Joshua Huffman is the editor of the Tennessee Titans fan blog Titan Sized and a project manager at Pro Football Spot. We asked him a few questions – five, to be exact – about the Titans upcoming game against the Chiefs.
1. Jake Locker is out after injuring his hip against the Jets. How confident are you in Ryan Fitzpatrick keeping the Titans momentum going this week against one of the NFL’s top rated defenses?
Very confident. This would’ve been more of a run-first, pass-second type of game. The Kansas City Chiefs are allowing 5.4 yards per carry. Fitzpatrick has almost 3.5 years worth of starting experience with the Buffalo Bills. When the fourth quarter rolls around, the Titans will be within striking distance.
2. Kansas City’s defense has been the catalyst to the Chiefs hot start. Tennessee appears to have a really good defense of their own, ranking 10th in passing yards (214.3 ypg) and 11th against the run (99 ypg). Football Outsiders ranks the Titans defense 8th in the NFL. Is it fair to say the defense has been the primary reason the Titans are 3-1 or has Jake Locker just been that good?
It’s a combination of a stingy defense and an offense that has zero turnovers. Protect the football and play great defense. Those qualities lead to wins. Locker was making just enough plays and taking advantage of those turnovers.
3. What the hell happened to Chris Johnson? 3.3 yards per carry and no touchdowns over the first four weeks has to be concerning.
A lot of it is due to the interior of the offensive line. There are three newcomers: Andy Levitre, Rob Turner and Chance Warmack. Basically, Turner is holding down the center job until Brian Schwenke is ready to take over. Despite the unimpressive average, Johnson has looked much more impressive at this point of 2013 than he did during the first five games of 2012. Not too concerned about him…yet. It would help if Shonn Greene returned but I’m not too confident about that happening yet.
4. KC’s number one overall pick Eric Fisher has been a mixed bag for the Chiefs so far this season, and my be out Sunday because of a concussion. Nine picks later the Titans took Chance Warmack to play right guard. How has he been so far?
Mixed bag. Warmack is playing next to the weak link in the offensive line (Turner) and a right tackle who has an injured calf (David Stewart). In Week 2, J.J. Watt got the best of him. Warmack has allowed a couple sacks as he appeared to miss some assignments.
5. What is your prediction for how things play out on Sunday and what does Tennessee need to do to beat KC?
The Titans need to do what they’ve been doing: protect the football and play defense. Had this game been played at Arrowhead Stadium, I’d give the Titans little chance to win. At LP Field? It’s a winnable game. Even without Locker, a Fitzpatrick-led Titans team is the best opponent that the Chiefs have met this far. Expect a close game that comes down to the final minutes.