» By Daniel Newton
Bad omen or just a rough opening day? You can be the judge, but it was clear the Tennessee Titans were nowhere near the standard of play in their season-opener of a team deserving of a playoff birth, something they almost accomplished last season.
The Titans lost 34-13 to Super Bowl runner-up New England Patriots on Sunday, Sept. 9.
Say what you want about the replacement officials, missed opportunities and unlucky breaks, but the bottom line is the Titans were just not ready to perform at a high level.
Some believe the Titans are a team that starts slow and finishes strong, as they lost their season opener last season to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Whether you agree or disagree, you can rest assured that we will find out in the upcoming weeks through the Titans grueling schedule.
The Titans will face Pro-Bowl quarterbacks Phillip Rivers, Mathew Stafford, Matt Schaub and Ben Roethlisberger in three of the next four weeks. Seeing as how stud quarterback Tom Brady carved the Titans’ defense on Sunday like it was a Thanksgiving turkey, this could spell disaster for the Titans.
The Titans pass defense in recent years has been filled with holes big enough to drive trucks through, and opposing teams have taken advantage. The Titans have lost many players over the years that made the Titans successful in the past.
Because of the losses, Titans have not had a strong defense in years, and by the looks of the Sunday, Sept. 9, game we could be in for another year of sub-par play.
Had this game been in the middle of the season after Brady and his receiving crew had some more weeks to fine-tune their attack, the Titans could have been looking at an even bigger defeat.
The one bright spot and also the biggest question that arose in during the Sunday, Sept. 9, game was the offense. In his first start as the permanent starting quarterback, second-year player Jake Locker went 23-32 for 229 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
His performance could have been more solid had the Titans received a few pass-interference calls that were not made. Regardless of his fourth quarter injury, the future does look bright for Locker.
After Steve McNair was released from the team years ago, the team has tried to find a similar style quarterback. Locker looks to be the answer the Titans have been searching for since McNair left.
Chris Johnson, on the other hand, was not as impressive.
The man being paid over $10 million a year, had another terrible performance, running for just four yards on 11 carries. But lets not all blame him, because his offensive line failed to help him out, being pushed around by a decent-yet-flawed Patriot’s defense.
What can Sunday’s, Sept. 9, game show us about the year to come? It could mean many things, but one thing is for sure: the Titans better get their act together before they become the punching bag of the NFL.
Although the Titans sport an easy schedule after a tough first six weeks, they may be too far behind by then to matter any more in the playoff picture.
Unless they can develop a defense that can stop anything and an offense that will be able to put more than 20 yards on 16 rushes on the stats sheet, this could be another year of mediocrity.