Titans vs. Jaguars: Tennessee's 10 Biggest Winners and Losers
The Tennessee Titans decided to play one of their best games of the season in a game that did nothing but hurt their draft stock and probably secure Mike Munchak's job for another season.
In what ended up being a 38-20 blowout, the Titans defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars to finish the 2012 season with a record of 6-10.
There were players from both sides of the ball that played extremely well to keep the Titans from getting swept by the lowly Jaguars.
Here are the winners and losers to close out the the season for the Titans.
Winner: Zach Brown
Zach Brown certainly went out with a bang putting together the best game of his young career.
Brown had two defensive touchdowns to go along with four tackles, three pass deflections and a sack.
The Titans defense has definitely been under scrutiny all season, but it looks like Brown is a bright spot for this young defense going forward.
Now the Titans just need to build around this young talent through free agency this offseason.
Loser: Chris Johnson
Yes, Chris Johnson ran the ball well on the Titans' opening drive that ended in Johnson's sixth rushing touchdown of the season.
Outside of that, Johnson was completely ineffective.
If the Titans were playing anyone half decent, then Johnson's ineffectiveness would've doomed the Titans yet again.
Even though the Titans' offensive line is obviously in shambles due to injuries, that's no excuse for a guy that held the organization hostage just two seasons ago claiming he was the best in the game.
Johnson couldn't even average three yards a carry against the NFL's 31st-ranked rush defense. Things are looking ugly heading into next season after this performance from Johnson.
Winner: Darius Reynaud
Darius Reynaud reserved himself a spot on the roster for next season with his game-changing performance to close out the 2012 season against the Jaguars.
If the Titans aren't smart enough to hold on to him, then he earned himself a spot on someone's roster.
Reynaud has a future in this league as a return specialist, and he did everything he could against the Jaguars to tell the Titans that he's worth keeping around.
Loser: Marc Mariani
It's probably easy to remember how electrifying Marc Mariani was in the return game much like Darius Reynaud was against the Jaguars.
Problem for Mariani is that the NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" kind of league.
This performance by Reynaud will give the Titans organization more to think about on whether or not to keep Mariani.
This was suppose to be a year that Mariani proved himself as a receiver, but we obviously didn't get a chance to see that because of his injury.
Is there still room for Mariani on this team?
Kendall Wright has proven that he's a worthy slot guy, which was where everyone expected Mariani to fit in.
If Mariani doesn't have any value in the return game thanks to the emergence of Reynaud, then unfortunately it could mean that Mariani's time in Tennessee is over.
Winner: Derrick Morgan
The defensive end position for the Titans is widely looked at as one of the team's biggest weak spots, but Derrick Morgan did his best to remind everyone that he's not the problem.
Morgan had two sacks against the Jaguars to finish 2012 with 6.5 sacks overall. That's not a sack total that necessarily jumps out at you, but it's a nice bounce-back year for a former first-round draft pick.
The Titans really need Morgan to pan out if they're gong to climb out of the abyss that holds all of the NFL's worst defenses right now.
A weak pass rush leads to a secondary that can't cover these athletic receivers long enough. Morgan gave some hope for this Titans defense for next season with his performance.
Loser: Jake Locker
It's hard to have any confidence in Jake Locker heading into the offseason after another average performance against a very bad defense in the Jaguars.
Now obviously the Titans have to stick it out with Locker and be patient, but it would've been nice to see a solid outing to close out the season against a weak defense.
Locker was bailed out largely by his defense and special teams unit. If that had not been the case, then the Titans would've been fighting for the lives to avoid a sweep by the Jaguars.
There's a lot riding on Locker to figure this out quickly for next season, and this game didn't remove the doubt in Locker's potential as the Titans' franchise quarterback.
Winner: Collin Mooney
Winners have been hard to come by even in Titans wins this season, but big props go out to Collin Mooney getting promoted from the practice squad and having some productive carries.
Mooney finished with 19 rushing yards in garbage time. With that said, he could've earned himself a spot on the team for next season since Quinn Johnson is becoming a free agent.
It's always nice to see guys make the most of their limited opportunities, and Mooney did that toward the end of the game by running like it was the Super Bowl.
Loser: Jerry Gray
The Titans/Oilers franchise has a rich history, but Jerry Gray coordinated statistically the worst defense in franchise history.
Forget that Zach Brown went off against the horrid Jaguars offense to put a bandage on what was a pathetic defensive performance for much of the season.
Gray oversaw that, and there wasn't much he could do to save his job for next season.
To add onto it, the Titans secondary still had the same problems that plagued them all season. Chad Henne still had nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns.
Keep in mind, this is arguably the worst team in the NFL we're talking about—and they still moved the ball with ease if you take out Brown's unbelievable performance.
Gray is probably gone, and he should be.
Winner: Mike Munchak
Mike Munchak probably already had a stay of execution for next season, but this win over the Jaguars will almost certainly give him one more season to figure this out.
You have to remember that Munchak is highly regarded in this organization, and he very well should be. The guy has done so much for the organization as both a player and a coach.
However, only time will tell if Munchak is the right guy for this job. A loss to the Jaguars to close out an ugly season would've given owner Bud Adams a lot to think about this offseason.
Luckily for Munchak, Adams at least got wins in two of the last three games to close out the season and have more hope in Munchak for the third year of his contract.
Loser: Jordan Babineaux
The Titans gave up a historical amount of points this season, and Jordan Babineaux played a big part in that.
Safety is another position that the Titans really need to upgrade this offseason.
Babineaux was basically nowhere to be found to close out 2012, and it's probably time for the Titans to look elsewhere.
The duo at safety of Babineaux and Michael Griffin cannot continue if the Titans are going to improve, and Babineaux is most likely the odd man out.
He certainly didn't give the organization a reason to think otherwise against the Jaguars.
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