“Be a pro, do your job.”
Maybe one of these days, the Tennessee Titans will “be a pro, finish the job.”
The Titans are mathematically eliminated from playoff consideration following a 37-34 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals. This loss dropped them to 5-9, the same exact record that Tennessee had after 15 games during the 2012-13 NFL season. The AFC’s No. 6 seed will have no fewer than eight wins following a 24-20 comeback victory from the Miami Dolphins.
It’s another frustrating loss to a season that started off quite well. With a 3-1 record, the Titans were a trendy pick to win the AFC South. A 2-8 stretch has killed most of the optimism that fans had before Jake Locker suffered a hip and knee injury. The Titans have gone from a AFC South champion hopeful to, if they lose their Week 16 game, a team who’ll fall behind the Jacksonville Jaguars in the division standings.
Let’s look at some of the good and bad from this Week 15 matchup.
- Justin Hunter was deactivated because of an undeclared team rules violation. Kenny Britt has…nine police incidents over his career? The NFL had to suspend him for one of them. It’s interesting to see the differences in how they treat these receivers.
- Why didn’t Dowell Loggains use more of Chris Johnson in the ground game? The Titans had a 58-to-19 pass-to-run ratio. Three of those runs were quarterback plays. Johnson had 13 carries for 40 yards, however, it felt like the Titans could’ve gotten a big run out of him had they remained committed to the ground game.
- Give Ryan Fitzpatrick some credit. While he was a part of that 34-17 hole, Fitzpatrick led three scores in less than seven minutes. That turned a 34-17 game with 6:13 to go into a 34-34 tie with 10 seconds remaining. Then Fitzpatrick threw the overtime interception that damned this team.
- Kendall Wright has evolved into the top playmaker on this offense. The one thing that makes his 12 receptions look a little less impressive…20 targets. Those high draft picks are starting to pay off.
- Preston made the most of his playing time, scoring two touchdowns in the final 3:12. There’s no reason he doesn’t win a depth role next season.
- Andre Ellington had 10 carries and four receptions. That combined for 158 yards. Apparently, Zach Brown was benched during the first quarter because he let up one of those receptions.
- A 3-0 turnover differential was the big difference in this matchup. Unfortunately, it favored Arizona.
- Don’t expect Mike Munchak to receive a pink slip before Dec. 30. With that said, these last two matchups (Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans) should have no impact on any decision that Tommy Smith makes. Not unless either of those games are losses.
- Do the Titans have any faith in Rusty Smith holding down a future No. 2 quarterback job? If so, they should let him finish out these last two games.
- Kenny Britt drops another wide-open touchdown. At least he caught a few passes.
- It looked like an unenergized crowd, to say the least.
Check out the next page for studs, duds and grades.