Titans still looking for consistency on offense
A penalty here, an incomplete pass there or simply good defense.
Pick a reason, the Tennessee Titans have struggled with those
issues this season.
Sometimes all in the same drive.
It’s all part of the inconsistency for a team that can score
points in bunches only to bog down when the game’s on the line.
That’s why the Titans (5-8) have lost seven of nine, including two
Ryan Fitzpatrick said Wednesday they keep working to improve
their consistency every day knowing how those setbacks have hurt
whether coming on first, second or third down.
”That’s a big focus for us, just getting onto the next play,”
Fitzpatrick said. ”Forgetting about what happened, going out there
trying to sustain drives. Last game we scored 28, but we had some
opportunities that we really missed out on. Had some three-and-outs
and some short drives and some turnovers that definitely affected
the outcome of the game.”
The Titans scored on their first two drives and were up 21-10
before losing 51-28 in Denver last week. They also scored on their
first two possessions Nov. 14 when they jumped out to a 17-3 lead
over Indianapolis only to lose 30-27.
In Denver, the Titans went three-and-out four times before
punting with another drive ended on an interception when they still
had a lead in the third quarter. Yet the Titans rank sixth in the
NFL on third-down efficiency for the season, and they’ve also had
10 drives of at least 10 plays or longer in four of their five
Only once in their losses have they had more than two drives in
any single game, and the Titans blew the lead over Indianapolis
Tennessee is outscoring opponents only in the first quarter
barely (58-55) and again in the fourth (122-108). The late points
haven’t helped because the Titans are 1-7 when trailing after three
quarters this season.
Titans coach Mike Munchak, also busy dealing with speculation
over whether he keeps his job after this season, said it’s
frustrating because they felt they could have had two or three more
touchdowns in last week’s 51-28 loss at Denver if not for a holding
call on one drive, a missed block here and a rare fumble lost by
”Upsetting is an easy word for me, for all of us to watch plays
that are there that we’re just not executing at times,” Munchak
The Titans should get tight end Delanie Walker back Sunday after
he missed most of two games with a concussion. He is having his
best season yet with 45 catches and five touchdowns.
They’ll need Walker because the task doesn’t get any easier
Sunday. The Cardinals (8-5) have been the NFL’s stingiest defense
the past few weeks, and John Abraham, who talked with the Titans
before signing with Arizona, had a disruptive game last week with
three sacks, a forced fumble and a safety.
The Titans also have had trouble finding a rhythm splitting
carries between Chris Johnson with Shonn Greene. When one of the
running backs starts ripping off some yards, he heads to the
sideline in a switch with any momentum in a drive disappearing
”Sometimes it works the way you like, and sometimes you can sit
back and say, `Well, maybe he should have gotten a couple more
carries here or there,”’ Munchak said. ”That’s going to be the
challenge the next three weeks.”
Notes: Munchak said he knows it’s fun to talk about the future
and speculate on what might happen but that won’t help the Titans
win Sunday. The coach said again that his focus is on the final
three games before pitching president and chief executive officer
Tommy Smith the changes he’d make this offseason. Munchak said the
team is in better shape than it’s been in his three seasons but
still has some areas that need to be fixed.. … S Bernard Pollard
was given a day off for rest. LB Akeem Ayers (groin), DT Karl Klug
(back), LG Andy Levitre (hip) and CB Alterraun Verner (groin) did
not practice. RB/KR Leon Washington (ankle) was limited.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org