After finishing 6-10 in 2012, it's safe to say no one would care to remember these Tennessee Titans.
In 2011, Mike Munchak took over as head coach for longtime sideline leader Jeff Fisher. The team rebounded from a 6-10 finish in 2010 and went 9-7 in Munchak's debut campaign.
But instead of challenging the defending AFC South champion Houston Texans this past season, the team dropped six of its first nine games -- and that was all she wrote.
Now the Titans, one of the league's busier teams this offseason, look to rebound in fine fashion.
And the Tennessee Titans will reach the playoffs for the first time since 2008…
If: The team can get off to a good start on a game-by-game basis and develop some offensive consistency as well. The Titans were outscored a combined 155-72 in the first quarter this past season. Munchak's club scored 194 points in their six wins while totaling only 136 points in their 10 setbacks. Quarterback Jake Locker had problems staying out of harm's way and when it was all said and done, the former first-round pick threw 10 touchdown passes, committed 15 turnovers, and was sacked 25 times in 11 games this past season.
And: Some of the team's numerous free-agent additions make an immediate difference. The addition of guards Andy Levitre (Bills) and Robert Turner (Rams), as well as versatile tight end Delanie Walker (49ers), can only mean good things for running back Chris Johnson, who started slow but finished strong in 2012. The Titans also brought in Shonn Greene (Jets) to spell Johnson on occasion. On defense, new strong safety Bernard Pollard (Ravens) should make a big difference. Last season, Tennessee allowed a league-high 471 points, the most in the 53-year history of the franchise.
But: Perhaps the biggest surprise of last year's performance was the team's play within the division. Five of the team's 10 losses were to AFC South rivals as the Titans were swept by both the Texans and Colts and managed a split with the Jaguars (who won just two games all season). It was Tennessee's worst performance within the division since 2004 and the worst amongst AFC South teams in 2012.
So what do you think? The Titans appeared to be a team on the rise after one season under Munchak. But last year's disappointing finish certainly raised some eyebrows. There are plenty of new faces in Nashville, but are they enough to make a difference in a division that has a pair of formidable foes in the Texans and Colts?
Russell S. Baxter has spent the last 40-plus years watching football. He is the founder of ProFootballGuru.com, writes for numerous websites and publications across the country, can be heard on Yahoo! Sports Radio and many other networks and was blessed with an encyclopedic memory. Ready to talk NFL? Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.
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- AFC South