NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Jordan Babineaux #26 of the Tennessee Titans tries to defend tight end Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots on a touchdown pass during their season opener at LP Field on September 9, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
There is no doubt that the Patriots are one of the best teams in the NFL. In fact, I picked them to go to the Super Bowl in my preseason prediction post. That, however, doesn't make it OK that the Titans looked like they didn't belong on the same field with them on Sunday.
It is frustrating to see people here just excuse the loss because the Titans shouldn't be expected to stay on the field with the defending AFC Champs. Why shouldn't they? Isn't the goal of the organization to win a Super Bowl? As fans, shouldn't we want the Titans to be the best team in the league? This is not Vanderbilt. There are no moral victories.This offense has the skill players to be elite, but they are not going to get there with this offensive line. That is a problem, whether they are facing the Patriots or the Colts. There were clear needs in the middle of this line that simply weren't addressed this offseason. Ruston Webster, Mike Munchak, Bruce Matthews, et al decided they could win with this group, but the fact is they cannot against a decent team.
The Titans are also continuing to flush money down the Chris Johnson hole by not putting a competent line in front of him. There were more yards there than CJ got yesterday, but really not all that many. There was no point in giving him 48 kabillion dollars if they aren't going to put anyone in front of him to help him be effective.
On defense the Titans re-signed Jordan Babineaux and gave Michael Griffin an extension this offseason. Babineaux played less than 30% of the snaps in the game yesterday and Griffin played way less than 30% of the snaps well. That is going to be a problem all season long.
So while the Titans did lose to one of the best teams in the league on Sunday, there are plenty of problems here that are going to continue to show up as the season goes along. Don't just chalk it up to playing a good team. Be pissed off for greatness and expect the same from the team- regardless of the opponent.