Posted September 19, 2012 on AP on Fox
The winless Tennessee Titans can only hope their recipe for success against NFC teams is strong enough to help them break out of their season-opening funk. With Detroit and a loaded defensive line led by Ndamukong Suh coming to town Sunday, coach Mike Munchak knows one thing for sure: It could get ugly real fast if his Titans aren't ready. ''I think that's exactly what we need right now,'' Munchak said Wednesday. ''As an offensive line, we need to be challenged by a bunch of guys that can embarrass you if you're not ready to play football.'' Playing the NFC has been a way for Tennessee to stack up lots of wins since realignment in 2002, going 28-12. Only the Patriots (35-6) and Steelers (28-11-1) have been better at interconference games. The Titans went 4-0 against the NFC North in 2008, a year the Lions went 0-16 and Tennessee was an NFL-best 13-3. They are 6-2 overall against the NFC North. Munchak credits past success to studying a little harder to learn personnel and tendencies, which is crucial against Detroit (1-1). Left tackle Michael Roos knows Detroit defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch after practicing against him for five seasons, while left guard Steve Hutchinson joined the Titans from Minnesota where he faced the Lions twice a year. ''This organization has done well, and that's a good thing,'' Munchak said of the success against the NFC. ''I hope we can keep that going. They present a great challenge. This is a good football team. Like I said, if we're not ready to play, it could get ugly real fast.'' The challenge is these Titans (0-2) have been outscored 72-23, have yet to score a rushing touchdown and have scored the fewest points in the league. Jake Locker is the leading rusher, not Chris Johnson, the man who came into this season leading the NFL in yards rushing since 2008. Vanden Bosch said on a conference call with Tennessee reporters he's surprised especially at how Johnson has struggled after watching him break all kinds of records. ''That's the type of player I know he's capable of being and the type of performance that we're trying to prevent,'' Vanden Bosch said. ''He's a special player and a unique athlete. What you can't do is look at his stats and think of him as anything other than the guy he was and the guy he is capable of being. The good news for the Titans is they seem to be healing up. Wednesday marked the first practice in about a year with both Kenny Britt and Nate Washington healthy enough that neither was on the injury report. Britt was limited to only 19 snaps in last week's 38-10 loss at San Diego, a game Washington also was limited by a bruised leg. Munchak said there are no more limitations for Britt, who tore his right anterior cruciate ligament Sept. 25, 2011, setting up the first of three different knee surgeries. ''So he'll get to play more and start making a difference that we think he can make,'' Munchak said. Johnson isn't sure yet how much a healthy receiving corps can help him. Frustrated after the loss in San Diego where he ran eight times for 17 yards, Johnson said the Titans didn't look like an NFL team. He told Detroit reporters Wednesday that everybody has to do their job and execute for the offense to work. He also said it doesn't matter what his teammates thought of his comments. ''Hopefully they take it as a positive,'' Johnson said. ''I'm not trying to bash anybody, but hopefully it will help and we can go out this weekend and turn it around.'' This will be Locker's first start against an NFC team. Coming off the bench last season, he threw for three touchdowns with no interceptions and a 97.7 passer rating. Not falling behind would be a big key to staying balanced and keeping the Lions' line from targeting Locker each play. ''There's a fine line between having the opportunity to make a play and trying to create a play,'' Locker said. ''That's just something you've got to recognize and be willing to take what they're giving you, and once you get that opportunity to capitalize on it.'' Notes: Munchak said MLB Colin McCarthy likely will be questionable Sunday, though the linebacker quit wearing a walking boot on his right ankle Monday. He did not practice Wednesday along with RG Leroy Harris (right knee). LB Zach Brown (knee), DT Sen'Derrick Marks (right knee), OT Mike Otto (finger, knee) and RB Javon Ringer (left elbow) all practiced fully. DT Mike Martin (foot) was limited.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Are Titans using Kendall Wright effectively?

The Tennessee Titans presumably drafted Kendall Wright in the 1st round with the hope that he would add a new dimension to their offense. However Wright is slightly undersized and didn’t play in a complex offense at Baylor. His route running skills definitely need some work, but one area where he could help immediately would be to stretch the field. Wright is likely the fastest...

Johnson: Blame everyone for woes

Chris Johnson doesn't believe he is solely to blame for the Tennessee Titans' rushing woes. Johnson, a former 2,000-yard rusher, heads into Sunday's game with the Detroit Lions having gained only 21 yards on 19 carries. ''Even when I went for 2,000, I didn't think I was perfect, but I wouldn't sit here and say I'm to blame,'' Johnson said...

Tennessee Titans News: RB Chris Johnson continues to deflect blame for running woes

After rushing for over 2,000 yards in the 2009 season, Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson declared himself as the best back in the NFL and predicted that he would top the 2,500 yard mark in 2010. He hasn’t topped 2,500 yards in his last 34 games combined. Johnson, who was all about “Show me the money” after breaking the 2,000 yard plateau, hasn’t been the same since receiving...

Tennessee Titans have too many defensive problems

The Tennessee Titans have been outscored 72-23 so far this season.  Defensive mistakes have been a huge reason for the poor start for the Titans, given they have had a tough schedule for the first two weeks, facing the New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers.  Here's where they stand amongst the league's defenses' after the first two weeks. 25th (Tied...

Turner, Johnson exemplify short RB shelf life

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. Its been a rough start to the season for two of the most productive running backs in the NFL over the last five seasons, Atlantas Michael Turner and Tennessees Chris Johnson. Between 2008 and 2011, no running gained more rushing yards than Johnsons 5,645 a crown, at this rate, that hell have trouble keeping on his head when the 2012 season has ended. For his...

Lions-Titans Preview

The Tennessee Titans have stumbled through a miserable start but are hoping to end that by continuing a trend. The Titans have experienced a bevy of success in recent years against NFC foes, especially at home, but Sunday's game is against a Detroit Lions team that's eager to redeem itself following a missed opportunity. After going 9-7 in coach Mike Munchak's inaugural...

Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans NFL Week 3 Preview

http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/tag/_/name/frank-wycheck Chris Johnson has 21 yards on 19 carries for the season and it ranks as arguably  the biggest bewilderment’s of the season. Shocking to say the least, CJ2K was selected as a mid-late first round draft pick regardless of whether or not you are in a PPR league. Many feel they should Johnson in for a bag of golf balls,...

Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans: Week 3 NFL Pick

Detroit Lions (1-1) at Tennessee Titans (0-2) Before the season, I identified 5 overrated and 5 underrated teams, with the idea of betting on them (or against them) until they proved me wrong or the odds makers caught up. This served me well as I’m 10-4 this year on games involving those 10 teams (and one of those losses is because I abandoned shipped on the Bills after week 1...
NFL Forum Discussions
Can't wait SPLASH MESSAGE! 2 days!
4 replies, 2 days ago
1st win 2013!
2 replies, 2 days ago
Thank you kinmosa and watamote!
4 replies, 2 days ago
Rodgers out 3-6 weeks?
4 replies, 2 days ago
Thank you Vikes!
4 replies, 2 days ago
Thank you 5 years!!!!!
2 replies, 2 days ago
Home Sweet Home!
2 replies, 2 days ago
NFL on NHK next week
2 replies, 2 days ago
Pro Bowl draft
2 replies, 2 days ago
We are NFC EAST Champion!!!!!!!!!!
2 replies, 2 days ago
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.