Just three of the many words that one can use to describe today's 27-13 Titans' loss to the previously-winless Colts.
In addition to serving as the silver lining to Indy's cloudy 2011 campaign, the Titans for all intents and purposes, probably tossed asunder their slim chances of qualifying for an AFC Wild Card spot.
More on today's devastating defeat...after the jump.
An afternoon of errors
Mistakes were a recurring theme for the Tennessee Titans this afternoon.
Gosh....where do I begin? You had two interceptions courtesy of the right-arm of a clearly hobbled Matt Hasselbeck. To be fair, one could argue that both INT's weren't completely his fault, thanks to Chris Johnson having one of them stolen from his grasp and the other caused by a relentless pass-rush of a guy we're familiar with around these parts...DT Antonio "Mookie Johnson.
Defensively, you had the gut-wrenching dagger of a run by Indy's Donald Brown, who escaped the pursuit of a litany of Titan defenders en route to a game-clinching 80-yard scamper.
Finally, there were some special teams' blunders as well. Tommie Campbell was often a marked-man by the refs as he was penalized on multiple occasions. Then you had Marc Mariani's ill-fated attempt to field a kick-off that led to the anything but desirable starting field-position of the one-yard line on one possession.
As you can see, in all facets of the game, mistakes reigned supreme for the Titans on Sunday.
Let the Jake Locker era begin
As he did in recent weeks against Atlanta and New Orleans, Jake Locker came in and provided somewhat of a spark but unfortunately, came up on the losing end of the scoreboard.
Locker ended the afternoon completing 11 of his 16 throwing attempts for 108 yards and yet another touchdown pass to his favorite wide receiver, Nate Washington.
Jake's got a lot to learn and he's still a work-in-progress in the pocket, but with two games remaining and a shot at the postseason all but over, it's time to let the rookie start paying some of his dues as a starting quarterback in this league.
Regardless of how the team finishes in terms of its W-L record, the final two games of the season should mostly be about getting Locker some reps and experiences. In other words, some lessons that will be helpful as #10 embarks upon the journey of preparing to open the 2012 season as the Titans' starting signal-caller.
Final Random Thoughts
-In a performance we're all too familiar with in 2011, Chris Johnson once again struggled for the most part against Indy, carrying the ball 15 times for a less-than-stellar 55 yards.
Regardless of whether it's the offensive line's fault, or CJ's to blame or a combination of both factors, the bottom-line is that the Titans' are a below-average running team.
-Gutty showing by Nate Washington today. Playing on a bum ankle, Washington snagged 7 grabs for 62 yards and a score.
-Speaking of receiving threats, fellow WR Lavelle Hawkins and TE Jared Cook were busy, grabbing 9 and 8 catches respectively.
-I'll be honest, I was hoping Coach Munchak would pull Hasselbeck in place of Locker sooner. It was clear that Hasselbeck was hobbled by his calf injury, so Locker's spark could have been felt earlier in the game.
Of course, I'm not going to blame the loss on the decision to keep Hasselbeck in the game longer...that had more to do with what was previously mentioned in the opening of this article.
Well, folks...I'm finished. Have any thoughts/opinions of your own? You know the procedure....
It took me more than 24 hours to get over this loss. Just unbelievable. It is a sad state of affairs for a team that was 7 and 5 two weeks ago. I finally have convinced myself that it is probably the best thing for this team. The Titans weren't likely going to make the playoffs in any event even with a win over the Colts. And if they are not making the playoffs they might as well lose out the next two games and get a better draft position.
I do like Hawkins' YACability (yes, it is a word...), even if I'm usually yelling at him for giving up so much ground in his quest to make guys miss. Can't fault him these past few weeks. He should have had a touchdown on the day if Hass hadn't floated the ball up into the heavens.
Like you say Andrew, ff this is the springboard that leads the Colts to the #2 pick in the draft and Caldwell in charge, well, I guess that wouldn't be so bad in the grand scheme of things... :)
I never thought I'd write this, but Lavelle Hawkins looked like the best player on the field for the Titans. There were a lot of problems for the Titans in all three phases of the game, but most of them were because of the lethargic offense. As usual, Eugene Amano was a liability in the run game. David Stewart was repeatedly beaten by Robert Mathis, who had been listed as questionable before the game. Hasselbeck was a regular Charlie Checkdown and had some poorly thrown balls.
Chris Johnson regressed to his early season form, gaining only 20 yards on 14 carries before finally gaining 35 yards and being caught from behind. Worse, he gave the Colts a TD when he let Jacob Lacey take the ball from him and score on a play which was ruled an interception only because CJ didn't have possession.
Turnovers by Hasselbeck and Cook were killers. The defense missed far too many tackles. Tommie Campbell and Marc Mariani hurt the Titans on special teams.
If there are any bright spots, the Colts' hold on the first pick in the draft isn't quite as strong as before and Jim Caldwell's job may not be in quite as much jeopardy.
Wow. Just... Wow.
Truth be told I'm not too surprised. This is just the sort of thing I've come to expect from recent Titan teams.