Sunday, December 8, 2013
Titans produce another second-half dud
By Paul Kuharsky
DENVER -- Three times this year, the Tennessee Titans have taken a surprising lead to the locker room at halftime.
Like they did in Seattle and against Indianapolis, the Titans blew Sunday's halftime lead over the Broncos with a poor second half, losing 51-28 after leading 21-20 at the half.
While the Colts are struggling, they have won the AFC South. Seattle and Denver are Super Bowl favorites.
The Titans have shown they can get out of the gate and play 30 good minutes against such teams. They have shown they can then fall apart.
Collective first halves: Titans 48, Opponents 33.
Collective second halves: Opponents 68, Titans 20.
It begs the question as to whether Titans coach Mike Munchak and his staff have done as well with halftime adjustments as Pete Carroll, Chuck Pagano and John Fox and their staffs have.
Of course it’s the trailing team that has to make the biggest alterations at intermission. Then the team that had the lead has to respond to those adjustments.
Three times the Titans have failed in a big way at that.
“No way in the world we came in this locker room expecting that second half to pan out like that,” receiver Nate Washington said of Denver’s 31-7 second half.
“As a player, I can’t worry about the adjustments being made or not,” defensive tackle Jurrell Casey said. “All I can do is go out there and play football and rely on the coaching staff to make the adjustments they feel are necessary or not. Not looking at film, I don’t know what happened in that second half.”
Maybe I am gerrymandering to pick out these three games. But in a season where the Titans lost to Houston and Jacksonville they needed to find at least one game they were expected to lose and win it to offset the bad loss.
They had chances to do so at the halfway mark in Seattle, against the Colts and at Denver.
“I don’t know if it’s game-planning, I don’t know if they are finding ways to do things that we’re not,” cornerback Alterraun Verner. “At this rate with us being 5-8 you have to say we just haven’t been good enough.”