Yes, the Titans lost, but I will recall an earlier post from the season where I pointed out the Titans propensity to defeat themselves, or at least try to. That's exactly what happened on Sunday.
The Titans started off the game with a great defensive stand and forcing the away team to punt the ball with no damage done, only to botch the punt return and give the Chiefs a quick 7 points. From that point on the defense dug in hard and held the Chiefs to only 6 points for the rest of the first half, in spite of the offense's inability to stay on the field for more than 3 downs at a time.
The Titans then came roaring back with 17 unanswered points to take the lead, before eventually succumbing to the Chiefs' will and losing the game.
This team is still resilient. They fought hard and never gave up.
I submit that the Titans of 2012 would have come out after half time and had their doors blown off by a team prepared to play the full 60 minutes. Many games last year seemed lopsided on the field but still had a relatively close score at half time. Instead of the Titans playing better in the second half and bringing the score closer, it seemed as if they played with the same lack of enthusiasm and creativity only to have the opposing team run up the score for the rest of the game.
This is not the Titans of 2012.
The defense continued to play hard and the offense didn't give up. They allowed an eye-popping 1 of 12 3rd down conversions for the game continuing to give the offense as many opportunities as it could.
While the offense looked inept in the first half, they finally found some rhythm in the second, giving a small glimmer of hope for the next few weeks while Locker sits out with injury.
The Titans did more to beat themselves than the Chiefs did to beat them. I'm not trying to take anything away from a great undefeated team, and I'm not going to blame this on the referees. But once again the Titans gave away points on special teams' fiascoes and key dropped passes by certain players that shouldn't be on the field. The silver lining is that if the Titans can get out of their own way, they could still win some games, even with Locker out.