Sunday, November 4, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Bears 51, Titans 20
By Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Thoughts on the Titans' 51-20 loss to the Bears at LP Field:
What it means: The Titans’ hopes of even a .500 season absorbed another giant dent with a very poor showing against the Bears. If a young team uses its games against top competition as a measuring stick, then this clubbing and the Sept. 30 38-14 loss in Houston show just how far away this team is from matching up with the league’s best.
What I didn’t like: A disastrous first quarter that put the Titans in a 28-2 hole. Overall, the Titans lost four fumbles on offense, threw a pick-6 and had a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown. Kenny Britt, Chris Johnson, twice, Craig Stevens and Jared Cook couldn’t hold on to the ball against a defense notorious for forcing turnovers -- incredibly disappointing for a team looking to bounce back from last week’s disheartening loss to the Colts. Chicago cornerback Charles Tillman forced four of the Titans’ five offensive fumbles.
Can’t handle him: The Titans had no answers for Chicago’s No. 1 receiver, Brandon Marshall. After each of his three touchdowns, defenders turned to look at each other or officials to question the help that never arrived. Marshall finished with nine catches for 122 yards.
Injury concern: Kendall Wright suffered a sprained right elbow and didn’t return to the game. If he misses time going forward, it’s a blow to the Titans' depth with their weapons and will slow down his growth. The progress of kids is one of the few things the Titans can be encouraged about and sell right now.
Hard to stomach: The Bears take a lot of fans on the road and there are plenty of them who live in and near Nashville, too, but the Titans couldn’t have been pleased with the chants and cheers for the visitors throughout the game.
What’s next: The Titans travel to Miami to face the Dolphins, a surprising playoff contender halfway through their season. Will Jake Locker be ready to return from his shoulder injury or will the young quarterback wait until after the bye to return to action for Tennessee?