The only number that matters to the Tennessee Titans at the moment is seven.
That is how many days they have off for this, their bye week. Following Sunday’s 37-3 victory at Miami, players reported to the team’s training facility Monday and then were sent off on their own until the following Monday.
Tennessee is the only AFC team that played each of their first 10 weeks of the season and one of four that is off this week, the final round of byes.
“I definitely like it early,” Munchak said. “I like it Week 8, Week 9. We’re in Week 10, which is fine. As a head coach, I think you have to decide what kind of off-week you’re going to do. The later, the harder to do an awful lot of physical work this week.”
The Titans (4-6) did not handle the grind to this point as well as the others. The New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings all got to this point 6-4.
Regardless of when they fall, league rules limit the amount of work teams can require of players during bye weeks. Munchak’s approach in this case was to try to maximize the amount of rest.
“You have to give them at least four days off in a row,” he said. “… It has to be four days in a row including the weekend, is the general rule of thumb there. I didn’t want to go into next week. … I think if you do it next Monday, you get fresher guys, healthier. Everyone is kind of one the healthy side.
“You can get some great work in [next] Monday and get back in your normal routine of Tuesday off and then start working for Jacksonville on Wednesday.”
1 – touchdown each on punt and kickoff returns thus far (both came in the Week 3 victory over Detroit). This is the third straight season the Titans have taken back one of each. Before 2010, when Marc Mariani earned a Pro Bowl invitation as a return specialist, you have to go back to 1975 to find the last time the franchise had at least one of each in the same season. Until 2011, it never had happened in consecutive years, let alone three straight.
3 – times the offense has scored more than 30 points this season. Modest as that number is, it’s already two more than in all of 2011 when the only time Tennessee hit that mark was in a 31-13 victory over Cleveland in Week 4.
10.6 – yards per reception by the Titans, which is on pace for the lowest since 2005 when the average also was 10.6 That year the team’s top five receivers included three tight ends (Erron Kinney, Ben Troupe and Bo Scaife), one running back (Chris Brown) and one wide receiver (Drew Bennett). The current top five includes three wide receivers (Kendall Wright, Nate Washington and Kenny Britt), one tight end (Jared Cook) and one running back (Chris Johnson).
43 – receptions by Wright, the first-round draft pick, which leads all NFL rookies. As recently as 2010, the Titans went an entire season without a wide receiver catching that many. That year, Kenny Britt’s 42 were most among the wide receivers and second overall to running back Chris Johnson.
311 – points allowed by the Titans, which still is the most in the league both in total and average per game. However, after having allowed just three Sunday at Miami this team no longer is on pace to break the record of 533 set in 1981 by Baltimore. At the current rate (31.1 points per game) Tennessee will allow 498. In a season of sketchy defense, New Orleans, with an average of 469.3 yards per game against, is well ahead of the pace to break the record, also currently held by the 1981 Colts, for most yards allowed in a season.
862 – rushing yards by Johnson, which is 353 more than he had at the same point last season and 75 more than he had as a rookie. After his well-publicized early struggles he currently ranks fourth in rushing yards and is one of just six backs with multiple runs of 40 yards or more.