Texans 20, Titans 0. It has been five years since I’ve seen such a lack of effort from the Titans. The last time the Titans played such uninspired football was the 2005 season finale in Jacksonville, a 40-13 drubbing. After that game, Jeff Fisher promised changes would be made.
Funny, he promised the same thing just a week ago.
So, what changes did Fisher make last week? Here are the changes I saw yesterday.
Rusty Smith at QB for Vince Young.
Javon Ringer became the Titans’ #1 back, gaining 27 yards rushing.
Chris Johnson went from a 100-yard per game rusher to a guy who only gained 5 yards.
The Titans’ offense gained 162 yards. Total. Against the worst defense in the league.
The o-line unveiled a new blocking scheme. Instead of knocking the other team around, they tried to just get in their opponent’s way. Without much success. More changes I saw, after the jump.
Fisher decided offense isn’t really that important is even less important than it used to be. The offense ran only 44 plays Sunday.
Punting took on an increased role, as Brett Kern punted 7 times.
There’s an old saying you hear occasionally, that an interception is as good as a punt. If that’s the case, the Titans punted 10 times.
The Texans were content to play ball control. The Titans were content to let them.
Here’s the biggest change I saw. Instead of imposing their will, the Titans let the other team impose on them. Instead of being aggressive, the Titans were passive. Instead of playing tough, the Titans were meek and mild. On both sides of the ball.
The Titans are not playing Titans football.
Following are some of the notes I made by halftime, when the game was already decided.
The Texans spent too much time in Titans’ territory
The Titans didn’t get into Texans’ territory
The Titans are getting beat on both sides of the LOS
Jason Jones and Tony Brown are missed TOP 20:03 to 9:57 15 first downs to 2 208 yards to 54
As it turned out, the Titans didn’t get into Texans’ territory until the fourth quarter. It took a penalty against Houston to get them there.
Dave Ball is another guy who was missed on the d-line. Jacob Ford didn’t do anything to change his reputation as being less than stout at the point of attack.
I don’t want to hear any excuses about the line’s chemistry being off because Amano was injured and replaced by Velasco. The Redskins had worse problems with injuries a week ago, making three changes on their line, and it didn’t stop them from blocking anybody.
The list of defensive players who showed some effort is pretty short. Stephen Tulloch, Jason Babin, Marques Douglas. Considering that 17 guys played regular snaps on defense, 3 out of 17 is disgraceful. If anybody happened to notice someone else showing some effort, please testify on their behalf.
The AFC South sucks this year and the Titans are in last place. That speaks volumes.
Whoever wins the division will lose their first-round playoff game. They’ll have the #4 seed and will face the #5 seed, which will be the first wildcard team. If I’m the Patriots, Jets, Stillers or Ratbirds, and if I don’t win my division, I want that #5 seed. Next to getting a first-round bye, it will be the easiest path to get to the Super Bowl.