Tennessee Titans: The NFL’s Worst Team in 2014


It’s the time of the year usually associated with finding out which team was the best in the league.

But roughly two weeks after the 2014 NFL regular season came to an end, just which of these clubs was the worst?

Look no further than the Tennessee Titans, a franchise that has fallen on its facemask in recent seasons and has now gone six consecutive years without reaching the playoffs.

Let’s go back to 2008, when then-head coach Jeff Fisher led his club to a 10-0 start and a league-best 13-3 record. That mark included a 31-14 rout of the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

Yes, the Steelers would win the Super Bowl that season, meaning the Titans didn’t. The AFC’s top seed that year was bounced in the playoffs by the upstart Baltimore Ravens.

Tennessee has not been back to the playoffs since. In fact, the team is a combined 38-58 the last six seasons dating back to 2009 and has managed only one winning season over that span.

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But the Titans hit rock bottom in 2014, finishing the season was a 2-14 record (the worst by the franchise since the Houston Oilers equaled that mark in 1994). The club’s newest head coach, Ken Whisenhunt, saw his team walk into Arrowhead Stadium in Week 1 and handle the Kansas City Chiefs, 26-10. Tennessee would win one more game the remainder of the season and closed the year with a 10-game losing streak.

So why are the Titans and not the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who also finished 2-14 this past season, being given the tag of the worst team in the league? Several reasons come to mind, with the most obvious being an overall lack of competiveness.

Whisenhunt’s club ranked 30th in the NFL in scoring while only two teams in the league allowed more points. Only the Oakland Raiders (minus-199) had a worse scoring differential than the Titans (minus-184). Tennessee ranked 29th in total yards gained and 27th in fewest yards allowed. Only the Cleveland Browns were easier to run on.

This club was outscored a combined 105-40 in the first quarter and a disturbing 215-134 in the first half.

A defense thought to be better thanks to the addition of coordinator Ray Horton was a disaster. The Titans gave up 45 offensive touchdowns while Whisenhunt’s team forced only 16 turnovers. Tennessee lost nine games by at least 14 points and didn’t total 30 points in any game all season.

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The signature moment for what proved to be a horrendous year was a 29-28 loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 5 at Nashville. The Titans owned a 28-3 second-quarter advantage on the way to blowing the biggest lead by a home team in NFL history.

From the use of four different quarterbacks (three starters in Jake Locker, Charlie Whitehurst and rookie Zach Mettenberger) to an offensive unit that managed only 26 touchdowns—equaling the amount of turnovers by the team—there’s nowhere to go but up for this team in 2015. With the second overall pick in April’s draft, the Titans hope to take advantage of that selection.

And that would be awfully nice considering the opposition took advantage of them throughout 2014.