Today we’re joined by Fantasy Football expert and Titans blogger, Zach Law. You can find him on the web at zachlawonline.com, and on Twitter at @zach_law. His book, There Is No Off Season: The First 50 Ask Your Fantasy Football Expert Interviews, featuring an interview with Billsmafia.com’s own Brian Quinlan, is available for purchase here.
Big win for Tennessee this past Thursday! How does this set the tone for the rest of the season, beginning first and foremost with this Sunday’s game in Buffalo?
Considering that the Titans have lost their three road games by 28, 24, and 23, I’m not too confident in a winning streak. Then again, the trend is my friend so maybe they’ll keep it within 20. Even in scoring a season-high 26 points the team saw too many drives stall out and got a gift TD after a blocked punt. The defense can’t stop the pass and is only decent against the run. Ryan Fitzpatrick will look like a franchise QB. If the Bills special teams are just average, it should be a W for the home team.
It appears that the coaching staff has been working Kenny Britt back on to the field more and more as 2012 progresses. How does he fit in the Titans’ offense?
He’s supposed to be the game-breaker, and last week was the first time he looked the part. He fumbled an early reception and was very lucky to recover it, and his game-tying TD ricocheted off his helmet. The rust is still coming off. He needs to be the guy the defenses are scared of, not CJFUk. Yes, that’s my nickname for the formerly awesome Chris Johnson. In theory the offense should be scary with Britt, Washington, Wright, Cook and Johnson. So far, not so much.
Kamerion Wimbley was Tennessee’s big off-season free agent acquisition this year, signing him to a 5 year / $35 million deal ($12 million this year alone). Through six games, he has registered 12 tackles and one sack. What’s the vibe among Titans fans with Wimbley?
After he broke Tom Brady’s nose in week one, Wimbley went into witness protection. He was kind of the consolation prize after the Manning flirtation cost the team a shot at wooing Mario Williams, who has been similarly unproductive. I wondered what the team thought in taking a 3-4 OLB and making him a full-time 4-3 DE. There’s not much depth at DE so Wimbley and Derrick Morgan are playing a lot, probably too many, snaps. I bet half the fans don’t even remember that they signed a DE this offseason, as bad as the pass rush has been.
Matt Hasselbeck seems to have been playing well for the past two games. If he has a strong showing against Buffalo this weekend, is he under center in week 8 if Jake Locker’s shoulder is healed?
When Hasselbeck returned and showed his inability to throw accurately downfield, Titan fans were reminded why Locker was named the starter in preseason. Hasselbeck’s still a quality veteran and probably the best backup QB in the league. That’s why the team is letting Locker get fully healed before returning. Hasselbeck isn’t going to pull a Kerry Collins in 2008 and lead this team to ten wins in a row. The defense isn’t 1/100th of the 2008 squad.
Fans around the league are familiar with Chris Johnson’s ups and downs over the past season and a half. He’s scheduled to make $12 million in 2013. Will he be a Titan next year?
I would say no because of the insane amount of money the team owes him, but I’m not so sure that they will go the extreme route of release. I look at it this way. The team franchised Michael Griffin, who is far from an elite safety as his play has demonstrated. At the same time, what was available in free agency and a thin draft class led the team to sign Griffin to an extension. None of the Titans’ backup running backs could start for another NFL team, so will they really blow things up and start from scratch? Chris Johnson was at his best with a running threat QB like Vince Young, so I had a lot of hopes of him paired up with Locker. Hopefully we’ll get half a season to see how it works in practice. If it all stays crappy, I’ll just watch the YouTube highlights of his 2009 season, which looks like the highlight reel of a Hall of Fame running back’s entire career.
In your opinion, what are the key matchups to watch (personnel-wise) when the Titans vist Ralph Wilson Stadium this weekend?
One thing the Titans haven’t been able to do is cover the tight end. Can a hobbled Colin McCarthy blanket Scott Chandler? Jason McCourty versus Stevie Johnson should be good. I’m scared to think what Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams do against the Titans’ interior OL. I do not want to see Michael Griffin try to take C.J. Spiller down one-on-one. At this point my grandmother could juke Griffin.
Pain. I wish that I could see Chris Johnson do his end zone dance but it’s unlikely.
There you have it, someone with an intimate knowledge of the Titans is anticipating a Bills win on Sunday. Here’s to him being correct!
Thanks, Zach, for taking the time to answer these questions. And keep your head up, the Titans have 21st century playoff appearances to their credit at least. ;)