Thanks to an uninspiring first-half performance, the Tennessee Titans clinched a losing season with their 34-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The combination of a poor defensive effort and a struggling offense paved the way for the Titans' 31-7 halftime-deficit.
On the afternoon, the Chiefs had little trouble dominating on the offensive side of the football, as indicated by QB Matt Cassel passing for 314 yards and KC's rushing attack doing their part with 152 on the ground.
Additional thoughts on today's Titans' loss, after the break.
One step forward, two steps back for the defense
While recapping last week's Titans' victory over the Texans, I had positive things to say about the performance of Chuck Cecil's troops.
Considering today's effort, as you've might of guessed, negativity will be the theme of the next few sentences.
The pass defense was less than stellar as Matt Cassel did pretty much what he wanted out there on the football field. Today served as another example of how bad things can turn for the pass defense when the defensive line fails to generate any pressure.
To Chuck Cecil's defense, the line has been ravaged by injuries as of late and the inability of the offense to stay on the field has also been a negative, causing an already undermanned d-line to become a tired one as well.
After putting the clamps on Houston's Arian Foster last week, the run defense struggled today, as the tandem of the explosive Jamaal Charles and veteran Thomas Jones led a Kansas City rushing attack that gained 152 yards on the afternoon.
Whether it's through the draft, free agency or the combination of the two, we're definitely going to see some changes on the defensive side of the football in 2011.
A look on the bright side: Kenny Britt and Jared Cook making plays
The only positives that I took from today's performance was the continued emergence of Kenny Britt into a force at WR and TE Jared Cook slowly but surely becoming a factor in the passing game.
Britt's combination of physicality and play-making ability should be a pleasure to watch for years to come. He's a physically-gifted WR with a ton of talent and it's a treat seeing what he's capable of doing to opposing secondaries.
Fellow 2009 draftee Jared Cook has some potential as well and it's nice to see him finally become somewhat of a consistent threat on offense.
With a young stable of playmakers such as the up-and-coming Britt and Cook catching passes and CJ in the backfield, the Titans have a few solid pieces to build around at their offensive skill positions.
Now if they can only figure out who's going to lead them at the QB position moving forward...
Final random thoughts
-Throwing for 235 yards and two scores is nice, but the rest of Kerry Collins' stat sheet was anything but pleasant: 2 INT's, 14 completions/37 passing attempts.
Paraphrasing Denny Green, "The Game Manager" is who we thought he was: a veteran backup who at this point in his career, is not the type of signal-caller who is going to lead you to much more than an occasional victory or two in an extended opportunity to start. At best, he's solid at managing the game and at worst, his mistakes can play a key role in defeat.
He is by no means a difference-maker, which is exactly the type of QB (whether it's Vince Young or someone else) that is needed in the city of Nashville.
-Terrible mistake by S Michael Griffin as he allowed Dwayne Bowe to break past him en route to a 75-yard TD.
After witnessing his rejuvenated play during the first part of the year, I think Griff's regressed a bit as of late.
-Finally, I'll extend a few positive words in the direction of today's Titan opponent: The Kansas City Chiefs.
They're a well-coached, young football team that's solid in all phases of the football game. I don't expect them to do much in the postseason this season, but they're maybe a year (and perhaps a player or two) away from being a legit AFC contender.
Any thoughts regarding today's Titans' loss? Feel free to provide your always welcomed input in the space below.