The Titans started out the year with some good defense in the second half, holding the Patriots to punts on their first two second half possessions. Ever since Bill Belichick made the questionable but not clearly wrong decision to punt on fourth down and two from the Titans 40 with with 5:44 to go in the third quarter while holding a 10-point lead, the Titans have basically stopped playing any semblance of effective defense in the second half.
After that moment, here's what Titans opponents have done in the second half:
New England: touchdown, field goal, field goal;
San Diego:punt, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown; and
Detroit: touchdown, field goal, touchdown, punt, fumble, touchdown, touchdown, turnover on downs.
That's a total of 66 points on 15 possessions, or 4.4 points per possession. Even if you count those two Patriots punts to start the year, that's still 3.88 points for every post-halftime possession.
No team in the league other than the Titans is giving up more than 2.79 points per possession this year. No team in the league over the course of last season gave up more than 2.62 points per possession. The worst performance of the last 15 years, by the 2008 Detroit Lions team that went 0-16 and lost 47-10 to the Titans on Thanksgiving, was only 2.72 points per possession. The Titans after halftime are currently 43% worse than that.
I don't know what's going on, or else I'd write that post instead of this one. Is it fatigue? I doubt it. New England found success and the Titans didn't play an abnormal number of defensive snaps that game. Detroit also came out and found immediate success, scoring 17 (actually 18) points on their first three possessions. The best explanation I have is that whatever Jerry Gray is doing that's working in the first half completely stops working in the second half, with pretty catastrophic results.
I should note it's not like the Titans are great in the first half either-they've given up 2.35 points per possession, which would rank 23rd in the league this year. Combine the two halves, and they're giving up 3.09 points per possession, which would destroy that 2008 Lions team for the worst mark in the last decade and a half (as far back as I can look it up). Really, though, it's primarily a second half problem, and it needs to get fixed unless the Titans plan on (a) scoring 40 points every week or (b) not winning. No pressure, Jerry Gray, but your job security probably depends on it.
The defense has really taken a step back. Even though they played some good offenses, that is no excuse. SD scored only 3 on ATL and Arizona shut down NE. It is possible. the Titans D is just giving up too many yards too easily. They get little pressure on the Qb and need to start blitzing more. They are one of the least blitzing teams in the league and that front four is not getting it done. I also think the Robert Johnson experiment was a collosal failure. They better address safety next offseason in either draft or free agency (or both). Also, they get run all over. It is just too easy to run on them. I actually think Casey has taken a step back (maybe due to elbow injury) and Klug has done nothing. Marks is no world beater and Martin has been pretty good so far. JMac has also not looked as good as usual this year. (I am trying to think outside of just the usual targets on the Titans blogs I have been seeing, mainly Michael Griffin and Will Witherspoon to a lesser extent). Oh, and why Ryan mouton is on the field I do not know. Nate Burleson made him look really stupid on his TD and subsequent 2 point conversion catches. He makes a lot of tackles because they are continually attacking him.
In summary i think the problem lies in a faulty scheme whose problems are magnified by bad players (RoJo, Mouton) and below average play from the better players (Klug, Casey, JMac).
Your thoughts Tom?