Mulling over mistakes not for Titans with Colts up on Thursday
Posted: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 6:10 pm
By: By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE (AP) — The NFL schedule is a mixed blessing for the Tennessee Titans.
A quick turnaround means they don’t have a full week to mull over how bad they are right now coming off their worst loss this season. But they also don’t have much time to fix an offense that hasn’t scored a touchdown in 13 quarters or rest up a defense that gave up a season-worst 258 yards rushing.
Peyton Manning and Indianapolis (6-6) come to town Thursday night.
Coach Jeff Fisher spent Monday trying to speed up the body clocks for his Titans, but it won’t be easy because he has a lot of players who haven’t been through such a quick turnaround. Tennessee has just four days between games and is coming off a fifth-straight loss after losing 17-6 to Jacksonville.
“The most important thing for this team right now is not to dwell on the mistakes,” Fisher said. “Bo Scaife doesn’t need to dwell on the drop. He didn’t drop it on purpose, but he needs to come back and make the next catch. That was the points that were made this morning. We had a lot of opportunities.”
The coach continued defending his team. He noted he has been asked several times if his team quit Sunday.
“This team didn’t quit. They didn’t give up a point in the second half. They got a fourth-down stop and blocked a field goal, and they played hard. We just didn’t make the plays,” Fisher said.
The Titans (5-7) had a walkthrough Monday, and focusing on the Colts doesn’t sound as if it will be won’t be a problem.
“The mindset is on to the next one, to tell you the truth,” defensive tackle Jovan Haye said after the game. “We can’t lick our wounds for too long. We’ve got the Colts on Thursday. Five-game losing streak. The only way to stop the bleeding is to win the game.”
Getting some help from the offense would be nice.
The Titans haven’t scored an offensive touchdown since the third quarter of a 29-17 loss to Miami on Nov. 14, and their last lead was 16-13 in the fourth quarter of a 19-16 overtime loss to Washington on Nov. 21. They rank last in the NFL in time of possession, averaging 25 minutes and 32 seconds per game, and were on the field a season-low 20:06 against the Jaguars.
Kerry Collins returned as the starting quarterback and is expected to start against the Colts. That will be the first time since the Titans have had a quarterback start consecutive games since Vince Young, now on injured reserve, started Oct. 10 at Dallas and Oct. 18 at Jacksonville — both wins.
Collins was 14 of 32 for 169 yards with two interceptions, and Fisher counted four or five dropped passes on a cold day. Collins said the team’s confidence is being tested with frustration high.
“When you are struggling a little bit and you have a negative play here and there, then it just becomes magnified and harder to overcome,” Collins said.
The defense could only benefit if the offense can figure out how to stay on the field longer. Chris Johnson had only seven carries for 5 yards a week ago in Houston, and he had 13 for 53 yards against the Jaguars. He also didn’t stick around to talk to reporters after another disappointing performance.
Fisher said the Titans have to get back to doing what they are capable of by running the ball and staying on the field. He also defended his defense for playing hard despite giving up 186 yards rushing to Maurice Jones-Drew.
“These guys are doing some good things considering the way we’re built, the size of our defensive line and the number of plays we’ve played compared to a lot of other defenses,” Fisher said. “It could be two to three games’ worth more of plays at this point of the year, and they’re still fighting.”
The Titans still have postseason hopes — if they win out. Fisher isn’t looking past Thursday night.
“It’s the only way to get the next one,” Fisher said.
Notes: Cornerback Cortland Finnegan won the Titans’ Community Man of the Year for 2010 just a week after being fined $25,000 for his role in a brawl with Andre Johnson.
... The Titans issued an injury report based on if they had practiced Monday. Receiver Kenny Britt is not on the report for the first time since straining his right hamstring Oct. 31. Four players did not practice including DE Dave Ball (hip), DT Tony Brown (right knee), DT Sen’Derrick Marks (right ankle) and CB Ryan Mouton (hamstring). DE Jacob Ford (knee) and DT Jason Jones (shoulder) were limited.