Before we begin, I'll take my customary moment to thank my SBN batterymate. Jimmy from Music City Miracles has graciously decided to answer my ill-informed and generally shoddy questions on all things Titan. Here were his answers:
1. The Titans just seem to find ways to win. Half the time I have no idea how they manage to pull some ridiculous victory out of their collective butts, but they do. Is it luck or something bigger?
MCM: The Titans no doubt got some lucky breaks last season, but let's be honest, pretty much any team who wins 8 of 11 games is going to get some lucky breaks. I think overall it is something bigger. These guys really believe they can win, and that is headed by Vince Young. He is a great leader and everyone around him wants to play better because of him.
2. Vince Young hasn't impressed me statistically or through the air so far in his young career. Is he being labeled a "winner" because the team's doing well, or is he really one of the reasons they win each week? If so, why?
MCM: This is probably the most popular question I receive in 5 questions. The people that don't see him play every week just don't understand. Vince is never going to have stats that jump off the page at you, besides his win loss record. He really is one of the biggest reasons this team is doing well.
From a tangible football aspect, teams have to gamplan for him differently than most QBs in the league. Most teams are using a guy to spy Vince which generally opens up some big holes in the running game for the Titans. That is what happened against the Jaguars. They were spying Vince with the middle linebacker which opened up some big cut back lanes for the running backs.
From an intangible aspect, Vince is a winner. His desire to win is infectous. He has the ability to raise the level of play of all the guys around him. The whole team is buying into his confidence and it shows in their play on the field.
3. The TItans rank near the bottom of the league in passing defense but at the very top by a wide margin in rushing defense. Is that partly a function of the bye week or a legitimate reflection on the strengths and weaknesses ot the Titan defense?
MCM: I think it is a reflection of the fact that one of the Titans' 3 games this year was against the Colts. The Titans do have 2 new starters in the secondary, but they are both upgrades over the guys they replaced. While I do believe that the rushing defense is better than the passing defense, it isn't that wide of a margin that separates the two.
4. How is the running back committee working out for the Titans? Is Chris Henry poised to take more carries in the future, or are Chris Brown and LenDale White getting the job done?
MCM: The running back by committee thing is working great for the Titans. Chris Brown and LenDale White compliment each other very well. Brown has more speed and White has a more punishing running style. Both guys have had injury problems, but since they are splitting carries they have been able to stay healthy thus far. They are a lot better collectively than individually.
I don't see Chris Henry taking away any carries from either of those 2. They only way he sees any significant action this season is if Brown or White get hurt.
5. My typical fifth question strikes again! What's your expected outcome for the game and how do you envision the Titans finishing the season?
MCM: I think this game will be close. I really don't see either team blowing the other one out. If the Titans can establish their running game I think they come out with the win. It should be a good game either way.
As far as the Titans season, I really think they are going to make the playoffs as a wild card. They are playing really well together so far, and I think they will get better every week.
Again, a big thanks to Jimmy for agreeing to answer my questions. For all things Titan, be sure to check out Music City Miracles.