The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Tennessee Titans on November 25, 2012. The Titans were fresh ofd their bye week. They beat the Miami Dolphins 37-3 on November 11. The Jaguars were widely considered as one of the NFL’s worst teams. The Kansas City Chiefs were the only other team with a 1-9 record.
The Titans should’ve carried their momentum into a decisive victory against the Jaguars. Instead, they laid another egg against a divisional rival. The Jaguars beat the Titans 24-19. With a 4-7 record, the Titans must win out. They’d need home wins against the Houston Texans, New York Jets and Jaguars. The Titans also need road wins against the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers.
What’s up with these losses to inferior opponents? In 2011, Mike Munchak lost his coaching debut when a Luke McCown-led Jaguars team upset the Titans in Week 1. A more-disheartening loss came in Week 15. The Titans lost 27-13 against a Colts team who had a 0-13 record. While the Titans won their last two games, they lost a playoff tiebreaker to the Cincinnati Bengals. No postseason for Tennessee.
Through 10 games, the Titans had 16 sacks. They nearly doubled that in one game. Chad Henne was sacked seven times. Zach Brown had two sacks. Jurrell Casey, Kamerion Wimbley, Karl Klug, Akeem Ayers and Michael Griffin each had a sack. On the Jaguars’ first offensive possession, Sen’Derrick Marks tipped a pass that Alterraun Verner intercepted.
What killed the Titans? Just like during the Jeff Fisher era, it was “Field goals over touchdowns.” Of the five scores, four of them came on field goals. Rob Bironas also missed a field goal. The Titans needed one of those five field-goal attempts to turn into a touchdown plus two-point conversion. At the least, that would’ve tied the game. They couldn’t finish drives. It cost them this game. And probably their season.
Bud Adams can’t put his team on notice every week. There’s no reason to lose to a team with a 1-9 record. The Jaguars didn’t have their best player (Maurice Jones-Drew). The Titans had two weeks to rest. They had two weeks to prepare. They understood what was ahead of them. Their wild-card hopes suffered a fatal blow at the first obstacle.
These last five games are critical. Adams turns 90-years-old in January 2013. What kind of patience does he have for mediocrity? Does he see anything that suggests that this team can become a playoff contender within the next year?
Run Offense: C
Pass Offense: D
Run Defense: C
Pass Defense: B
Special Teams: C
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He’s been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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