Jekyll and Hyde: What happened to the Tennessee Titans?

Nick Mordowanec@NickMordoCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2009

FOXBORO - OCTOBER 18:  Vince Young #10 of the Tennessee Titans  leaves the field in the fourth quarter during a game against the New England Patriots converse at Gillette Stadium on October 18, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won 59-0. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

At this time last year, the Tennessee Titans looked like a poor-man's equivalent to the ’85 Bears- stingy defense, a quarterback that managed the game, and a long-tenured, well-respected coach. They had not lost a game and looked like an AFC powerhouse.

That was until they ended up losing in the divisional round of the postseason- and since that day- the team has not been the same.

Nor, have they won a game.

Sunday’s drubbing at the hands of the New England Patriots was just another loss in a shocking season for the Titans.

A team picked by many to go deep into the playoffs has started 0-6, all after achieving a 13-3 record last season. In fact, a 31-14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 21, 2008, was the last time the Titans put a ‘W’ in the column. That was also the game in which the Titans playfully stomped all over the Steelers’ “Terrible towel.”

Bad karma? Perhaps.

But stepping on a piece of cloth is the least of the Titans’ worries right now. The defense is atrocious, and an obscenely crazy stat caught my eye: The Titans are ranked 32nd in the NFL in points allowed, where as by the end of last season, the team was ranked second (only behind the Steelers).

And even though the defense has had trouble stopping anyone [Randy Moss looked like he was running routes in practice], the offense has to take some of the blame as well.

Coach Jeff Fisher has stuck with the grizzled veteran, Kerry Collins, through the thick and the thin. You can’t blame Fisher, though; Collins was a great team manager last season, and leading a team to 13 victories is impressive in itself.

But Collins has not gotten the same type of help this year.

The offensive line has been mediocre at best, the running game inconsistent and plays are just not being made. Combine all those factors with Vince Young planting himself at the end of the bench and Jevon Kearse being a healthy cut, and what you’ve got is a team in disarray.

Some have questioned whether Collins is the source of the problem, but not Fisher. He says he will continue to stick with the more experienced QB and give him the opportunity to get the team back on track, making people wonder whether the former Longhorns superstar will ever get another shot in the NFL (or at least for the Titans).

Speaking of Fisher, I don’t believe he is the main contributor to the season his team is having. Fisher is currently the most-tenured coach and has done very well ever since he started coaching Tennessee.

The real problem is the players out on the field, not seeming to give 100 percent every down. It was evident in Sunday’s massacre in the New England snow, and may show up again this year.

The Titans have to go out, play 60 minutes and perform to their capabilities. If they don’t want to salvage this already embarrassing year, the players could at least give their all for Fisher.


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