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Tennessee Titans Football

Kern on Pace to Shatter Franchise Net Punting Average

Posted by Gary Glenn on November 29, 2012 – 4:17 pm

Not only is Brett Kern making a strong case for the Pro Bowl this season, he is on pace to shatter his own record for highest single-season net punting average in franchise history.

Kern, who this season has turned in four of the franchise’s top 13 single-game net punting performances, is on pace to break last year’s net average mark of 39.4 yards by nearly three yards with his current record-setting net average of 42.3 yards.

Last week against the Jaguars, Kern set a career high with a net punting average of 49.0 yards, which also was the franchise’s third-best net punting performance in a game since 1976 (minimum four punts).

Among all NFL punters in 2012, Kern’s net average ranks third behind only New Orleans’ Thomas Morstead (45.5) and Denver’s Britton Colquitt (43.1).

You can click here to vote for Brett Kern for the 2012 AFC Pro Bowl squad.

Highest single-season net punting average in franchise history:

1. Bret Kern – 42.3 (2012 – current)
2. Bret Kern – 39.4 (2011)
3. Craig Hentrich – 39.2 (1998)
4. Greg Montgomery – 39.1 (1993)
5. Brett Kern – 39.1 (2010)

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Seven Sacks at Jacksonville Marked 4th Highest Total in NFL in 2012

Posted by Gary Glenn on November 29, 2012 – 1:22 pm

Last week at Jacksonville, the Titans defense recorded a season-high seven sacks, matching the fourth-highest total in the NFL in 2012.

Linebacker Zach Brown and defensive end Kamerion Wimbley each had 1.5 sacks in the game*, while linebacker Akeem Ayers, safety Michael Griffin, and defensive tackles Jurrell Casey and Karl Klug each tallied a solo sack.

In franchise history, there have been only five games in which the Oilers/Titans recorded more than seven sacks and only three road games with more than seven sacks.

Most team sacks in a road game, franchise history:

8 – Nov. 10, 1985 at Buffalo
8 – Sept. 12, 1982 at Cincinnati
8 – Oct. 17, 1976 at San Diego
7 – Nov. 25, 2012 at Jacksonville
7 – Oct. 9, 2005 at Houston
7 – Nov. 28, 1999 at Cleveland
7 – Nov. 14, 1999 at Cincinnati
7 – Sept. 23, 1979 at Cincinnati
7 – Dec. 22, 1963 at Oakland

* Brown was initially credited with two sacks in the game, and Wimbley was credited with one sack. A third-quarter sack by Brown has since been changed to a split sack between Brown and Wimbley.

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Locker’s Passer Rating in Good Company Through Six Starts

Posted by Gary Glenn on November 29, 2012 – 12:49 pm

Second-year quarterback Jake Locker has recorded six career starts — all coming this season after appearing in five contests as a rookie backup to Matt Hasselbeck.

In his six starts, he has completed 99 of 167 passes for 1,164 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions, computing to a passer rating of 84.5.

Locker has a chance to become the fifth quarterback in franchise history to record a passer rating of 80.0 or greater in their first seven starts with the club. He would join Billy Volek (100.4), Steve McNair (92.6), Hasselbeck (89.2) and Chris Chandler (88.0) on the list. Locker would be the first of that group to accomplish the feat within his first two NFL seasons.

Highest passer rating through a quarterback’s first seven starts, franchise history:

100.4 – Billy Volek (2003-04)
92.6 – Steve McNair (1995-97)
89.2 – Matt Hasselbeck (2011)
88.0 – Chris Chandler (1995)
84.5 – Jake Locker (2012 – through 6 starts)

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Washington’s Average 8th Among Active Players with 300 Catches

Posted by Gary Glenn on November 29, 2012 – 11:57 am

Wide receiver Nate Washington reached the 300 career reception mark last week at Jacksonville.

During his eight-year career with the Titans (2009–present) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2005–2008), he has totaled 302 receptions for 4,521 yards and 35 touchdowns.

There are currently 41 active NFL players with at least 300 receptions. Out of that group, Washington’s receiving average ranks eighth.

Receiving average among active players with 300 or more receptions:

1. Vincent Jackson – 319 rec/5,713 yards (17.9 avg), 44 TDs
2. Calvin Johnson – 439 rec/7,129 yards (16.2 avg), 53 TDs
3. Randy Moss – 970 rec/15,124 yards (15.6 avg), 155 TDs
4. Greg Jennings – 401 rec/6,249 yards (15.6 avg), 50 TDs
5. Braylon Edwards – 349 rec/5,397 yards (15.5 avg), 40 TDs
6. Santonio Holmes – 358 rec/5,507 yards (15.4 avg), 35 TDs
7. Plaxico Burress – 550 rec/8,457 yards (15.4 avg), 63 TDs
8. Nate Washington – 302 rec/4,521 yards (15.0 avg), 35 TDs
9. Brandon Lloyd – 360 rec/5,335 yards (14.8 avg), 34 TDs
10. Steve Smith – 747 rec/11,048 yards (14.8 avg), 60 TDs

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Cook: Titans Have too Much Talent to Underperform

Posted by Gary Glenn on November 27, 2012 – 11:10 am

Dowell Loggains (right) takes over for Chris Palmer as offensive coordinator for the Titans.

