Tennessee Titans Progress Report: Where Things Stand Heading into Week 11

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistNovember 14, 2012

McCourty is doing a better job breaking up passes.
McCourty is doing a better job breaking up passes.Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The Tennessee Titans are 4-6 on the 2012 season and in third place in the AFC South.

They have a bye week in Week 11.

They rank 26th on offense, 28th on defense and 29th overall in DVOA.


Primary Talking Point for Week 11

The Titans are back!

In the best evidence to date that NFL fans and media have painfully short attention spans, all the angst over the Titans' utter shellacking by the Bears has evaporated in a sea of contentment over their play against Miami.

Some are even starting to use the "p" word again.

The truth is somewhere in the middle for Tennessee, and it's going to take a few more weeks to figure out what that is.

The bye week is much welcomed for a team that needs to tighten things down if it is going to make a late run toward the .500 mark.


Injury Outlook

The Titans are as healthy as they have been in quite some time. 

Colin McCarthy managed to play on a bum knee Sunday and scored a touchdown on an interception.

Jake Locker's shoulder held up well as he scrambled effectively and without fear.


Player on the Rise

The Titans have quality players in the secondary, which makes you wonder why the pass defense was so bad all season.

Jason McCourty forced a fumble against the Dolphins and continued his run of strong play.

He was torched early in the season, allowing better than 70 percent completions over the first five games. In the next five, however, he brought that number down under 60 percent and added a couple of picks and a forced fumble.


Feel-Good Stat of the Week

The Titans are now fifth in the NFL in yards per carry on offense, and their adjusted sack rate is also in the top 10.

The offensive line struggled early in the year, but there's no question the blocking is better all around than it was early on.

The Tennessee offense still isn't firing on all cylinders, but that's to be expected given the injury to Locker.

The components for a good offense are there for the Titans. It's time to see those come together over the final weeks.


Troubling Stat of the Week

File this one in the overreacting bin if you wish, but Locker's completion percentage was terrible against the Dolphins.

There are many reasons to disregard it as the effect of missing so much time with his receivers, but it bears watching.

One of the surprises of the first three weeks was Locker's accuracy.

In actuality, he's been uneven. He completed 71.9 and 69.0 percent of passes against the Patriots and Lions, but only 50.0 and 42.9 against the Chargers and Dolphins.

Locker's ability to consistently hit passes will be a key development to track over the final month-and-a -half of the year.


Overall Trend: Steady

The Titans have been consistently inconsistent all season.

Almost from week to week no one has any idea which Titans team will show up. Will it be the skid-mark squad that was left for dead by the Chargers, Patriots and Bears?

Will it be the cardiac kids who edged the Steelers and Bills? What about the self-destructing bunch that coughed up the Colts game?

Of course, now the Titans have added a new face: Dolphin killers.

It's clear by now that Tennessee has talent, but also serious coaching issues. Until they gain some measure of consistency from one game to the next, no one will be able to take them seriously.


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