Home field for the Titans just ain't what it used to be....used to be, we were virtually unstoppable at home, even in close games. But not so much anymore.
A couple of reasons as to why we lost this game...
- Scoring less than 20 points for the third week in a row. The offense just looks letheragic at times and Steve McNair looks the polar opposite of the co-MVP he was last year. It wasn't until late in the 4th quarter with the game on the line that we saw flashes of brilliance with McNair taking the team on his back and trying to carry them to victory. For all the hype in the pre-season, I am disappointed with the Titans offense so far this season. Three games, only three touchdowns, so far. And please don't give me the Tyrone Callico missing is making all the difference arguement that I've heard on a lot of call-in shows around here. They need to find a way to make plays, Callico or no.
- Calls are too conservative on offense. Fisher and company did a great job calling the first drive, having the Jags on their heels, until McNair throws in interception and we retreat into our shells. Yes, Chris Brown is a great runner, but we were beating them early by a good combination of run and pass...but yet we quickly abandon the pass, going to the run almost exclusively, especially in the second half. (Well, at least until the drive in the fourth quarter)
- Doing the small things wrong. We missed a 2-point conversation (I'd argue because McNair was hurt since Derrick Mayson was WIDE OPEN for the two-points), we had dumb penalties on the last Jags drive. And don't get me started on the last play of the game...you'd think maybe, just maybe we could all be on the same page here. Instead, we get a poorly designed played where no one seems to know what's going on. Not that it would've mattered--we had to get a HUGE chunk of yardage even to get into field goal range and a five-yard dump off to Chris Brown ain't gonna somehow magically get you the other 75 or get you in range in less than five seconds. Bad, bad call.
- Our defense. The defense just got pushed around late in the game and looked poor. Albert Haynesworth did well, but he's shown this tendency with the Vols to be able to turn it on and off when he wants to. He was apparently slighted by the Jags for not picking him, so he played a heck of a game. He used to do the same thing against South Carolina at UT. Our defense had some good plays, but we also had a lot of missed tackles, a couple of dumb penalties I alluded earlier and it just doesn't feel like we have any intensity. In fact, the whole team doesn't feel like we've got any intensity.
I am beginning to wonder if the loss to Indy has been a bigger blow to the Titans that we thought. Looking at that game, Fisher and company gambled everything on it, changing the game plan to have an early lead on the Colts in the race for the division. Now we' re two games down and looking up at both Indy and Jacksonville. Forget the division crown, I'm wondering--will we even contend for the playoffs this year?
But give Jacksonville credit--they did what they had to do to win the game. Just like the Titans used to do...
posted by Michael Hickerson at 9/26/2004 02:58:00 PM