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Titans receivers make embarrassing history in loss to Chiefs

Tennessee’s pass-catching woes were on full display in Sunday’s loss to Kansas City

NFL: NOV 06 Titans at Chiefs Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans suffered a heartbreaking 20-17 overtime defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football despite possessing the lead for the majority of the second half. Tennessee’s ineffective offense, the passing offense specifically, allowed the Chiefs a window to complete a comeback victory. The Titans’ less-than-desirable supporting cast at wide receiver has come under scrutiny, and rightfully so.

The Titans did not complete a *single pass* to a wide receiver throughout their five-quarter effort against the Chiefs. Tennessee became the fourth team in history to achieve such an embarrassment since 2000. The latest occurred when the New England Patriots played the Buffalo Bills in infamous windy weather conditions last season. In 2020, the Denver Broncos did the same when COVID-19 protocols ruled out their entire quarterbacking room, and QB-turned-receiver Kendall Hinton made an emergency start. The Houston Texans and David Carr did the same in 2002.

Titans rookie quarterback Malik Willis made his second consecutive start. Willis completed 5-of-16 passing attempts for 80 yards. All three of his notable completions were secured by tight ends Austin Hooper and Chigoziem Okonkwo.

What’s Tennessee’s excuse compared to the conditions the Patriots and Broncos were forced to compete in? It adds to the embarrassment experienced by Rob Moore’s unit on Sunday. The Titans rolled out four active receivers. Three of them were Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Chris Conley and Cody Hollister. Westbrook-Ikhine and Conley both dropped opportunities in crucial moments.

Todd Downing’s offense requires receiver help. Perhaps some will soon be arriving. Rookie first-round pick Treylon Burks is eligible to be activated off IR this week. Tennessee needs Burks to be their No. 1 receiver down the stretch. Both Kyle Philips and Racey McMath are nearing returns off IR as well. They’re not superstars, but they’re certainly more effective than what the Titans are currently trotting out. Getting a healthy and available Ryan Tannehill back under center would also provide a solution.