With Tennessee Titans in an 0-2 Hole, Stars Need to Start Shining

Bryan HollisterAnalyst ISeptember 22, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 20:  Jacoby Jones #12 of the Houston Texans catches a touchdown pass while defended by Cortland Finnegan #31 of the Tennessee Titans during the  NFL game at LP Field on September 20, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Texans won 34-31.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Tennessee Titans need to start seeing more of the action like what's in the picture here from their secondary.

Particularly from the guy in the Titans uniform.

Last season, Tennessee reeled off an impressive string of 10 straight victories to start the season. In that span, they established themselves as one of the top defensive units in the league, averaging 299.3 total yards per game, and holding opposing quarterbacks to just 203 yards passing.

Even in their worst game against Green Bay, where they gave up 416 total yards and allowed Aaron Rodgers to put up 314 yards, they managed to outscore their opponent.

In fact, during their 10-game streak, they averaged just over 24 points per game, nearly double what they allowed their opponents.

This year? Not so much.

In two games, they have allowed better than 350 yards per game......passing.

In two games, they have fallen to their opponents by a score of three. Wasn't there something about that number mentioned just a week ago?

In two games, they have been beaten badly by the deep ball.

In two games, they have reversed their fortune from last year, and now look to be 0-3 facing the red hot Jets this weekend.

Don't blame this on the absence of Albert Haynesworth. Jason Jones and company have more than proven they are up to the task of managing the offensive front. Kyle Vanden Bosch and Jevon Kearse may be getting long in the tooth, but they are more than capable of getting to the quarterback and stuffing the run on the edges.

With an average of 49.5 rushing yards per game allowed through week two, the big guys up front are just fine.

No, the problem begins just behind the linebackers.

All four starters in the secondary have been beaten deep. All four have shown an appalling lack of judgement and discipline, jumping play action routes instead of staying home and protecting against the pass.

Or playing soft zones and allowing themselves to be picked apart like buzzards on roadkill. 

Game Two was against Matt Schaub, guys. 357 yards and four touchdowns? For crying out loud, it was MATT SCHAUB! I don't care if it was an interdivision rivalry, it was MATT SCHAUB!

Yes, I know Andre Johnson is a top-tier receiver, but it was MATT SCHAUB, for pete's sake! That would be like putting, well, MATT SCHAUB under center!

It's the same players, but this is NOT the same defensive backfield that helped lead the Titans to a 13-3 overall record in 2008.

Coach Cecil needs to sit these guys down and deliver a message right now. The message needs to go something like this:

300-yard passing games are no longer allowed. ANYONE getting beat deep will get a reminder of why I was the most feared defensive back in my day. Every one of you has a backup; if you don't want to be watching him play your position from the sidelines, you'd better start showing me you deserve to be on the field.

Your responsibility is PASS DEFENSE. The front seven are doing their job, now you do yours.

I don't care how close the games are. There are no moral victories in the NFL.

You win, or you go home.

Time to start winning, guys.