Tight end Jared Cook believes the Titans have too many offensive weapons to underperform like they did in Sunday’s 24-19 loss at Jacksonville.

He told the Tennessean’s Jim Wyatt that only time will tell if dismissing offensive coordinator Chris Palmer was the right move. At the end of the day, Cook said he and his teammates need to produce better results.

The Titans replaced Palmer with quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains.

“We have too many weapons on this offense to be looking mediocre, to be looking like we can’t put points on the board. It just feels like we have too much talent on offense, and it was evident to everybody,” Cook said. “I feel like most everybody liked coach Palmer as a person, but we had different levels of understanding.

“Do I think it is the right move? Time will tell. We still have to go out and play games and put points on the board.

“I think everybody in the organization felt like some kind of change needed to be made. Hearing Bud Adams’ message after the Chicago game, there was a sense of things didn’t get better, something was going to happen,” Cook said. “I just didn’t think it was going to be today.

“Everyone loves Dowell, and everybody gets along with him. You can go to Dowell and talk to him about anything.”

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Lack of TDs in Red Zone Hurt Titans in Jacksonville

Posted by ldouzable on November 26, 2012 – 10:40 am

We knew Sunday’s game at Jacksonville was important to keep us in the thick of the AFC playoff race. Even though the Jaguars were just 1-9 entering the game, we knew they had lost some close games and even took the division-leading Texans into overtime the previous week.

We had success on offense moving the ball down the field, but came away with too many field goals instead of touchdowns. Chris Johnson led a rushing attack that went for over 100 yards and Jake Locker threw for 261 yards and a TD. But a crucial turnover on the potential game-winning drive sealed our fate.

Defensively we kept constant pressure on Chad Henne, accumulating a season-high seven sacks. Rookie LB Zach Brown led the way with 10 tackles, two sacks and a pair of QB hits. We held Jacksonville to only 3.7 yards per rush, but we missed too many tackles that turned into big plays for the Jaguars.

In the fourth quarter on a 3rd-and-9, we gave up a 23-yard pass from Henne to Juston Blackmon, which led to a Blackmon touchdown later in the drive.  At the end of the day, we simply didn’t make enough plays to win this game.

We have an even tougher challenge this week, going against the AFC South-leading Houston Texans, who own the league’s best record at 10-1. All we can do now is continue to work hard and prepare each week to win on Sunday and let the chips fall where they may.

VIDEO: Day After Analysis with LB Zach Brown and WR Damian Williams 

Titans defensive end Leger Douzable will offer his perspective on the previous game and upcoming opponent all season long in his exclusive blog on Titans Online!

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Good Defensive Pressure Early on for Titans

Posted by Gary Glenn on November 25, 2012 – 12:20 pm

The Titans have displayed good defensive pressure up front early on at EverBank Field.

On Jacksonville’s first possession, Sen’Derrick Marks tipped a Chad Henne pass that Alterraun Verner scooped up for his second interception of the season. That defensive turnover led to a 38-yard field goal by Rob Bironas and 3-0 Titans lead.

On the Jaguars’ next possession, rookie LB Zach Brown took Henne down for a two-yard loss. Later in the drive, Akeem Ayers and Jurrell Casey sacked Henne on back-to-back plays. Ayers’ sack went for seven yards, while Casey took down Henne for a 10-yard loss, which forced the Jaguars to punt.

Good pressure early on for Tennessee’s defense, which knows it can’t let Henne sit back in the pocket and find his targets.

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Munchak’s Message to Players: Just Win

Posted by Gary Glenn on November 23, 2012 – 11:03 pm

At 4-6, the Titans find themselves two games back of the AFC’s current wild card teams – the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) and Indianapolis Colts (6-4) – with six games remaining.

Outside of Cincinnati’s 5-5 mark, Tennessee, Buffalo, Miami and San Diego own 4-6 records.

The Titans defeated Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Miami, while losing to Indianapolis and San Diego. Tennessee gets another chance against the Colts in two weeks.

Head coach Mike Munchak’s message to his players is simple – just win. Here’s what he had to say on the topic earlier this week:

“We have to win a lot of football games, but if we do, then we’re right in the middle of this thing. You need the right teams to lose, obviously, along the trail. But ultimately, we have to find a way to win two games in a row, three games in a row, and so on. We haven’t won a division game yet, and we have three here in a row, so we have to start winning them.

This is when you always hear about teams in November and December making their move. It seems to happen every year in the league. This is our opportunity, our chance to be that team. That’s how they have to believe it, that’s how they have to work.

