Tennessee Titans can’t beat themselves with mistakes and turnovers

Ryan Tannehill #17, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Ryan Tannehill #17, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Tennessee Titans are sitting at 2-1 on this young season, and if there is anything fans and the team can take comfort in, it’s the fact that the performance we got in Week 1 isn’t indicative of who they are.

This isn’t saying much, but they look firmly in control of the AFC South, and there is every reason to expect them to finish the season with a winning record and playoff berth.

Still, the Titans haven’t shown that they can compete for a Super Bowl, and that’s what most were expecting to see. Injuries and early season rust have contributed to that, but many of the wounds they have suffered have been self-inflicted and have occurred on both sides of the football.

The Tennessee Titans need to start playing complementary football.

Does anyone remember how the Titans’ bread and butter in 2020 was taking care of the football and not making mistakes to take themselves out of games? You would not know that just by watching them so far this year.

Last year, the Titans finished first in the NFL in turnover differential with a plus-11 margin, registering 23 total takeaways versus just 12 giveaways. This year, they have already reached over half of their giveaway total of the previous season with seven. On defense, they’ve forced just one takeaway and are currently second to last in the league with a -6 turnover differential.

Some of those turnovers have been due to fumbles by Ryan Tannehill, and that’s due to the ineffectiveness of the offensive line. There are others that have just been flat-out inexcusable. That was on full display in Week 3, as Tannehill threw an uncharacteristically dumb interception.

Chester Rogers contributed to another with a drop that a defender snagged on the deflection. You also can’t forget about Nick Westbrook-Ikhine who had a critical fumble. The latter two turnovers happened deep in opposing territory, and that made them worse.

Multiple busted coverages in the secondary made the game against the Seahawks closer and defensively worse than it should have been, and among the many errors in Week 1, Julio Jones‘ unnecessary roughness penalty was a total killer.

All of these mistakes are easily fixable, but when they happen on multiple occasions, they become trends. Right now, the Tennessee Titans are not playing with the discipline that we have come to expect, and Mike Vrabel and the coaching staff must make sure this doesn’t become a trend.

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Knowing what this team is capable of and seeing what this team usually produces on offense should give us all the confidence that the mistakes will decrease over the course of the season, but unless the Titans stop beating themselves, they won’t get through games against the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Rams, and come out with victories, nor will they have any shot of getting to the Super Bowl.