Wilson Post Blogs
Monday hangovers for Titans and Ryder Cup team
I wonder who had the worst hangover Monday -- our Ryder Cup team or the Titans?
At least the Titans have 14 more games to play. The Ryder Cup team has two years to stew on the Medinah Massacre.
The team in two-tone blue finished September at 1-3, no better, no worse than predicted.
While everyone is focusing on who the Titans quarterback will be this Sunday in Minnesota, they need to be focusing on finding someone who can tackle opponents.
Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray’s matador defense has given up a total of 151 points in four games as the Titans rank next to last in the NFL in total defense.
Coach Mike Munchak might consider moving back the time on his weekly Monday afternoon press conferences so he can finish counting the missed tackles, or perhaps get Gray to give him a hand.
In Sunday’s loss to the rival Texans, safety Michael Griffin and Jordan Babineaux both missed tackles at critical times.
The Texans took the opening kickoff and marched 77 yards like they were late to lunch. It took only seven plays. They made it look ridiculously easy with two big gainers through the air in the first three plays. The Titans defense never got them in a third down situation before it was 7-0.
“We are where we are and we are who we are at this point in the season and all we can do from here on is to continue to progress and continue to get better,’’ cornerback Jason McCourty said after the game.
“The season is not going to stop four us and no one is going to feel sorry for us.’’
Missed tackles are only part of the problem for the Titans defense.
They are not getting enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They rank No. 30 in the NFL in sacks per pass attempt at 4.11 percent. They have recorded six sacks in four games.
They are also 29th in interception rate at 0.68 percent according to NFLGSIS.com’s website.
Opponents score a NFL high average of 37.8 points a game while the Titans are averaging just over 10 points a game.
That math adds up to 1-3 as they move on to Minnesota, a team that is 3-1 and leading the NFC North.
You look at the Titans defense and there is no superstar. There is no Keith Bulluck to lead the defense on the field. There is no Albert Haynesworth, no Jevon Kearse, to scare quarterbacks. Not even close.
They can’t get to the quarterback and they can’t tackle the running backs on the first contact.
They are No. 31 in total defense and something has to change in a hurry if they are going to dig out of the hole they created.
They might start by learning how to tackle. That’s like rebounding in basketball. It takes toughness and desire to stick your nose in there. Yes, it’s a dirty job, but it’s a job that has to be done.
It’s a no-name defense that is getting no results. Yes, it was a one-touchdown game at halftime against the Texans. And yes, Houston scored two of its touchdowns on interceptions. So a lot of blame goes to the offense there.
This is going to be a work in progress on both sides of the ball.
They need to upgrade the talent level and that takes time. And hard work.