Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
The Tennessee Titans have a 3-2 record following this weekend’s 26-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Titans entered the game without their starting quarterback Jake Locker whom before getting injured had a top five QBR, seven total touchdowns and zero turnovers.
Jake was progressing each game. It showed we needed him against the Chiefs. But could we have still won it without Locker? Yes.
The game was handed over to backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. It seemed like three-and-out was the team’s motto as the Titans could not convert a first down till nearly midway through the second quarter. The crowd gave a sarcastic round of applause after finally converting on third down.
Fitzpatrick played terrible throughout the first half. He was throwing balls in the dirt, behind receivers, and hit alot of Chiefs in the hands with passes they could have come down with. One thing I’ll give Fitzpatrick is that his mobility and awareness in the pocket helped this team at least have a chance to win the game. Once again, Chris Johnson was stopped with the rushing attack. You’d think the coaches would figure out a way to use Johnson in a way Andy Reid uses a similar back in Jamaal Charles.
But wait! A collapsed play occurred in the third quarter where Fitzpatrick was nearly sacked but used his Harvard smarts to shovel a pass to Johnson as he took it almost 50 yards in the open field for a touchdown! It wasn’t drawn up but it worked. Maybe it’s time for Dowell Loggains to get more crafty with his plays.
Now onto the four chances we had to get seven points on the one-yard-line. The Titans failed to score on the first three downs and decided to go for it on 4th-and-1 by running Jackie Battle up the middle after two straight passing plays. Nobody saw that coming! If you haven’t noticed, I’m being sarcastic.
There is no excuse for them to not punch the ball in at the one-yard-line. If your gonna be predictable, be predictable. Run Battle four straight times up the middle and we will score. But no lets try the play-action tight end pass that worked last week with Locker just to see if they didn’t catch the film of last week’s game. Why is Battle and Johnson not in at the same time in goal-line situations? Raise your hand if you’d like to see that.
There’s a reason the Titans have only one rushing touchdown from a running back and that came against Pittsburgh. They’ve been running the same goal-line plays ever since. Poor play-calling. Shonn Greene will you ever come back? Battle is nothing more than a fullback playing running back. Greene is a big piece to this puzzle and the $10 million man is nowhere to be seen.
It’s not all on Fitzpatrick as he did exactly what I thought he would do. Play awful. After Battle had his longest career run of 37 yards, the Titans basically decided to abandon the run and let Fitzpatrick air it out like he’s Peyton Manning. With a 17-13 lead, the Titans and their Hall of Fame offensive lineman head coach Mike Munchak decide to continuously throw the ball. If Battle can get loose for a 37-yard run on the outside, then why not give Johnson some shots while killing the clock? Nooooooo let’s let a guy who’s notorious for blowing games in the fourth quarter throw the ball.
It’s not all Fitzpatrick’s fault as Kenny Britt should have caught a perfectly thrown touchdown pass. But expect to see this for the next few games if the run game doesn’t get going and the line doesn’t step up. The Titans rank in the bottom five in offense this season and it’s not because of the talent. They had the Chiefs beat in a game where the Titans beat themselves.
The personal foul call which was not a personal foul was the momentum shift for the Chiefs, as the Titans defense once again played their hearts out. The Chiefs offense converted one out of 12 third-down attempts. There were missed opportunities on both sides of the ball for the Titans in a game where they couldn’t afford to give up any. Add the terrible play-calling and you got yourselves a loss headed to Seattle and most likely a 3-4 record come bye week.
Let me add one more thing incase you guys missed the final seconds of the game: Rob Bironas missed his third field goal of the season.