Time to Believe in The Titans

Scott BarbineCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2008

They've had a soft schedule.  That's all hear when I talk to people about the Tennessee Titans fantastic start.  Not many people are taking the Titans seriously but folks, it's about time you do.

The Titans have gotten off to such a hot start behind a physical defense and a strong running game.  When you can do those things well and add that to the fact that they don't turn the ball over, that is a recipe for success.

Here's why the Titans have been consistently winning football games.



If you only allow 11 points per game, you are going to win games.  It all starts up front.  The Titans defensive line is anchored by the big man, Albert Haynesworth.  The defense revolves around him and the opposing offenses can't come up with a game plan for him because he is impossible to stop.  When you double up on Haynesworth, Kyle Vanden Bosch is bound to get to your quarterback, making it quite the dilemma for offensive coordinators. 

The depth in the defensive line is fantastic.  Jevon Kearse, Dave Ball, Kevin Vickerson, Jacob Ford, and Jason Jones all get into the rotation so everyone stays fresh and healthy. 

The linebacking crew is led by veteran Keith Bulluck.  He is joined by David Thornton and Stephen Tulluch.  Each one has the speed to chase down the ball carrier and they have a nose for sniffing out where the play is going.  They can cover the tight ends and running backs on passing plays as well and are sure tacklers in the open field. 

The secondary has improved immensely this season and is led by youngsters, Cortland Finnegan and Michael Griffin, who each have four interceptions.  Nick Harper and Chris Hope round out the starters.  This group may be the best group of tacklers assembled in a secondary. 

Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz really has this group playing hard-nosed defense.



Just like on the defensive side of the ball, it all starts up front.  Their offensive line consists of tackles Michael Roos and Dave Stewart, guards Jake Scott and Eugene Amano, and center Kevin Mawae.  This group has allowed just two sacks all year and have opened up huge holes for the Titans' running backs.

LenDale White and rookie sensation Chris Johnson have been remarkable thus far.  They have been the perfect "thunder and lightning" combination.  Through six games Johnson has 549 rushing yards and is averaging 5.3 yards per carry to go along with three touchdowns.  White has 314 rushing yards and has been a goaline stalwart with eight scores. 

Replacement quarterback Kerry Collins has been all he's needed to be, efficient.  He hasn't been making the same mistakes that we've seen earlier in his career.  Collins has gotten tight end Bo Scaife involved early and often in games and has become his favorite target.  Alge Crumpler, Brandon Jones, Justin Gage, and Justin McCareins have all been almost evenly involved in the passing game as well.

You cannot forget kicker Rob Bironas when speaking of the Titans success.  He is 10-for-10 so far this season and has made his last 18 kicks  dating back to last season.

The Titans face the Indianapolis Colts next week on ESPN's Monday Night Football.  This will be the teams first meeting this year and if the Titans can pull the win out at home, I don't see how they finish anywhere but first in the AFC South.