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Undefeated talk not for Titans yet

Undefeated talk not for Titans yet

Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 4:46 pm
By: By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tony Brown’s mailman tells him the Titans might need to lose a game. Right guard Jake Scott doesn’t think it’s ever good to lose a game.
And the growing talk of whether Tennessee can go undefeated? Well, it’s still November and way too early for such discussions.
“We’ve got 10 wins,” Scott said Monday. “That’s a lot. To go undefeated, we’d have to win nine more. We’re just a little over halfway. You’re not even in that ballpark yet.”
So much for comparing unbeaten NFL teams to the 1972 Miami Dolphins anymore. Thanks to New England’s 18-0 run into the Super Bowl last year, the new standard for perfection is 19-0 capped with a Super Bowl victory. It’s still too soon to start measuring up these Titans to last season’s Patriots, although they do take one lesson from that team.
“It definitely gives you that realization no one’s going to lay down for you in this league,” Scott said. “You can show up at the Super Bowl 18-0, no one’s going to lay down and let you win the game. You have to earn it.”
That is how the Titans have become only the 11th team since 1970 to win their first 10 games, the third team to do so in the past four seasons. Seven of the first 10 reached the Super Bowl with five winning. Scott has played for two of those teams, starting 13-0 with Indianapolis in 2005. He can offer up an important reminder to his new teammates in handling this start.
He recalled how the Colts lost in the playoffs to Pittsburgh, having eased up a bit too much after clinching the AFC South and home-field advantage early in the regular season.
“We let some mistakes we made in that game slide by … It came back and kind of bit us. That’s something you kind of have to watch out for at the end of the season when you’re playing Week 14, 15, 16 and 17. You’ve got to still make sure you’re evaluating your own performance honestly and make sure you’re still getting better,” Scott said.
The Titans did just that Sunday in Jacksonville in the first of three games in 11 days. They missed tackles, couldn’t keep drives going, turned the ball over just short of the goal line and picked up seven penalties — all in the first half. At halftime, they decided to quit hurting themselves. The result was impressive.
Trailing 14-3 — their biggest deficit this season — the Titans got going. Kerry Collins hit all four passes for a TD drive, the defense forced the Jaguars three-and-out and Collins found Justin Gage three plays later for a 56-yard TD toss that was Tennessee’s longest pass play of 2008 for the lead.
Tennessee held Jacksonville to 84 yards in the second half, and Collins clinched the win with another perfect pitch and catch to Gage on a 38-yarder and a 24-14 win.
“It really felt like we crossed a bridge, especially (Sunday) in face of a little adversity,” Brown said.
It’s the third time in four games that the Titans have trailed an opponent, and coach Jeff Fisher said they have some corrections to make. Still, not bad for a team missing two defensive starters in end Kyle Vanden Bosch and cornerback Nick Harper and who lost replacement starting cornerback Eric King to a broken forearm.
Third-string cornerback Chris Carr picked off a pass while still returning kicks and punts. Fisher praised Carr’s effort and still managed to joke another injury at that spot would’ve sent him to assistant coaches Marcus Robertson and Chuck Cecil for help.
The Titans have a four-game lead in the AFC South with six to play, three games in the race for home-field advantage. They host Brett Favre and the New York Jets (7-3) on Sunday with Pittsburgh (7-3) visiting on Dec. 21. Of the final six games, three teams currently have losing records.


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