Last Sunday was stunning. The outcome was not surprising in the slightest--this is an abominable football team-- but I cannot believe that professional football players would want to put that level of effort on film. Considering the fact that a new head coach, and probably a new General Manager will be running the team in a matter of weeks, I can't believe players would put that on film. That's the Titans for you, though. Things don't get any easier for the team as they travel to New England on Sunday. A look at why the Titans will drop another one:
Reasons For Confidence: 1 Step Closer
1 Step Closer: Yes, there is one reason for confidence going into this game, and it is an important one in regards to the future of this franchise. When the Titans lose this game, they will fall to 3-11, putting them one step closer to firing Ruston Webster, and one step closer to the first overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Reasons For Concern: Secondary Injuries, Titans' Wide Receivers, Something vs. Nothing
Secondary Injuries: While this is something that has been well documented for weeks, it will be even more on display this weekend. The Titans' defense has really fallen apart in the past month, partly due to injuries in the secondary and to Derrick Morgan. Teams have been mainly attacking a free agent cornerback that the team signed off the street a month ago in B.W. Webb, who was active on Sunday over Ruston Webster's third round pick, Blidi Wreh-Wilson. Expect Tom Brady to do the same. If that isn't enough, starting safety Da'Norris Searcy injured his hamstring last Sunday, just in time for the team's matchup with arguably the greatest tight end of all time in Rob Gronkowski.
Titans' Wide Receivers: As cliche as it may sound, Bill Belichick's bread and butter from a gameplanning standpoint is taking away the opposing team's best player. It would not be a surprise at all to see the team do everything in its power to take Delanie Walker out of the game. Assuming they will be successful, this will place even more on the Titans' receivers to win their matchups, which is something they have not been able to do all season long. That will continue on Sunday, considering that this is the worst group of wide receivers in the NFL. It was already a poor group at the beginning of the season when Ruston Webster decided that it would be a good idea to replace Nate Washington with Harry Douglas, and leave Douglas as one of four receivers on the entire roster. Two of the others were Dorial Green-Beckham, who hadn't played football in a year, and Justin Hunter, who was widely considered a bust going into the season, and hadn't shown anything to instill confidence. Then, as a surprise to only Ruston Webster, injuries happened in the NFL, and what was already a poor and thin group turned into an absolute atrocity. Anyway, yes, the Titans wide receivers will struggle on Sunday.
Something vs. Nothing: Yes, technically professional athletes always have something to play for. However, after the Titans put together one of the worst efforts that I have ever seen on a football field at a professional level, one has to wonder why they would get up for this game. They are traveling to New England in December in a game that everyone and their grandmother knows that they will not win. After quitting last Sunday, it became obvious that this team is as ready for the season to be over as I am. The Patriots, however, are playing for playoff positioning, and want to be playing their best football headed into the tournament.
Prediction: The Patriots are better than the Titans in every single aspect imaginable. After last week's embarrassing effort, there is no reason to believe that this team will turn around and play inspired football. Even if they did, it would simply mean that they would lose by two touchdowns instead of four. Patriots win a laugher, 35-13.