The Tennessee Titans just had one of their most embarrassing home losses in quite some time, falling short by two points to the 0-8 Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday afternoon. Rookie first round draft pick, and offensive lineman Chance Warmack offered this statement following his holding penalty that lead to a game altering 4th qtr safety....
"If you mess up on a play, you clap it off and keep on moving. I’m never discouraged because if I make a mistake, I move on forward."
For the Titans sake, I hope every player and coach in that organization feels that way, because let's face it, that loss was as bad as it gets...especially with so much riding on the game. Luckily for Tennessee, they have to quickly forget about that loss because the division leading Colts come to Music City on Thursday night, and the division title is still up for grabs.
Whether or not the Titans are a playoff team is not up for debate, history has shown that a 7-9 division winner (Seattle) made the playoffs a few years ago, and the 2013 NFC East could boast a division champ with an equal record. What is up for debate is whether or not head coach Mike Munchak can cut it at this level.
Tennessee benefited yesterday from being a small market team. I watched several hours of post game coverage and the Titans loss barely got mentioned. The Colts and Cowboys respective losses dominated the coverage.
Tennessee, and Mike Munchak specifically, won't be so lucky Thursday.
Anyone that has watched the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football pre game show knows that it is long...and extensive. As we say back home..."they get all up in yo business." Some of the warts that are only seen by the die hard fan will be on full display for the world to see. Tennessee's propensity to lose to the worst teams in the league ( 2013 0-8 Jags, 2011 0-13 Colts), Jake locker's inability to stay on the field, Mike Munchak being the first official candidate for the proverbial "hot seat", and when all else fails...CJ's "decline".
If the Titans were smart though, they would use this as an opportunity to re-introduce themselves to the rest of the league. Regardless of yesterday's outcome, they still have a lot to play for. Now we will see what mild mannered Mike Munchak has up his sleeve. Will he succumb to the whoa is me...aw golly gee...life ain't fair mentality? After all, he just lost his starting qb for the remainder of the season right?
Or will he do something that we have not seen under his regime? Light a fire under a team that seems to be content with 8-8. Do you want to show your boss that you can thrive under pressure? Do you want to show a national audience that you belong in the playoff conversation?...that mediocrity is unacceptable? Do you want to leave a positive impression in your one and only nationally televised game?
These are the questions that Mike Munchak and his Titans must answer. And it must be done on the field. The eye in the sky don't lie, and you're the only NFL show in town. No one will remember the loss if you handle business Thursday night. In fact, the new storyline would be that the Colts...not the Titans...are on the decline. But if Tennessee's national perception hasn't changed on Friday morning, then Mike Munchak will have bigger things to worry about than the media.