It was a tough loss felt by all Titans fans. The stagnant offense was a far cry from what it was the previous week when the Titans thoroughly stomped the Panthers 30 – 3. It wasn’t until Hasselbeck was injured late in the 3rd that the Titans were actually able to move the ball offensively. Rookie QB rallied the Titans to just a 7 point deficit after he threw for 2 touchdowns, one being in the third and the next in the fourth quarter. The Titans defense was unfortunately unable to stop the Falcons defense from converting a 3rd down late in the 4th that would have given the Titans the ball back with just under two minutes, a possession they could have used to push the game into overtime. The Titans playoff chances took a hit with that loss, but they aren’t out of the race yet.
This Sunday the Titans will face the 4-6 Buccaneers at LP Field. The Buccaneers have been struggling lately and the Titans will look to capitalize on that as they fight for a playoff spot. The Buccaneers losses have only been to teams that everyone should expect to see in the playoffs. That makes things a little more scary for the Titans, especially as they Titans were barely able to muster any offense behind a healthy Hasselbeck. This week Hasselbeck will most likely be playing with a slight muscle strain. It’s still a winnable game though.
The Titans had a few bright spots in an otherwise dim game against the Falcons this past week. Rookie MLB Colin McCarthy got a healthy dose of playing time again as Ruud’s injury flared up. During the first offensive series for the Falcons while Ruud was still in, Tony Gonzalez recorded 3 of his 5 total receptions on the day and his only touchdown. McCarthy forced the fumble which lead to the Titans giving the Falcons a run for their money at the end of the game. His solid game play is hopefully an indicator of years of great play to come at the MLB position with him there. He’s putting in the work to take away the starting position from Ruud and is looking to start this next week as Ruud is likely to be out with his injury. Another rookie who put in a solid performance was the future franchise QB Jake Locker. Locker was in for just over a quarter and he threw for 140 yards on 9 completions and threw 2 TD’s. Unfortunately none of this was enough for the Titans to overcome the Falcons early lead.
Right now the Titans are still right in the middle of the race for the wildcard spot in the playoffs, along with the Jets, Broncos, Bengals, Ravens, and the Raiders among a few others. The Titans have beaten both the Broncos and the Ravens and really should have beaten the Bengals. The Titans biggest problem their facing right now that would keep them from making it to the playoffs is their run game. Without CJ putting up at least some above average yardage the Titans have no chance of making it. The blocking has to get better and CJ has to be more decisive. If that can happen the passing game will most certainly pick up and the Titans actually have a chance of making a playoff push. The question is, will the running game get better this season? That remains to be seen.
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