Titans vs. Chargers: 5 Things We Learned from Tennessee's 38-10 Loss

Chad MintonCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2012

Titans vs. Chargers: 5 Things We Learned from Tennessee's 38-10 Loss

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    Since the NFL switched to its current playoff format in 2002, just around 12 percent of teams starting 0-2 have made the playoffs.

    The Titans will now be hoping that they become part of that small percentage if they want to end their playoff drought.

    Simply put, the Titans got completely outplayed by Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers.

    It wouldn't be hard to figure out that there are several negative things to pull from this game and very few positives going forward.

Mike Munchak Has Virtually Given Up on Run Game

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    Not only is the production not there for Chris Johnson, but the carries are gradually decreasing as well.

    There were numerous times that Mike Munchak and Chris Palmer elected to go with a pass play on down and distances that were well suited for a run.

    Johnson had just eight carries despite actually running the ball a lot better than last week. It was very puzzling to see Johnson get so few touches when the game was very much in reach.

    The game didn't get completely out of reach until early in the fourth quarter. With that being said, the run game cannot be abandoned by this coaching staff no matter how bad it is struggling.

    Maybe they should take a page out of the way the Chargers handled their own woes in the rushing department. They brought in Jackie Battle in the second half and he really made a difference.

    Not only was Johnson used very little, but none of the other Titans running backs were even given a chance to change the pace of the game.

    Who's to say Jamie Harper couldn't have provided that same spark?

    Similar results will continue to plague the Titans if Locker is forced to run a one-dimensional offense.

Colin McCarthy Is Vital to This Defense

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    Colin McCarthy became an unlikely leader of the defense as a rookie late last season, and it showed today how important he is to this team.

    The Titans linebackers were burned all day by the tight ends of the Chargers. It became like target practice for Rivers in the second half.

    Will Witherspoon really struggled in coverage on Chargers tight end Donte Rosario, who ended up with three touchdowns on the day.

    Zach Brown also showed his inexperience in coverage as he was inserted in to make up for McCarthy's absence.

    The Titans need McCarthy back next week or the same thing could end up happening against the Detroit Lions between Matthew Stafford and Brandon Pettigrew next week .

Too Much Inexperience on Both Sides of the Ball

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    We knew heading into this season that the Titans were going to endure a lot of growing pains, and that is exactly what has happened in the first two games.

    You saw two elite quarterbacks right out of the gate for this young defense to handle, and both Tom Brady and Philip Rivers reminded this young Titans defense why they're considered elite.

    It's basically a baptism-by-fire situation right now for players like Zach Brown, Akeem Ayers, Mike Martin and Coty Sensabaugh.

    The offense is also largely inexperienced, with the result being just 23 points in two games.

    You're seeing very little chemistry from this offense with a young quarterback throwing to a group of receivers that has just one guy with five-plus years of experience.

    If there's any silver lining in this ugly start to the 2012 season for these young players, it's the fact that they're getting valuable experience that should leave them better prepared later on this season.

Jake Locker Is Forcing the Issue

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    It was probably one of the more frustrating games of Jake Locker's football life as he completed just half of his passes.

    Locker is starting to force things that aren't there. We saw it in the loss to the New England Patriots, and we saw it again against the San Diego Chargers.

    It doesn't help Locker's cause that the run game has become completely unreliable.

    Locker rushed many of his throws and it led to an offense that is struggled to even get a first down. He really has to start taking what defenses give him rather than going for the highlight reel every time.

    A big part of that is his inexperience, and Locker will continue to grow in that department as the season progresses.

    Many believed this was the reason why Matt Hasselbeck would've been a better option to start the season, but you have to stick it out with your franchise quarterback now.

Kendall Wright Needs the Ball in His Hands

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    Kendall Wright was one of the few bright spots in this 28-point loss to the Chargers.

    His numbers don't jump out at you, but all you need to see is his 15-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter to know how special this guy is going to be.

    Wright also made a great catch on the sideline where he was led too much out of bounds by Locker.

    The Titans really have to start utilizing this guy more in space to let him get those crucial yards after the catch. Especially for an offense that is struggling to move the ball on the ground.

    Wright's speed definitely makes him a deep threat, but getting him into open space on short routes will give this offense a chance to start eating up some yards.