Fans and NFL analysts alike are still rubbing their eyes and shaking their heads after last week’s AFC South showdown between the Titans and Colts, a game in which the Colts stonewalled any preconceived notion the Titans may have had about ending their current losing streak. Today the Titans face the notorious New England Patriots and their louche coach, Bill Belichick– Today won’t be the day the Titans end their surprising losing streak.
During last Sunday night’s nationally televised game, and on display in front of roughly 69,000 fans at LP field, the Colts humiliated the Titans by pummeling them 31-9. But- this isn’t what all the rubbing of eyes and shaking of heads is about.
Watching a team that went 13-3 in the previous season start 0-5 the next, is like witnessing a medical anomaly, it rarely happens, specifically when the aforementioned team brings back a vast majority of their starters. It’s no wonder there has been finger pointing in every direction imaginable.
One thing is very clear; you know there is trouble when you’re beaten by teams like the Houston Texans, who have remained at the bottom of the AFC South nearly every year since becoming a franchise in 2002, and the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were shut out by the Seattle Seahawks 41-0 last Sunday at Qwest Field. Both teams hold 2-2 records this season.
The blame game has now come full circle. First it was the secondary, and then it was QB Kerry Collins, next was the coaching of new defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil, and finally, the D-line with their lackluster pass rushing abilities. I echo Coach Fisher’s sentiments when I say this is obviously not a group or position issue, but rather, a team losing effort. Where there is dissent, is in the criticism of defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil. Coach Fisher is either in serious denial, or he’s practicing the art of tactfulness- I’d like to think it’s the latter.
Under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz last season, the Titans had only given up 56 points in five games. In five games this season, the Titans have already given up 139 points.
Are you sure this is the same defense from the 2008 season? Just checking.
THE TITAN’S DILEMMAS
It’s becoming blatantly evident that the Titans may have underestimated the value of big number 92, Albert Haynesworth. Although the Titans rank number three against the run, allowing only 75 yards per game against opponents, they have had a difficult time rushing the passer. Opposing quarterbacks have had all day to sit back in the pocket and choose which receiver to throw to. That’s not helping the struggling secondary.
Taking Kerry Collins out as the starter in favor of Vince Young after only five games is not the answer either, it’s far too early in the season to make that kind of decision. Collins is only in the first year of a two year 15 million dollar contract, and while it is true he’s been inconsistent throughout his career, he’s a proven veteran who knows how to manage games and make informative decisions.
I understand all the questioning behind the QB controversy, and by all means, if Collins continues to play poorly, put VY in the game. The Titans need to find out if he’s the future or if they need to go another route in the upcoming draft, but this shouldn’t be done until around week 10. This still gives VY six more games to prove his worth, and also ensures the Titans make use of the money they spent on Collins during the offseason.
Besides, there are always the games (example- today’s game against the Patriots) that “get out of hand.”