Stat sheets don’t win football games. Just ask the Tennessee Titans. During a 31-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Jake Locker threw for 127 yards and two touchdowns more than Colin Kaepernick. The offense averaged 1.7 yards-per-carry more than their opponent. Frank Gore averaged less than three yards per carry. The Titans out-gained the 49ers in total yardage.
Too bad that most of that yardage came toward the end when the Titans were losing 24-3 and 31-10. There were many things that made this game difficult to watch. It’s sure to leave a bad taste in the players’ mouths as they’ll sit on their three-game losing streak throughout the bye week. Watching the Indianapolis Colts improve to 5-2 with a win over the “unbeatable” Denver Broncos? Lots to think about.
Here are some thoughts about that game. A lot of what made this game so unbearable had nothing to do with the team itself.
- Ron Winter’s officiating crew was slow. I’m not angry about any call in particular (yes…as dumb as it is, that Akeem Ayers unsportsmanlike conduct that shifted momentum was the right call), I’m just annoyed listening to this head official….talking like this…when he announces every….penalty…and leaving out…the person who made the penalty…on…half of his…calls.
- Apparently, Tim Ryan is what you’d get if Solomon Wilcots broadcast an NFC team that he never follows. Maybe that’s giving him way too much credit. Ryan spent the entire game foaming over the 49ers greatness. He’s like “Oh my godz! Kaepernick just headbutted that dude wit da tomahawk he gon’ freaky deaky dat man’s hair up OMG!!!” All while he insists that Frank Gore makes a catch when Gore’s entire heel is out of bounds even well before he makes the catch.
- FOX had no problems showing their NFC favoritism. It seemed like half of the second half was spent showing 49ers fans in the stands. Hope these two don’t call the Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans matchup.
- Ryan’s 49ers obsession combined with Winter’s inability to consistently announce violating players made for an unpleasant viewing experience where I didn’t feel very-well informed.
- Dear Darius Reynaud: Thank you for last season’s three touchdowns. Good luck in your post-NFL career.
- Can this special teams unit go one game without making a colossal error? Basically, the Titans are spotting the opponent seven points or 100 yards worth of field position because they can’t field punts/kicks or they’re making other foolish mistakes.
- Other than maybe Jake Locker (who played pretty well when one considers his injury), no one needs this bye week more than Dowell Loggains. He needs to review some past Mike Heimerdinger film (or something) and see how Heimerdinger used Chris Johnson in the open field. Since Heimerdinger left after the 2010-11 NFL season, Johnson hasn’t been the same. The Titans don’t do anything to get him into open space. They’ve made him almost useless.
- During the first quarter, the offense was moving the ball rather well. Too bad this team kept shooting itself in the football with drive-killing penalties or drops. Why was Reynaud playing so much wide receiver on that first drive? That was strange.
- I remember when the Titans drafted Lavar Edwards and he expressed confidence about his ability to help defend against read-option offenses. Too bad he kept biting inside when the quarterback was running outside toward his direction. His lack of awareness led to Kaepernick’s touchdown run. Consider it a learning experience for the rookie.
- Johnson finally had success running the football. So why only give him the rock nine times? Loggains has no flow with his play-calling. That must change if the Titans are going to make a second-half run for the second wild card or the AFC South division.
The Titans have two weeks to think about it. In Week 9, they could face a Sam Bradford-less St. Louis Rams team. They’ll face a winless Jacksonville Jaguars team. Barring an inexcusable upset, that should leave them at 5-4 with two divisional games against the Indianapolis Colts. At least two of these three losses came against NFC opponents. Those don’t count as much in playoff tiebreaker scenarios.
It’s time to Titan Up before the only thing this team is doing is watching Colts playoff football.