With the challenging opponents the Tennessee Titans faced in the early part of their schedule, you really can't be too surprised by their 3-5 start.
Now the Titans basically face a do-or-die situation heading into the second half of the season if they're going to make an improbable run to the postseason.
There are still plenty of winnable games left on the schedule, like playing the Jacksonville Jaguars twice.
What the Titans have to focus on is getting plenty of valuable experience from Jake Locker and the rest of the inexperienced roster.
If the Titans can manage another 9-7 season, then that should be considered another modest victory for head coach Mike Munchak in his second season.
For the Titans to even come close to salvaging this season, Chris Johnson has to keep showing steady improvement.
If Johnson finds a way to run for another 100-plus yards against the Bears, then the Titans have a chance at the major upset.
The Titans also have to figure out a way to make life as uncomfortable as possible for Jay Cutler.
Expect a sloppy game in this one, but the Bears defense will most likely be too much for an offense that's still missing one more piece to the puzzle.
Bears 20, Titans 10
This is a game that the Titans should win if they execute, but the problem is that they've failed to execute on several occasions this season.
The Titans don't have to worry about facing a tough crowd when they travel down to South Beach. They just have to worry about a Dolphins defense that is underrated, especially against the rush.
If the Titans take this game lightly, then they'll get embarrassed. However, if they execute a good game plan, then they can steal a road win here.
Jake Locker should be back by this time, and he'll give the Titans a whole new dimension that they've been missing with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback.
Titans 23, Dolphins 20
If the Titans can take care of business against the Dolphins, then they'll have a great opportunity to build another mini winning streak against the Jaguars the following week.
The Jaguars are going through tough times just like the Titans are right now, but they are another team that is capable of winning if the Titans show up sloppy.
Don't forget that the Jaguars lost to the Packers and the Vikings by a combined 12 points.
A big question surrounding this game is whether or not Maurice Jones-Drew will be back by this time. If so, then the Titans will be in another dog fight to stay out of the AFC South cellar.
However, the Titans should get the win if they don't have to deal with Jones-Drew out of the backfield. It seems likely that Jones-Drew will miss this first meeting with the Titans considering most sources are expecting him to miss "multiple games."
If Jones-Drew isn't back by this time, then the Titans can expect Rashad Jennings at running back for the Jaguars.
Titans 27, Jags 20
The big question here is how much will the Texans be playing for at this point? The AFC seems to be the Texans and then the rest of the pack, so it will be interesting to see where the Texans are by this time.
Most likely, the Texans will still be playing for a top seed in the playoffs, so the Titans can expect the best effort from the Texans.
If that's the case, then you really can't give the Titans much of a chance. The Texans have worked hard to get where they're at over the past few seasons, and they're simply the better team.
Texans 33, Titans 17
There isn't much of a gap, if any, between these two teams right now.
If there is a gap, then it's Andrew Luck and his quick maturity as an NFL quarterback.
By this time, Luck will be even more matured, but the Titans have the talent to get a win here. There was a handful of questionable calls that worked against the Titans in their latest loss to the Colts.
The Titans will be probably playing for pride at this point, but the Colts might still be in the hunt. With the pressure off of the Titans at this point, they play spoiler and beat the Colts to open up the month of December.
Titans 28, Colts 24
This is another game that the Titans can easily win if the defense can show up. That's been a big question all season and is a big reason why they're 3-5 through the first half of the 2012 season.
Obviously it's difficult to predict a game like this because Tebow and Mark Sanchez bring completely different elements to the game.
If Tebow is starting, the Titans lose this game. They just don't have a disciplined enough defense to keep Tebow from running all over them.
However, if Sanchez is still the starter, then the Titans can shut him down. The Dolphins just did it, and the Jets receiving corps is full of unproved receivers.
Stephen Hill is starting to make a name for himself, but the Titans should be able to tame the passing game and snag a win if Sanchez is in.
Since I expect Tebow to be starting by this time, I also expect a tough loss for the Titans in a game that means nothing for either team.
Jets 17, Titans 13
What did the Titans do to tick off the schedule makers and land a mid-December visit to the Frozen Tundra?
The Packers may very well be battling for an NFC North crown by this time, so they'll bring their best game to the Titans in this battle.
Unless the Titans pass defense vastly improves over the next month or so, then they stand no chance in this game.
If there's one game on the Titans' remaining schedule that they stand absolutely no chance in, it's this one.
It's not because the Titans won't score points of their own in this one because they will. The problem is that they're not going to score the 30-plus points that the Packers will score in the freezing cold temperatures.
Packers 35, Titans 20
A win against a struggling Jaguars team probably won't relieve the sour taste that will almost certainly be in the mouths of Titans fans everywhere after this game.
Both teams will be eliminated by this point, so bragging rights will be all that matters in this game.
Maurice Jones-Drew has always given the Titans fits during his career, and he should be back by this time. If so, then the Jaguars send the Titans to the offseason on a losing note.
What this season will lead to for the Titans are more questions regarding their defense and their offensive line.
They'll need to make at least one big move in free agency to lift the "rebuilding" tag that's been plaguing the franchise since its last playoff appearance in 2008.
Jags 20, Titans 17
Titans' final 2012 record: 6-10