Titans get off to slow start week 9, fall to Panthers

Well, yet another week of football in the books, and yet another puzzling look at the Titans. It seems like all the pieces are there, they just haven’t figured out how to get them to all fit together and work properly. A couple of poor decisions and miscues leave the team standing at 4-5 for the season.

If you only watched the first half of Sunday’s game, you would be surprised to hear that the Titans ended up scoring 20 points seeing as they had zero in the first half. For yet another game, the offense just doesn’t seem to be able to get anything going early on the the game. Going into the locker room with nothing on the board is never a good feeling, and while they were able to finally get things going in the second half, it wasn’t enough to take the win from Carolina.

Ryan Tannehill continues to show that he is the better option at QB right now even though he threw two interceptions, one of which was not his fault as Brown was unable to make the catch and batted the ball up into the air making for an easy pick. With 331 passing yards and 2 touchdowns, one in the air and one on the ground, Tannehill arguably has been the spark that the offense has been in search of but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit they amassed in the first half.

Derrick Henry had a decent game gaining 63 yards and a touchdown on the ground on only 13 carries, to which he added three for 36 and a score through the air. He looked explosive and angry as he shrugged off defenders and moved piles all day. The receiving corps also had a good showing, with 331 yards to go around almost everyone earned a couple yards through the air from Tannehill. All this to say it is surprising to see such few points put up, but this leads me to my next point about miscues and missed opportunities.

The bane of the Titans existence this year has been their inability to avoid unnecessary penalties, momentum killing miscues, and, of course, kicking. The team accrued a total of 11 penalties for 99 yards which would not be the end of the world had Dion Lewis not fumbled the ball, and Tannehill thrown two interceptions. Lastly, Ryan Succop was 0-3 on field goals. I know some quick math will tell you that even if he had made all three they still would have lost 30-29, however, had he made a few it could have possibly been the little boost the team needed to get their heads back in the game and pull out the win.

If you watched toward the end of the game, you could tell that they were already playing defeated. They didn’t have the drive or want to keep fighting like they had early in the second half. The momentum killers of turnovers and missed kicks is a killer that needs to get knocked out if the Titans have any hopes of recovering their season. At this point, 9 weeks in the books, and at the bottom of the AFC South, things aren’t looking good, but they aren’t as gloomy as they could be. The Jags are also 4-5 and the Colts are just one game ahead at 5-3, with the Texans leading the way at 6-3. So while they aren’t out of the race yet, they need to start smoothing things out if they want a shot of making it to the post season.

They will have to get things together quickly as they are set to face the Kansas City Chiefs next week at home. I expect the defense to be up to their usual standard and able to hold KC on a few drives, but with the possible return of Patrick Mahomes, the offense will need to avoid any errors and play near perfect if they hope to keep up.

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