Dec 15, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak during warm ups prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
6-10 or 7-9? Ah, what difference does it make.
(Certain readers thinking: Draft position, you idiot! The Titans need to lose this game! Help the future!)
Week 17 features a lackluster home finale between the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans. This game was supposed to end up as a de-facto AFC South championship game with playoff positioning or a playoff berth at stake. Instead, this game has nothing more than draft implications and coaching storylines. Mike Munchak shouldn’t have been spending these last two weeks possibly coaching for his job.
It’s the end of Year 3 for Munchak and his staff. Depending on the Week 17 outcome, Munchak has gone 21-27 / 22-26. None of his seasons have ended in playoff appearances. The Titans have lost nine of their last 11 divisional games. They’re 1-5 against Indianapolis, one loss that came against an 0-13 team. They’re 1-5 / 2-4 against Houston, one win which came against a 2011 Texans team that had nothing to play for. They’ve lost to three awful Jacksonville Jaguars teams.
What does Munchak think about his future? He understands that it’s tied into what Ruston Webster and Tommy Smith think. According to Munchak,
"“I obviously feel very good about the future — not very good about right now. (But) I think there’s a lot less to do, and I think if we do the right things, this team is going to be very good next year.”"
Where have we heard that before? Munchak keeping the positive outlook. Yet, it hasn’t equaled positive results. Despite a down season from the entire AFC, the Titans couldn’t capitalize with more than a six- or seven-win season.
The biggest difference is that the blowout losses have turned into close games that the team can’t finish, at least not without Jake Locker. Give this team a quarterback who can stay healthy, perform in clutch situations, and an offensive coordinator who doesn’t abandon the ground game? This team enters Week 17 right in the mix for that No. 6 seed, possibly leading it.
That didn’t happen though. Coaching is largely to blame for that. Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains abandoned the ground game and never got the most out of Chris Johnson or any of his running backs. No one could keep Ryan Fitzpatrick from making his costly mistakes that provided the final dagger in many games.
Titan Sized wants to poll readers to get an idea of how many people still think Munchak is the man to get this franchise back to its winning ways. How many believe Munchak has had enough time? How many think he deserves another chance? How many think that, if Munchak is removed as head coach, that they should allow him to accept a demotion as offensive line coach (extraordinarily unlikely scenario from both parties, but we’ll include it).
Answer in the poll below. Results later this week.