There is no doubt as to what the most scrutinized position is in football: the quarterback. They're quick to be rewarded and even quicker to be ridiculed. The quarterbacks of the 0-4 teams so far have gotten plenty of heat, although the Tennessee Titans' Kerry Collins is on the sun.
No one would have predicted that the Titans start out the season 0-4. However, since that's the case, the first person to blame is Collins. And with reason; Collins has already thrown six interceptions (the second most in the league!) compared to just five touchdowns. His completion percentage is a weak 56.9% (27th in the NFL). His passer rating is 68.9, which ranks him at 28th.
So, how is this not Collins fault? His job description was to be a "game manager" and not turn over the ball, which he's already done six times.
But wait a minute! Game manager quarterbacks aren't supposed to throw that many passes, right? Collins has already thrown 153 passes, a number lower than only that of the New England Patriots' Tom Brady. Why is he throwing so much?
It's definitely not because of a deficiency at halfback. Chris Johnson leads the NFL in rushing yards, beating out second place Miami Dolphin running back Ronnie Brown by 65 yards! However, he's only been given 69 carries, only the 10th most. If somebody can average 6.3 yards per carry, you'd think he'd get the rock.
LenDale White also always poses as a threat, but the one time he's been given a chance on the goal line, he scored. If Collins wouldn't throw so much, White would surely get more chances.
It's also not that Mike Heimerdinger, Tennessee's offensive coordinator, changed his scheme to throw more than to run. It's because the Titans have been playing from behind this whole season. The only shot they've had is to throw and try to catch up quickly. So far at halftime, the Titans are losing by an average of seven points per game.
Again, why is Collins throwing so much? It's because the defense is giving up so many points. Teams are averaging 27 points per game on the Titans. Last season, the most points that Tennessee gave up was 34. They've already coughed up that many twice this season!
And you can't pinpoint it on one specific defender. Nick Harper has been beaten in coverage several times, but they're not all his fault. No one has been able to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks, with the occasional exception of defensive tackle Tony Brown. Cortland Finnegan, Chris Hope, and Michael Griffin could all also improve in the secondary.
Also, the defense as a whole needs to learn how to tackle again. Maurice Jones-Drew used his height for leverage on all the Titans defenders, and only a few (namely David Thornton) adjusted.
It's frustrating to watch a quarterback take six seconds to throw a pass, which means the secondary and the defensive line need to step it up. So do the kick and punt returners. If you noticed against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Tennessee returners were so bad that the Titans went out and resigned Mark Jones, who was cut in the preseason, to try to come bail them out.
Sure, Collins does deserve some blame. But is he the problem for the Tennessee Titans? That's for coach Jeff Fisher and his staff to decide.