There has been a lot of coverage about the Titans and their newly remade identity over the off season. Head coach Mike Munchak has made it a point to talk about attitude as well as dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
The defense has taken up the bit and run with it. Gregg Williams, Bernard Pollard and the emergence of Jurrell Casey all have something to do with this.
While the defense is living up to the talk, the offense has somehow lost their way.
The season opened against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Titans seemed prepared for battle. They lined up and ran right into the teeth of a strong defense and came away with a win. The next week, they fought tooth and nail with the preceding division champs and Chris Johnson had a season high 96 yards rushing. The theme continued against the Chargers in week 3 while the Titans racked up 170 rushing yards in a long needed victory over the west coast foe.
Since then, they've been regressing.
Against the Jets, the Titans were only able to pick up 78 yards on 31 attempts. A paltry 2.5 yard per carry average.
Against the Chiefs, Ryan Fitzpatrick was was the team leading rusher racking up 50 yards on broken plays. Jackie Battle was next with 6 attempts and 38 yards. The only problem is that 37 of those came on a single play.
Say what you will about the Titans record, and the injury to Jake Locker, but the team is not doing what it was built to do. This team was built around the offensive line and being able to run the ball at will.
If you give any NFL coach the ball at the one yard line and 4 tries to score a touchdown, they would and should bet the mortgage they could get in. You have two options here. Get creative or just sheer power.
The Titans tried both 2 times each and failed each time.
With a handcrafted offensive line, big blocking tight ends, and bruising runner like Jackie Battle, there should be no reason you can't pick up one yard on four attempts. None.
Instead of the Titans controlling the line of scrimmage, it was the Chiefs that did so. The Chiefs proved to be every bit the team the Titans had billed themselves as becoming.
The decision to go for it was the right one at the time. The Titans inability to impose their will, on the goal line, at home, is what must be fixed.
The Titans may very well turn into a different type of team than they set out to be. If they're winning, that fact could be easily overlooked. If they're losing, it won't be soon forgotten.