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Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Johnson: Titans fans hanging on hope

Monday, October 12, 2009

(Photo)
Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck (53) comes up to put a hit on Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (87).
(T-G Photo by Danny Parker)
NASHVILLE -- I don't think anybody knows what's going on or what the exact problem is with the Tennessee Titans.

After finishing the regular season with the best record in the NFL at 13-3 last year, things have really turned bad in Titan Land.

About the only thing a die-hard Titan fan has is hope that the team can turn things around fast.

Tennessee fell to 0-5 on the season after a disappointing 31-9 loss to AFC South rival Indianapolis on Sunday night.

You can't beat the Colts by kicking field goals but that's the best the Titan offense could do.

The devastating start can be attributed to a number of things.

The offense is struggling, the defense can't defend the pass, the return game is lacking and penalties have been a problem from the start.

Any wonder why the team is winless?

"We've made our own mess," Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher said. "We have to find our way out of it."

Fisher agrees there is a problem...that's a start!

The Titan offense is ranked 21st in passing (208.2 yards per game) and 22nd in scoring (16.8 ppg). One of the few bright spots on the team has been the rushing game, ranked eighth (127.6 ypg). Second-year running back Chris Johnson is the third leading rusher in the NFL with 468 yards.

(Photo)
Indianapolis defensive back Antoine Bethea (41) hammers Tennessee tight end Alge Crumpler (83) and causes a fumble.
(T-G Photo by Danny Parker)
Defensively, the Titans are ranked next to last (31st) in pass coverage (287.6 ypg).

Their rush defense is ranked fourth (75.4 ypg).

Mental mistakes and penalties have been a huge negative for Tennessee. The Titans are ranked 22nd in number of penalties (31) and 23rd in total yards (264).

As much as I hate to admit it, fixing this problem may take longer than the 11 regular season games left on the schedule.

If all this isn't enough, could there be a quarterback controversy on the horizon?

Kerry Collins is currently the 29th ranked QB in the NFL with five touchdowns, seven interceptions and a quarterback rating of 67.4.

With the game out of control midway through the fourth quarter, Fisher decided to put in backup quarterback Vince Young.

Those fans remaining in the stands came to life with a standing ovation for Young as he ran onto the field.

Be careful what you wish for as Young's first pass should have been interception. His second pass was dropped by sure-handed Nate Washington and his third and final pass was almost intercepted as well.

However, he did scramble 6 yards for a first down.

With all due respect, Tennessee's schedule has been brutal and there is still hope.

If the Titans can win the next 11 games they can finish the season 11-5 and that might get them in the playoffs.

It's very unlikely that will happen, especially since Tennessee plays at New England on Sunday.

That's not much for a Titan fan to hold on to, but there is always hope.

Gary Johnson
Point by Point