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Bigger surprise? It's the Titans

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by NewsGrabber, Oct 3, 2008.

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  1. NewsGrabber Guest

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    Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

    Take the starting quarterback of a third-place team, put him in turmoil and then bench him and what do you get?

    In the case of the Tennessee Titans, it's a 4-0 club that's undefeated at the quarter pole for the first time in its history. The Titans sit atop the AFC South and are being hailed as one of the best teams in the NFL.

    Sure, that the Titans are talented isn't a surprise to people who pay attention to small market teams. But to have a significant lead on both the Colts and the Jaguars a month in, with Vince Young a nonfactor, ranks as a bigger surprise than Baltimore's standing at 2-1. (My AFC North colleague James Walker posits the Ravens are the bigger surprise.)

    Tennessee lost a left-end combination in the offseason that produced 14 sacks a year ago, but the team hasn't felt the effects, racking up 15 sacks so far. Tennessee lost its two starting guards when Jacob Ford got a big contract from St. Louis and Benji Olson retired, but the team may be better with Eugene Amano and Jake Scott inserted.

    And while the team got killed for not addressing the receiver position with a high draft pick or big free agent, Tennessee hit on first-rounder Chris Johnson, a dynamic and super-fast running back who ranks seventh in the league in rushing despite sharing carries with LenDale White.
    Plus, a team that planned on Young being its signal-caller pulled the plug on him and turned things over to Kerry Collins after the first game.

    The Ravens defense remains solid, that's no shock. People knew Cincinnati was going to struggle, and I was one of the small minority that thought Cleveland would dip and fail to live up to expectations. But Joe Flacco and his offensive line still have a lot to prove against quality competition.

    Who's it harder to get ahead of, the Browns and Bengals or the Colts and Jaguars?

    The Buffalo Bills certainly top them both, but as the Titans get ready for their trip to Baltimore, they are the better team and the bigger surprise.


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