No matter what people say, divisional games are always tough. The game against the Texans was about as rough as any Titans probably expected. As Titans fan I think we all kind of knew to be more cautious heading into this game for the sole reason that divisional games can always be weird no matter how good one team is compared to the other team. The loss to the Texans was a perfect example of this as the Titans fall at home 22-13. Now there a lot of question marks surrounding this team right now and I think going forward we need to have discussions on these questions.
First take, the offense was absolutely atrocious. We all knew that the offense wasn’t the same the last two games without Derrick Henry but this offensive performance was an all-time low for this team. Tannehill played his worst game as a Titan throwing 4 interceptions and being unable to carry this team when they needed it most. Now look, I know that not all the blame is on Tannehill but as the quarterback he has to shoulder a majority of the blame; that’s just the nature of the position. As the quarterback when our other star players are hurt and or not playing well Tannehill has to step up and overcome those struggles and he couldn’t. I understand there are a multitude factors working against Tannehill but against a very bad Texans team I expected more from Tannehill. Look, I know that AJ Brown left the game and got hurt as did Marcus Johnson, he didn’t have Julio or Derrick, the tight ends didn’t offer much either (Swain our best tight end the last couple of weeks was out), the offensive line is inconsistent and nobody really gave him any help but he needs to be able to muster something better than the performance he did. Heck, last week Tannehill was battling an illness and might still be but he’s just got to do better. At very least not set the offense back by throwing interceptions regardless of whether those picks were on him or not. Speaking of interceptions, I’ve mentioned multiple times previously that the interceptions are highly uncharacteristic of Tannehill as he usually takes very good care of the ball. But, for some reason he’s throwing interceptions left and right this season. There is nothing to say but that Tannehill has to take better care of the ball, simple as that. Also, the intentional grounding before half time was a horrible decision by Tannehill that cost this team at least 3 points. Had that penalty not happen those 3 potential points could’ve really kept this team in this game. As bad of a performance yesterday by Tannehill let’s try to remember he was fighting an uphill battle. I’m not ready to dismiss him based on one bad performance but this performance has me really questioning his ability to carry a team as this is the third week in a row now where the offense failed to show up and it ended up costing this football game.
The rest of the offense played pretty much as bad as Tannehill did. There is no running game to balance out the passing game and our receivers are dropping like flies to injuries. The failed fourth down conversion was inexcusable. Our lack of effort into finding a tight end continues to shred us as the current tight ends on the roster offer little to nothing. Chester Rogers who is usually reliable on special teams gave up a blimp that gave the Texans free points. Overall, the offense reached an all-time low and they better have a game plan for next week when this team travels to Foxborough.
On the defensive side of the ball, I felt the same eerie lack of urgency that I had last week. Last week the defense played well in the first half but began to fold in the second half. Yesterday it was the opposite. Towards crunch time the defense was able to get multiple stops and put the offense in a position to win us the game but many times the offense failed. We all know the defense is missing many key starters as well such as Janoris Jenkins and Bud Dupree but like last week it felt that they lacked urgency in trying to stop the Texans. We’ve seen this defense blossom into an absolute dominant unit but the lack of consistency tells me that they are not great yet but just good.
Lastly I wanted to address the injuries of this team. It finally felt that the injuries caught up to us. As the most injury-riddled team in the league I can understand that we probably lost one too many guys for the team to really show its dominance but regardless of who’s on the field or not the 11 guys on the field need to play better and that starts with coaching. Vrabel, Bowen, and especially Downing need to be able to do something with what they have left. Suddenly the rest of the season doesn’t look so easy anymore with trips to New England and Pittsburgh as well with match-ups against a hot 49ers team and a rebounding Dolphins team on the horizon. The bye week cannot get here soon enough as this team desperately needs that break.