Titans Loose Ugly on the Road To Jets 30-8
By Les Bailey
Dec 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) celebrates after a touchdown reception against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won, 30-8. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Many thought when the Tennessee Titans traveled to MetLife Stadium for a week 14 match-up with the New York Jets, that it might be a “trap game” for the playoff hopeful Jets who are trying to keep pace with the Patriots in the AFC East.
But as it turns out, Marcus Mariota had his worse day as a pro, and the entire team came out flat and laid a huge egg in the Big Apple.
In fact, the only bright spot of the afternoon came on a 41 yard Antonio Andrews touchdown pass to Marcus Mariota.
No, it’s not a typo!
I did mean to say Antonio Andrews to Marcus Mariota.
Antonio played some quarterback in high school and Marcus is an athlete who has played many positions and has caught a few passes in his day. Andrews ended his day with a 158.3 passer rating while Mariota went 21 for 39 274 yards and an interception that netted a 65.5.
His worse day as a Titan.
That was only highlight for the Titans on a day when all three phases of the game was flat. The New York Jets’ number one ranked run defense shut down what was a questionable Titans run game anyway.
The Titans rushed the ball 13 times for a paltry 24 yards, and the pass rush that resulted from not being able to run the ball kept the rookie quarterback confused and on the run.
The Titans managed only 15 first downs on the day, with most of those coming in the second half after interim head coach Mike Mularkey did a little yelling at half time. They converted only three third downs and were 1 of four on fourth downs.
On defense, it was the same story. The team was flat, couldn’t tackle anyone and with the headsets going out at one time and not being able to call a play from the booth to the field, left a receiver uncovered that Jurrell Casey had to run down.
It was ugly, and a game where the coaches need to burn the game film and write the day off to just having a bad day at work!
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Mike Mularkey’s post game press conferences are starting to sound like a tape recording.
We didn’t tackle anyone, we made mistakes, we need to correct that, blah, blah, blah!
The two mandates Mularkey received from lead owner, Amy Adams Strunk when he got the interim job was keep Marcus Mariota healthy and show some improvement.
I feel like he has done the first part and put the necessary plan in to keep Mariota upright, but with a 2-4 record since Ken Whisenhunt was fired, I don’t think he has performed on the latter request.
Mike Mularkey unfortunately wasn’t left enough tools by his predessor to have the success that will be necessary for him to keep his job past the end of the season, and I agree with Jason Wolf at the Tennessean:
"The disconcerting performance, briefly interrupted by the novelty of Marcus Mariotacatching a 41-yard touchdown pass from running back Antonio Andrews, increases the likelihood that Mularkey’s tenure in Nashville ends with the regular season. He owns a 2-4 record since Ken Whisenhunt was fired Nov. 3."
It’s not going to get any better moving forward.
The Titans travel to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots next Sunday and come home to Music City to take on a Houston Texans team that has a real shot at winning the AFC South and earning a playoff game.
Next: Titans 2016 NFL Draft Review
Further, the only real chance to improve on three wins comes when they go to Indianapolis for the season finale’ where they will likely face a rusty Andrew Luck. If they try real hard down the stretch, the Tennessee Titans could end up with the number one draft pick in 2016.