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Tennessee Titans Start Near the Bottom of the ESPN Power Rankings

SEATTLE - AUGUST 14: Running back Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans rushes against Aaron Curry #59 during the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on August 14, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Chad MintonCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2011

With a new coaching staff, a new quarterback and a defense full of question marks, it wasn't surprising to see the Titans start off at No. 20 in ESPN's popular preseason power rankings.

In fact, the AFC South as a whole didn't get much love from the list, with only the Colts cracking the top half of the NFL.

Without the addition of Matt Hasselbeck, the Titans could be bringing up the rear with the Bengals and the Bills on this list.

If the AFC South is as average as the power rankings suggest, then it could mean the Titans have a chance to win in a bad division.

We saw it from the Seahawks last season playing in the horrible NFC West, as they finished 7-9 and got the opportunity to host a playoff game.

What this list really illustrates is how easy the Titans' schedule should be this season.

The Titans will get to play five of the six worst teams on the list, and will play the Jaguars twice, which are ranked No.22.

Even the Texans weren't able to get much love from ESPN.com writers, as they were only ranked at No.17 on the list.

The average ranking of the Titans' opponents will be 17th heading into the season, so if these rankings are accurate, then the Titans could have a puncher's chance at a playoff spot.

It wouldn't be too much of a shock to see the Titans at 3-2 heading into their bye week, but after that the difficulty of the schedule dramatically increases.

However, you can only take these preseason rankings with a grain of salt in most cases.

In comparison, last season's ESPN preseason power rankings had the Bears all the way back at No. 21 and they finished in the NFC championship game.

Other teams from last season that were given no respect, but ended up having solid seasons were the Buccaneers, the Seahawks and the Chiefs.

It is hard to argue with where the Titans are ranked, and some could even argue that their ranking is generous.

The Titans roster is full of question marks with the lingering Chris Johnson holdout, Kenny Britt's legal troubles and a lot of youth on the defensive side of the ball.

There could be reasonable arguments made that the Titans shouldn't be ranked ahead of the Vikings and the Dolphins.

The voters must have a lot of faith in what Hasselbeck can do for the Titans and in head coach Mike Munchak's coaching ability.

We'll find out real fast how much potential the Titans have in 2011 when they face off with the Ravens in Week 2.

If the Titans are at least competitive in that game, then we'll know how accurate this preseason ranking really is.

 

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