The Tennessee Titans came into today's game knowing they'd probably need a couple breaks to win in Seattle against the Seahawks. They got one big one, with a botched field goal attempt hold at the end of the first half resulting in a TD and a 10-point swing, and had their chances, as the Seahawks put the ball on the ground four other times, but Seattle did just enough, with a TD on fourth-and-goal in the second quarter, a go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter after Zach Brown just missed a golden return of a long fumble return score, and a clinching fourth quarter score after Richard Sherman outdueled Nate Washington for a jump ball interception of Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Titans would get a field goal to cut the deficit to 20-13, but the one additional defensive stop needed for a chance at a tie never came.
Offensively, the Titans lived up to the ineptitude I expected from them, with those 6 offensive points. They couldn't run the ball, as CJ picked up 12 carries for 33 yards despite some decent-looking carries where he didn't go down immediately on first contact with a defender. Fitzpatrick had effective work on scrambles, Kendall Wright looked good early, and it all still adds up to 223 yards of offense, only one red zone trip, only one play (Bironas's second FGA) inside the Seattle 10, and 6 points on offense.
Defensively, eh. Once again the defense played well enough to win, but not well enough to win on their own. You can point to individual failures-the one more stop needed on fourth and goal, the blown coverage that resulted in a 55-yard gain to Marshawn Lynch on a backside wheel route that set up the go-ahead field goal, and Marshawn Lynch's inconsistently effective running, notably on the last two drives in the fourth quarter. Really, Seattle's offense seemed to struggle to move the ball with consistent success. Russell Wilson completed most of his passes, but the passing game outside of a couple plays wasn't what hurt them-his scrambling and some timely failures did. A good performance, I think, but they needed a great one.
And so the Titans are 3-3 after being 3-1, with the San Francisco 49ers, yet another team with a strong defense and an offense that is not build around an efficient passing game, coming to LP Field next week. Good luck, Ruston Webster, Mike Munchak, and Dowell Loggains, the offense you spent all the money to improve in the offseason isn't doing its job and it's costing the team wins.
Agree with the Hasselback - Fitzpatrick reasoning but just as much of a contributor has been the running of CJ1K. His inability to hit creases have cost the 2-3 extra yards on first down that opens up passing lanes later. It doesn't help that Dowell Loggains has been calling runs up the middle, haven't seen any imaginative run-calls / formations on offense. Can't wait for Locker and Shonn Greene to get back in the mix.
Kendall Wright has been a revelation but the sucking sound of Britt's performance is that of another first-round draft pick on receiver going down the drain.
I'll gladly take an 8-8 season at this point - anything beyond will likely be a miracle.
I agree with your assessment in the last sentence Tom. The offense is blowing it for the team. Turner is playing poorly and his poor play is impacting the whole o-Line. Warmack is rookie, so you can expect some bumps in the road and levitre is not playing like the top free agent signing he was. Stewart is another year older and hobbled, and his play is down. Michael Roos is the best one on the line, but has his moments as well. In general the run blocking is dismal. Pass protection is decent at best. The O-line was supposed to be the big upgrade and it hasn't been.
On a side note, Fitzpatrick is horrible. I liked the pick-up in the off-season, but after Fitz play these last two games would have preferred Hasselback. He could not have been any worse than Fitz and probably better.
The defense is much improved and is playing with fire. The loss of Locker really hurt this team. Before the season started I thought he would be a liability and to this point he has not been to a large degree (the Houston game being an exception). I think if he was in there these past two weeks the Titans win at least one game of the two they played.