Munchak says no excuse for Titans’ division woes

Mike Munchak says there’s no excuse for the Tennessee Titans not

to have beaten an AFC South opponent this season. Their division

struggle, however, have been going on for more than just a

season.

The Titans are a dismal 4-12 in Munchak’s three seasons, and the

first team to win the AFC South has a lengthy list of ugly losses

the past three years that have helped keep Tennessee struggling or

out of the playoffs. They’ve had their share of losses to the

Colts, Jaguars and Texans.

They have a chance for a little payback starting Sunday at

Jacksonville, and Houston comes next in the season finale. They’ve

already been swept this season by Indianapolis.

”Unfortunately we don’t play Indy again, but we owe them,

too,” Munchak said Wednesday. ”We’ll have to wait later for that

one. You wonder why they’re motivated? They’re motivated for a lot

of reasons to win this football game. It’s a pride thing now. It’s

not going to get any further. Five wins, six wins, seven wins is

not enough wins, but you still could get a lot of satisfaction from

it.”

Tennessee became the first team to lose to the previously

winless Colts in 2011, a loss that cost the Titans a playoff berth

on a tiebreaker to Cincinnati. In 2012, the Titans became the first

team to lose in Jacksonville, and they were the first to lose to

the previously winless Jaguars in November (29-27).

The Titans used to beat the Texans year in and year out in a

painful reminder to Houston of the franchise they lost to

Tennessee.

Then Houston took its turn atop the division the past two

seasons making life miserable for the Titans, and the Texans even

beat them in overtime the second week of this season. The Texans

have lost 12 straight games since that last win.

Making the division woes hurt even more is that no loss came by

more than eight points.

”We should have three division wins, but we don’t,” Munchak

said. ”We got to finish with two here. It does mean a lot for that

reason. You’re battling for second in the division I guess or

whatever that comes to at the end. We got to beat a team that has

given us trouble.”

Munchak says they owe the Jaguars, who have won three of the

past five in this series. Jacksonville handed Munchak a 16-14 loss

in his first game as a head coach in 2011, and the Titans turned it

over four times Nov. 10 in losing again to the Jaguars.

”We did everything we could to lose that football game by

turning it over and still were down by two,” Munchak said. ”We

owe them for this year, last year, the year before that.”

That was the first of four wins in six weeks for the Jaguars for

first-year coach Gus Bradley.

”It gave us a little validation as far as how everything was

falling into place just like we anticipated,” Bradley said.

With Tennessee (5-9) having lost three straight and eight in the

last 10 games, safety Michael Griffin doesn’t care who the opponent

is Sunday.

”I don’t think it’s personal,” Griffin said. ”We need a

win.”

Notes: Chris Johnson (knee) did not practice on what Munchak

called a day of rest. RT David Stewart (shoulder) also sat out. DT

Jurrell Casey (shoulder) and C Brian Schwenke (ankle) were limited.

CB Alterraun Verner (groin) practiced fully.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org