JOE BIDDLE: Titans have to shoulder the blame - WKRN News 2

JOE BIDDLE: Titans have to shoulder the blame

Posted: Updated: Oct 6, 2013 06:26 PM CDT

It was a game of lost opportunities for the Titans.

They slept walked through the first half on offense, rallied to take a brief fourth quarter lead before eventually bowing to the Kansas City Chiefs, 26-17.

There was plenty of blame to distribute, but in the end they have no one to blame but themselves.

The first half was horrific for the offense. They didn't make a first down until their sixth possession of the game. That's five straight possessions without moving the chains. That will cure insomnia.

On their sixth possession, the Titans managed to drive to the Chiefs one-yard line. That's where futility met depression.

First down, running back Jackie Battle was stonewalled for no gain.

Second down, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a pass that was batted and wound up in his hands where he was promptly dropped by Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston at the Chiefs' one.
Third down, Fitzpatrick scrambled, tried to reach the end zone and came up a yard short.

The Titans took a time out, one would think to get a play designed to score. They called on Battle again. The 6-2, 240-pound back was slammed to the ground by two Chiefs and the ball went over on downs.

"We got to get in there, especially if you're on the one-yard line and you've got to push it in there. You just can't have that,'' Walker said.  "We didn't play Titans football.''

Some fans will second-guess the decision to forego a chip shot field goal to go for a touchdown. Munchak made the right decision. How many times in the past did Jeff Fisher settle for field goals instead of touchdowns and lose games? Today's NFL game is a touchdowns game, not field goals.

Besides, this new and upgraded Titans offensive line should be able to push back 36 inches in four attempts.

"We were fortunate to be down 13-0 at halftime,'' Munchak correctly pointed out.

Something or someone did get the Titans' attention in the locker room at intermission. Even those outside the locker room admitted there was a lot of loud noise coming from inside.

"When we came in at halftime, our OC (offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains) was screaming at us and telling us we had to get our heads straight. We went out there and did that, but then we lost it,'' said Titans tight end Delanie Walker. "We got up and it seemed we cooled down. You can't do that. On a good team like that, when you get hot, you got to stay hot.''

The Titans took the halftime message to heart and scored 10 points in the third quarter to pull within three. They actually took a 17-13 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter, but that ended their scoring on a dreary rainy day.

Missed opportunities were too numerous to count on the Titans side. A one-yard touchdown by Jamaal Charles and two Ryan Succop field goals kept the Chiefs undefeated at 5-0 and left the Titans a game above .500 at 3-2.

Again, the Titans only have to look in the mirror for the answers. This is one they will want back at the end of the season.

"This one hurts because we know we can play a lot better,'' Munchak said. "There were plays there to make and we didn't.''

A trip to Seattle is next. It doesn't get any easier.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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