More was said about the New York Jets’ loss than the Tennessee Titans’ win on Monday Night Football in Week 15, despite the fact that each took place in the same game. That pattern is definitely due to a certain bias toward the Jets and their headline-stealing ways, probably a product of the mathematical confirmation of what we all already knew (that New York would miss the playoffs) and maybe because the Titans’ win just wasn’t impressive.
Few moments of the Titans’ season have been.
If the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t make the playoffs, Tennessee won’t have any wins against playoff-bound teams in the 2012 season. Four of its five wins are by a combined 11 points, whereas their nine losses are by an average of 17.3 PPG.
They diagnosed and took steps toward correcting the offense by firing their offensive coordinator, Chris Palmer, but a 17-point average loss margin usually means both sides of the ball are culpable. The defense held the Miami Dolphins to three points, the Jets to 10 points and the Indianapolis Colts to 19 points (in overtime).
Two of those teams are led by rookie QBs and the other has Mark Sanchez under center.
Everyone else has put up at least 23 points on the Titans defense. Something’s definitely got to change on that side of the ball, too—Tennessee is 23rd in total yards allowed on the season and they're also 23rd in total yards gained.
The Titans have scored just 15.7 points per game since firing Palmer—after scoring 21.6 with him as the offensive mastermind. Chris Johnson recorded his fifth consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season in 2012, but he’s been inconsistent (as has Tennessee’s offensive line) on a game-by-game basis.
That’d be okay if Johnson wasn’t making Adrian Peterson money in terms of contract guarantees. He’s not Peterson, and Tennessee will have to determine whether they can afford his services at the end of the season.
They will also have to figure out if Jake Locker is the future of the team at quarterback. He’s in his second year (first as a starter) and there’s still time for him to develop into a scary NFL passer, but Matthew Hasselbeck has outperformed him under center up to this point in the season.
An awful lot of quarterbacks are experiencing success in their first and second seasons. Tennessee is surely hoping for more immediate returns from their franchise quarterback, but he’s not the only guy who has disappointed in 2012.
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