The Tennessee Titans were starting to feel good about themselves. After a 0-1 start to the season, the Titans won two games in a row. They flexed on the Jacksonville Jaguars, destroying them in the second half of the season and they played more physical than the Seattle Seahawks while winning their first game of the season at home. After those two, the Titans were thinking they had found a rhythm and were ready to take off this season. The Houston Texans were up next and although they had been the bully on the block to the Titans(won eight of the last ten games versus Tennessee), the feeling was the Titans were ready to go to Houston and get a win. Well, things did not exactly turn out the way the Titans thought it would. They were ambushed early and were down as much as 21 points. They made a little bit of a comeback in the second quarter, but Deshaun Watson and the Texans began to put their foot on the gas again as they ended up dominating the Titans 57-14 in Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Titans feel to 2-2 with that loss and there definitely was a feeling of stunned silence and fiery anger among the fans of the team. While the loss was bad, the Titans have to remember that it is only one loss, but what can they do to get things back right?
The Titans offense has been sputtering running the football and that has been an issue in itself to start the season. While the Titans are still trying to figure out that issue, one other one popped up on Sunday. The Titans got loose with the football at the wrong time. Marcus Mariota started it off when he threw an interception early on. Mariota was trying to thread the football to tight end Delanie Walker between the safety and the cornerback who was sitting in Cover 2 right up under the corner route Walker was running. To make that type of throw, you cannot be off target and you have to have very good accuracy. Mariota was high and that led to that interception. In that instance, Mariota was trying to hard to get it to Walker and that cost them the football. Mariota wasn’t the only one to have issues there offensively. Matt Cassel entered the game after Mariota left with a hamstring strain and promptly accounted for three turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble when he was sacked). The Titans are a team that cannot afford to turn the ball over, so for them to have five turnovers is totally unacceptable and allowed the Texans offense to get short fields on a Titans defense that has not exactly been stopping everything in sight. The offense and especially the quarterbacks, have to be better than that with the football and value it as well.
The Titans offense was bad but so was the Titans defense. When you give up 57 points, there is no way around spinning that one in the NFL. The Titans defense was getting beat up in the run game, but what was even worse was the beatdown they took in the passing game. The Titans pass defense was expected to be better this season with the addition of Logan Ryan and others. While they got big names, they have not got those big name performances. Ryan has essentially not been the man the Titans thought he was so far and the rest of the secondary is picking up where they left off last season, which is not a good thing. The Titans allowed rookie Deshaun Watson to pick them apart all game long to the tune of him throwing for four touchdowns and 283 yards. We all know that Watson is a talented quarterback and has this type of ability, but for the Titans to allow this to happen to them was just inexcusable. The secondary was bad, but some of this has to be on the pressure they are bringing as well. The Titans were not exactly great in bringing pressure up front last season and they have been there some in the backfield this season, but they have not consistently brought pressure at all. That issue has to be rectified before the Titans think they are even going to go near the playoffs.
The Tennessee Titans, despite that bad loss, are still in a good spot. For them to make sure they end up in a playoff spot, they will have to get better and not repeat some of the mistakes that happened in this game. If they turn the ball over (probably not the extent of this but negative in the turnover battle) and continue to defend the pass as bad as they have, then there will be issues all season. At the quarter mark of the season, the issues at hand are apparent and it will be up to the Titans to resolve them or else see their expected great season go down the drain.
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