With the back and forth 2013 season finally coming to a close, the Tennessee Titans were able to avenge an early season overtime loss to the Houston Texans leading into 2014.
Once again led by an aggressive defense and a relevant ground attack, Tennessee looked like they had earlier in the year. Eager to close out the year on a high note, the Titans earned just their second divisional win this season edging Houston 16-10.
The Houston Texans could not move the ball down the field on the Tennessee defense aside from an early touchdown drive that would prove to be the lone touchdown for the Texans on the day. Turning the ball over four times, Houston solidified their position as having the worst turnover differential in the NFL with -19.
With the loss today, the Houston Texans are now on the clock with the number one pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Potentially auditioning for a new team in 2014, Chris Johnson led the charge for the Titans. Johnson carried the ball 27 times for 127 yards including an 11-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Johnson also became the third player in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in each of their first six seasons.
Despite finishing with a 7-9 record and surprising critics, there is little security for major components of the Tennessee Titans franchise heading into the offseason.
Chris Johnson is set to make $8 million dollars in 2014 if the Titans decide to pick up his option and has made it very clear that he will not take a pay cut to stay in Nashville. When asked if a pay cut would be in the discussion, Johnson replied with a simple, “No way.”
Jake Locker may have also seen his last minutes in a Titan uniform. After being selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Locker has yet to prove himself to upper management. Splitting time throughout his rookie season and battling injury in his second, Locker seemed to be ready to start come Week 1. Following an injury early in the year Locker was eventually able to return to the starting lineup. However, Locker went down again in Week 10 negating his toughness and running abilities with a lack of durability.
After a slew of head coaches lost their jobs today, Mike Munchak remains the head coach of the Tennessee Titans…for now. Although there has been no talk of any candidate who may succeed the third year coach, Munchak has been on the hot seat all year long. Joining the organization in 2011, Munchak drafted Locker that same year linking the two whether it is through success or woe. The odds are that if one goes, the other will shortly follow.
2014 may be the year in which the Tennessee Titans finally clean house and start from scratch. Another mediocre season lacking a franchise quarterback and the sudden death of long-time owner Bud Adams has indicated much rumor for next year, but has showed no change thus far.