They saw what they’re capable of doing when finally all three phases played well in one game. We have to see if we can do that again. I think it’s encouraging that way, but knowing that it’s up to them. It’s not just going to happen. We can’t show up on Sunday and say, ‘Well did you guys see what we did a couple of weeks ago at Miami?’ It starts all over again. As you win one, the next one gets bigger and more exciting. You win this one, and all of a sudden, you look at the Houston game. Then it’s the next one, and you move on. It’s up to you, if you want to have that kind of season and that kind of finish, or do you want to have the other kind, which I don’t think any of us want.

You have to assume you have to win five games, six games. We don’t know. I mean anything is possible these days. Usually you don’t see a lot of 8-8 teams getting in, just going by the history. It happened a couple of years ago with Seattle, so it’s not something that happens very often, and then you’re into numerous tiebreakers and all kinds of issues, so I think what you realize is you can’t get caught up in all of that. You’ve just got to win them and see what happens, see what other teams do as we get into those last weeks.”

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Turnovers Key in Victory at Miami

Posted by ldouzable on November 12, 2012 – 4:09 pm

After suffering a blowout loss at home to Chicago last week, everyone in our locker room was looking forward to redemption when we took on the Miami Dolphins Sunday at Sun Life Stadium.

We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. At 4-4, Miami had been playing well and lost a couple of close games that could have placed them in higher standing in the AFC.

Losing like we did to Chicago was embarrassing and coming into this game we had something to prove.

We knew we had to execute out of the gate, something that we didn’t do early on against the Bears. We needed to play well in all three phases – offense, defense and special teams.

Jason McCourty got us going in the right direction on Miami’s first drive. After Reggie Bush ripped off a nice run, Jason stripped the ball out of his hands and made the recovery, setting up our first touchdown.

On offense, Chris Johnson and the offensive line continued to assert themselves. CJ rushed 23 times for 126 yards and a touchdown, again running strong and producing at a high level.

Jake Locker returned to the starting lineup and had two excellent touchdown passes – a nine-yard slant to Kendall Wright and a nicely-thrown 26-yard over-the-shoulder pass to Jared Cook. He also used his legs to keep several drives alive and did a great job keeping Miami’s defense off guard.

Overall, the offense looked sharp and executed well all day.

Our defense put forth its best effort of the season, creating four turnovers, including three interceptions and a fumble recovery. All three of our starting linebackers – Colin McCarthy, Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown recorded an interception.  The four turnovers translated into 20 points, which helped determined the outcome of the game.

Colin’s interception made the highlights. He picked off a Ryan Tannehill pass and returned it 49 yards for a touchdown.  Colin made his return to the stadium where he played throughout his college career a special day, playing one of his best games as a pro in front of his friends and family. He was part of a defense that held the Dolphins to just 54 rushing yards on 15 attempts.

This was a game we had to have – and it couldn’t have come at a better time. We are set to enter our bye week and now we can get away for a few days and refocus for the last six games of the regular season.

Teams that play well in November and December are usually teams that make it to the playoffs, which remains our goal.

VIDEO: Watch Douzable’s recap with LBs Akeem Ayers and Colin McCarthy

Titans defensive end Leger Douzable will offer his perspective on the previous game and upcoming opponent all season long in his exclusive blog on Titans Online!

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CJ Silences Critics, Ranks 2nd in AFC in Rushing

Posted by Gary Glenn on November 7, 2012 – 4:53 pm

After a difficult start to the 2012 season, Chris Johnson has turned his season around in a big way.

Many outside Baptist Sports Park had lost faith in the running back who totaled just 33 carries for 45 yards (1.4 avg.) through the first three weeks.

Johnson turned it on over the next six games, rushing 114 times for 692 yards (6.1 avg.), second in the NFL over that span only to 727 yards by Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson.

Johnson now ranks second in the AFC with 736 rushing yards, trailing only Houston’s Arian Foster (770 yds, 10 TDs).

CJ ranks sixth in the NFL behind Peterson (957 yds, 6 TDs), Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch (881 yds, 4 TDs), Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin (704 yds, 7 TDs), Washington’s Alfred Morris (793 yds, 5 TDs) and Foster.

Two of Johnson’s three touchdowns came on an 83-yard run at Buffalo and an 80-yard run vs. Chicago, which helped raise his 2012 rushing average to 5.01 yards through nine games.

Johnson’s current rushing average would qualify as the second best of his five-year career and the sixth best in a season in franchise history among all running backs*. In 2009, Johnson set the team record with a 5.60 rushing average.

Best single-season rushing averages in franchise history by running backs*:

5.60 – Chris Johnson (2009)
5.21 – Sid Blanks (1964)
5.18 – Earl Campbell (1980)
5.14 – Gary Brown (1993)
5.05 – Hoyle Granger (1967)
5.01 – Chris Johnson (2012 – active)
4.89 – Chris Johnson (2008)

* Statistically, quarterback Steve McNair’s 6.7-yard rushing average in 1997 qualifies as the best in franchise history.

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