After a historic 59-0 loss to the Patriots filled with dropped balls, missed tackles, turnovers, and penalties, Jeff Fisher had this to say about his team, “Sure, I mean, it looks bad out there, but believe me, it could be worse. What if it were five quarters long? What if they didn’t pull Brady?
"Heck, we’re lucky they have an end zone, Moss would still be running.”
The Tennessee fan base remained unconvinced by the coach’s “silver lining” post-game commentary. Everyone in Tennessee is confused by the first to worst turn.
“When you come into the year with high expectations, it’s really disappointing and shocking when you lose,"said Fisher. "We opened with a tough road 13-0 loss to the Super Bowl champion Steelers, and were really surprised by it. It wasn’t something we expected. Then we lost a high-scoring affair to the Texans, and then I forget who we lost to after that.
"But you know, just like anything else, it’s become a habit.”
Losing games by successively larger totals from three to seven to 20 to 22 and now 59, the Titans players clearly have regressed to the point where their grip on basic facts is escaping them.
“I don’t think anyone in this league is 59 points better than us,” said tight end Bo Scaife.
When the reporter referenced the game they had just played at Foxboro, Scaife just looked confused and disoriented.
Even the opposition was surprised by the lack of effort and execution.
“You never go into a game thinking it’s going to be like this,” commented Patriots coach Bill Belichick, “I guess it was just our day.”
Then reflecting a moment, he added, “In fairness, they were playing without Nick Harper, Cortlan Finnegan, not to mention any heart or ability.”
After suffering the insult of having the Patriots pull Brady, the Titans were then shredded by rookie quarterback Brian Hoyer, who completed nine of 11 passes for 54 yards and a score.
Of his professional debut, Hoyer had this to say, “I keep hearing about how the speed is different on the NFL level and there’s going to be a lot more defensive pressure, but I’m pretty sure I saw more elaborate coverage playing Northwestern.”
The only two Titans to break ranks with their team and actually play hard were Chris Johnson, who rushed for 128 yards of the 186 yards of total offense, and starting middle linebacker Keith Bulluck, who led the team with 14 tackles.
Bulluck, a team captain, said he should have seen this coming.
“I saw guys practicing their best ‘slip and fall’ and ‘half step’ all week. I just thought it was a new touchdown dance.”
When asked about Bulluck’s comments, fellow linebacker Maurice Simmons just shook his head and said, “I don’t know why Bulluck’s got to put that out there. I mean, he has no respect for the art form. I mean, it’s not easy to go out on national TV, know you’re going to be filmed and still half-step it.
"You got to make that look just right so that you lose just enough traction in the snow, let your arms glance off the running back just so. It takes effort. But not as much as making the tackle.”
Asked if there would be changes made after the bye week, Fisher did say they’d review the film, but anticipating what he’d find, just said, “What am I supposed to do? If I bench the quitters on this team, we’d have to forfeit.”
Superstitious fans have suggested that this has to do with the stomping on the “Terrible Towels” or the bad karma Oiler throwback jerseys. But more pragmatic fans are more concerned about the lone bright spot being turning the offense over to Vince Young, whose only completion was to a Patriot.
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