NFL Wire News

Titans end season with another bad loss


NASHVILLE — The disaster is complete for the Tennessee Titans, who ended the 2014 season with just two victories and the second overall pick in the 2015 draft.

That disastrous ending included a 10-game losing streak to close the year, including several games where the Titans were not even competitive. Sunday’s 27-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts was one of those games.

While Andrew Luck and some of the Colts other starters were finished by halftime on Sunday, it was embarrassing in some ways to see Indianapolis lengthen its lead with backups in the game and the Titans unable to do anything to mount any sort of offensive threat.

Even worse, the Titans at the end of the game lost quarterback Charlie Whitehurst to a shoulder injury after he was mauled on a sack by Jonathan Newsome. It made Whitehurst the third Titans quarterback to be lost to a shoulder injury this season after being crushed on a sack, as he joined Zach Mettenberger and Jake Locker on the shelf and watched Jordan Palmer, signed off the street a couple of weeks ago, mop up in the loss.

When asked at his Monday season wrap-up, coach Ken Whisenhunt hunt was reluctant to discuss any common threads that might exist — other than shoulder injuries — of the quarterbacks being knocked out on hits by opposing defenders.

“Football’s a tough game. It’s a physical game. That’s the way it happens sometimes,” Whisenhunt said.

That’s true, especially when adjustments aren’t made in the protections to account for the fact that backup offensive linemen, some of whom were signed off the streets in mid-season, are in rather than bonafide starters.

One of the big criticisms of Whisenhunt’s staff was their lack of flexibility in making in-game adjustments and adjusting to the personnel on hand. The coach said that was not the case.

“I think we’ve always been flexible in the systems that we’ve run, and we try to adapt them based off of what personnel that we have and how we’re doing things,” Whisenhunt said. “You have to have a core system that you believe in as far as how you’re going to do things. I do believe in that. I believe in how we approach, how we work, what we’re looking to get out of it.

“For instance, you do have to change it based off of your personnel and what the strengths and weaknesses of your personnel are, and that’s something that you always look at. I’m always looking to get better, to change. You always come up with new ideas and new things during the course of an offseason.”

At least now, he has several months to come up with those new ideas.


PASSING OFFENSE: F — Charlie Whitehurst did not complete a pass longer than 10 yards and finished just 12 of 28 for 72 yards on the day. He did, however, have one touchdown.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B — The best it has been in two months, thanks to 94 yards from Shonn Greene, who might not be back next season. The Titans rushed for 142 yards Sunday, topping 100 yards as a team for the first time since Oct. 5.

PASS DEFENSE: F — Andrew Luck burned them for two touchdowns in the first half and then Matt Hasselbeck victimized them in the second half. The Titans had very little in the way of a pass rush and the play was typical of their season.

RUSH DEFENSE: B — The Colts aren’t known for running the football, and the Titans did well here, holding them to 64 yards on the day. Where was that type of effort from the Titans defense, say, 12 weeks ago?

SPECIAL TEAMS: A — Ryan Succop made his only field-goal attempt and Brett Kern unleashed a 79-yard punt that tied a franchise record. The return team had one good run from Leon Washington into plus territory on a kickoff and penalties were kept to a minimum.

COACHING: F — The Titans just didn’t seem to be able to keep up with the Colts offense, especially through the air, and Tennessee’s offense was unable to put much together anything in the way of sustained offensive drives.

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