Let the Rant Begin!
A bevy of mistakes by the entire Tennessee Titans organization led to another post-game press conference by head coach Mike Mularkey and rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota on Sunday afternoon, trying to explain what went wrong in their 27-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers and what was needed to fix them.
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The big reason this team hasn’t had a win at home in 400 days can be attributed to it being a rudderless ship traveling through time and the NFL, but on this day, mistakes on the field and a solid Carolina Panthers team led by Superman, who don’t make many mistakes, was the culprit.
It starts at the top!
Late in the second quarter it was third down and one at the 37 yard line and they chose to run Dexter McCluster up the middle to get a first down.
I’m not sure if coach Mularkey called this gem or offensive coordinator Jason Michael, but I had to scratch my head and wonder why they didn’t give the ball to Antonio Andrews.
I think it almost surprised the Panthers, but they didn’t make the first down and had to punt.
Then interim coach Mularkey accepted a five-yard penalty when the Panthers lined up wrong, and gave Cam Newton two shots to make a touchdown, which he did, instead of declining the penalty and forcing fourth down and a field goal attempt.
Coach Mularkey threw in the red flag to challenge a Jerricho Cotchery catch that didn’t appear likely to be overturned. The ground clearly caused the fumble and there was no chance the play was going to be called a fumble.
The Titans hung in there with a flurry of good play in the second quarter where they moved the ball, made the lions share of the 11 first downs in the game and scored their 10 points.
They made one legitimate first down in the second half, the other two came in garbage time when the Panthers were in prevent mode.
Former head coach Ken Whisenhunt tried to tell us Dorial Green-Beckham wasn’t ready for a steady dose of the NFL, but injuries to Kendall Wright and being thin at wide receiver has forced the rookie from Missouri/Oklahoma into a starting role.
His inexperience reared it’s head when he didn’t finish his route, and did nothing to break up the only Marcus Mariota interception of the day by veteran safety Kurt Coleman.
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Then there was the dropped pass by tight end Anthony Fasano that was a sure first down, and would have kept the chains moving.
For the most part, the Titans defense did a great job, especially in the second half of disrupting Cam Newton and keeping the score close.
I thought the defense played great after they shut tight end Greg Olsen down and the pass rush was relentless for the majority of the third quarter.
It came down to too many three and outs from the offense and the defense ran out of gas and could no longer keep up by the time they got to the fourth quarter.
With Justin Hunter picking up a major injury late in the game, the receiving corp is getting pretty thin. Keeping only four wide receivers and five tight ends when training camp broke up is now becoming a factor.
It’s not going to get any easier!
With half of the receiving corp and most of the secondary in triage, the short turn around for the Thursday Night matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars could not have come at a worse time.
I was really excited after what I saw last week in New Orleans, but I was quickly brought back to reality on Sunday afternoon.
For the most part, the Titans played pretty well in the first half of Sunday’s game, but the reality of this being a bad team came back quickly in the second half.
Maybe it’s time to blow it up and start over!…Wait…..They just did that a year and a half ago!