Bears vs. Titans: A Funeral Pyre Is Lit for the 2012 Titans

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistNovember 4, 2012

Three touchdowns by Marshall left the Titans on the turf, unable to rise.
Three touchdowns by Marshall left the Titans on the turf, unable to rise.Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

Heading into Sunday's clash with the mighty Chicago Bears, there was some question as to whether there was any fight left in the 2012 Tennessee Titans.

After a 51-20 whipping that was actually more of a blowout than the score indicated, there is now a definitive answer.

No. They are fresh out of fight in Nashville.

The Bears rode a torrent of big plays, turnovers and special teams boondoggles to 31-5 halftime lead that ballooned to 39 points before Chris Johnson posted a meaningless 80-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to "cut" the lead.

The nightmare started early for the Titans and quickly spiraled out of control.

After the teams traded early punts, the Titans had a punt blocked by Corey Wooten of Chicago, who returned it for a 7-0 lead.

After a Jay Cutler safety, the Titans were unable to move the ball on offense and made the mistake of punting to Devin Hester. The most dangerous return man since Gayle Sayers ripped off a 44-yard return down to the Titans' 8-yard line, and Matt Forte did the honors of finding the end zone one play later.

Within just 37 seconds left in the half, Matt Hasselbeck threw an interception to Brian Urlacher, who ran it back 46 yards for a score. Johnson then fumbled on the Titans' next play, and Jay Cutler found Brandon Marshall for the first of his three touchdown catches to run the score to 28-2.

In just over five minutes, the Titans had surrendered 28 points, aided by just three positive offensive plays by the Bears.

The Titans were out-played, out-schemed, out-coached and out-efforted. Were it possible to be out-outed, they would have been that too.

After a heartbreaking collapse in Week 8, it appears the Titans have completely imploded. With a trip to Miami on the docket before the bye week, Tennessee has one last opportunity to show signs of life before significant changes could come.

While it's unlikely Mike Munchak is worried about his job, defensive coordinator Jerry Gray certainly has to be sleeping with one eye open. The Titans have now allowed a league-worst 308 points on the season.

If the result against Chicago is any indication, the Titans have little left to play for except building a foundation for the future and for individual players and coaches to fight for their jobs.