might finally have a Pro Bowl-caliber wide receiver in Justin Hunter. We should probably pump the brakes on Hunter just a little bit, but he has the physical tools to become a great player.
If Hunter decides to break out and become a red-zone threat, then this offense could put up a ton of points and help out the shaky defense.
2. Jake Locker
You can't make a list of X-factors without throwing out the quarterback who can't seem to stay healthy. Locker was rounding into form last season before getting hurt in Week 4, which ended with the Titans being 3-1.
If Locker gets through 16 games, then this team's chances of ending its playoff drought would multiply dramatically. It's that simple.
3. Bishop Sankey
I can see the running game being so much better than it was with Chris Johnson if Bishop Sankey can catch fire early. He's a solid all-around running back who will do wonders for the Titans offense if he can shake some of the rookie growing pains.
An offensive-rookie-of-the-year type of performance will add even more firepower to an already strong Titans offense.
4. Derrick Morgan
Morgan has to make his transition to outside linebacker a seamless one for this defense to play well. I'm not confident that he will be effective dropping into coverage. If he makes big improvements in that area, then this defense will be much better than it showed in the preseason.
5. Blidi Wreh-Wilson
Wreh-Wilson won the training camp battle to see who would be Alterraun Verner's replacement. Now it's time to see if he's ready to be an NFL starter. The Titans' chances of making the playoffs get much better if Wreh-Wilson can be relied upon as a shutdown corner on his side of the field.
I feel that the big reason why many analysts hesitate to put much faith in the Titans is due to the big question mark at the position that Wreh-Wilson is taking over.