Titans vs. Jaguars: Winners and Losers for NFL Week 12
Another major disappointment slammed that window shut with force as the Titans lost to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, 24-19.
Unless there's still a miracle to be played out for the Titans this season, it's time to start thinking about how this team can get better for 2013.
There were some guys who really stepped up in a nice way against the Jags, but there were also some repeat offenders that cost this team.
Winners: Titans Receivers
Seven different players caught a pass against the Jags, with four of them going for over 40 yards.
It's unfortunate that it came in a loss, but it was nice to see a balanced passing attack return for the Titans.
Damian Williams had a season-high in receiving yards with 46, while Jared Cook finally got the attention he deserves in the passing attack with eight targets.
Cook did have a drop to go to his credit, but those are to be expected from time to time.
Kendall Wright looked solid with his yards after the catch, and Kenny Britt made a nice catch late in the game to give the Titans a chance.
If the Titans are going to make any kind of significant push in the AFC within the next few years, then this group of receivers is going to have to start making some progress as a unit. Progress was made against the Jags.
Loser: Jake Locker
It's tough to say this, but Jake Locker took a step back against the Jags.
Don't be deceived by the 261 passing yards. Locker struggled to find his accuracy for much of the day, and it ultimately sealed the Titans' fate late in the game on an overthrown ball.
Far too many times, the Titans settled for field goals instead of touchdowns, and Locker deserves at least some of the blame for that.
Locker still has plenty of time to develop into a great quarterback for this franchise, but he showed that he's basically going through his rookie season despite it technically being his second year in the league.
There were some dropped balls that didn't help Locker's cause, but every quarterback has to deal with dropped passes. The fact that Locker could only get the Titans into the end zone once despite all of the red zone opportunities shows that Locker remains a work in progress.
Winner: Rob Bironas
Speaking of settling for field goals, how about some love for Rob Bironas?
Even though Bironas did miss a field goal against the Jags, the guy still needs to be recognized for how reliable he generally is.
Bironas is now 20-for-24 with a long of 53 yards on the season.
If it wasn't for Bironas, the Titans would've been eliminated from the playoff picture way before this game against the Jags.
The Titans settle for field goals far too often, but at least Bironas usually assures the Titans put something on the scoreboard when they enter the opponent's territory.
Loser: Mike Munchak
This was a game that Mike Munchak had to have to quiet down all the talk about his job security after this season.
Losing to what is widely considered the worst team in the NFL in the Jaguars will certainly not help his cause in the eyes of Titans owner Bud Adams.
We saw a Titans team that just couldn't get over the hump against a team that they have more talent than. Munchak basically even admitted that his team didn't come with the right mindset to win this very winnable game.
That falls on coaching no matter how you slice it.
Unless the Titans have a few upsets under their sleeve, it could mean that two seasons is all we see from Munchak as the Titans head coach.
Winner: Alterraun Verner
Alterraun Verner tallied his second interception of the season against the Jags, but his first since Week 2 against the Chargers.
He also added two pass deflections on the day.
The interception came off a tipped pass and illustrated how much instinct Verner can have in pass coverage.
Verner desperately needed to have a strong game with all of this talk about what the Titans should do with their struggling secondary.
Perhaps this game could go a long way in keeping Verner in a Titans uniform going forward. He still needs to have a few more solid outings to cap off his third NFL season.
Loser: Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson's stats aren't bad at first glance. He had over 100 yards from scrimmage, but he still took a trip back down the road that he was stuck on early in the season.
If you take out his 31-yard run on the Titans' first drive of the game, Johnson had a very mediocre outing.
How can you forget Johnson's rush for a loss of 11 yards? Yes, you read that right. A loss of 11 yards.
Johnson has turned plays like that into big gains in the past, but Johnson has to start realizing that defenses have wised up to his running style.
That rush came at a time when the Titans were down 14-9, with every opportunity to still win the game handily.
Johnson is actually having a solid year, and he has done a nice job silencing a lot of his critics with his recent performances.
However, if Johnson is ever going to be regarded as one of the better running backs in the NFL, then these no-shows against bad teams cannot happen.