Have the Titans solved their red zone woes?


One of last season’s most frustrating recurring themes was the Titans’ inability to score touchdowns in the red zone. The Titans ranked dead-last in the league in red zone touchdown efficiency in 2007, crossing the goal line on only 20 of their 55 possessions inside their opponents’ twenty-yard line.
A vivid example of the Titans’ struggles in the red zone was during last year’s excruciating 38-36 win against the Texans. In the victory, Rod Bironas kicked an NFL record 8 field goals as a result of the Titans’ miserable performance in the red zone that consisted of only two touchdowns in nine opportunities.
Will the 2008 Tennessee Titan offense produce in the red zone?

The signing of Alge Crumpler is an indication that bigger and better things are in store for the Titans’ red zone offense next year. Crumpler has always been a reliable target in the red zone and his presence in the lineup should help the Titans tremendously.
Titan tight ends only accounted for one of the team’s league-low nine touchdown receptions in 2007. If Crumpler is able to stay healthy, that putrid total should increase significantly in 2008.
The presence of dynamic rookie RB Chris Johnson should also open things up in the red zone. Johnson provides the Titans with a legitimate multi-threat who can score by running or catching the football. Even if Johnson isn’t scoring touchdowns, his unique skill set will be accounted for by opposing defenses, which should open up scoring opportunities for other Titan offensive players.
The return of Mike Heimerdinger should also be a help to the Titans’ red zone offense. I expect Dinger to take more risks than Norm Chow did in the red zone while also trying to utilize Young’s running ability a lot more.
During the beginning of last month’s OTA’s, increasing their scoring in the red zone was one of the Titans’ biggest priorities.
Finishing as the league’s worst red zone scoring unit in 2007, the Titans have nowhere to go but up in 2008.


7 Responses to “Have the Titans solved their red zone woes?”

  1. Dave Says:

    One thing is for sure, this year can’t possibly be as bas as last….I’m gonna go knock on wood now……

  2. Scott Says:

    I do think the red zone offence will be significantly better this year, and I agree that Crumpler and Johnson will help in this regard. But in my view, the biggest cause for optimism is the return of Heimerdinger.
    I place a lot of the blame for the poor red zone performance last year squarely on the shoulders of Norm Chow. His red zone offense (particularly inside the ten yard line) was far too predictable, with two running plays (usually between the tackles) and then a pass play (usually with VY standing still in the pocket). There were so many times I just wished that he would call a quarterback roll-out that would allow VY to run if no one was open for the pass, or an run option play that would force the defense fear VY’s running ability. I think Chow was trying so hard to turn VY into a pocket passer in the mold of Carson Palmer or Matt Leinart that he failed to fully utilize Vince’s true assets in the red zone.
    Heimerdinger won’t make that same mistake.

  3. jrtitans Says:

    Surely we cant get worse since we were last. The addition of Dinger will definately make a difference. The other factors I see and may echo what was said:
    Receivers like Crumpler and Mccareins who have high red zone numbers and also the competition created at the position.
    Running, not only letting VY run more but again the competition of LDW, Henry and Johnson makes me think we will have big time production on the ground.
    Special teams–the addition of Carr and Im not sure who out of the rookie class including the undrafted ones will be doing the job but we should be doing better than starting at the 20 each time.
    If our defense is as good as last year and we manage the field position like we did before–we have the tools with all the big receivers and the coach to make this happen.

  4. Drexel Perry Says:

    I agree with the predictable nature of Chow’s offense last season. Once the Titans reached the red zone last year, it was Lendale White’s three yards and a cloud of dust for the most part.
    I expect Dinger to attack the defense a lot more once the Titans reach the 20.
    Thanks for the comments, guys.

  5. bobcomu Says:

    I think that this is what will make or break the Titans season, it’s what broke it last year in the end. I agree with all of the comments made here, but it all comes down to VY. If he can progress, I hope and believe he can, and take advantage of Algae Crumpler then they should improve by miles. P.S. I think that Crumpler is the most underrated free agent pick up in the league this year. I know everyone wanted a receiver in the first round but they would more than likely take atleast a few years to develop, and even then the Titans are never going to throw the ball 50 times a game, while a great TE will help out in the passing game from day one.

  6. Tom Gower Says:

    The biggest issue for me will be whether or not VY will be effective in his decision-making. The Titans were a pretty good red zone team in ’06 (at least compared to how bad the offense was most of the time), back when VY wasn’t overthinking everything, and weren’t nearly as effective last year. The other big factor is, I think, Travis Henry was a better power runner than White-more willing to slam himself into the line for a 2 yard gain, and better at getting those 2 yards. Unless White is turning himself into Eddie George this offseason, I don’t see an RB on the Titans who can do what Henry did.

  7. Dave Says:

    You mean have 60 kids with 74 women in 51 states across the US?

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