Frustration all around following Titans’ loss
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 7:00 pm
By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE (AP) — Kenny Britt thinks the Titans could have thrown more passes deep. Tight end Jared Cook reportedly is upset enough that he wants a trade.
And Tennessee only had 10 defenders on the field not once, but twice, while giving up the tying touchdown drive.
The Titans are not happy, and coach Mike Munchak hopes they’re all frustrated at being 3-5 after a 19-13 overtime loss to Indianapolis because they all can do more.
“You’re 3-5, that’s not good enough, and that includes every one of us,” Munchak said. “Frustration, it means work your way through it, and let’s find a way to turn this around and get to 5-5. So I think that’s more where the frustration should be used. Find a way to become a better player and a better team.”
Munchak also downplayed the report of Cook wanting a trade, saying he didn’t know anything about it and wouldn’t comment. He noted Cook is their second-leading receiver, tied with Nate Washington with 28 catches, and someone they need to win.
“This is not the time for those things,” Munchak said.
With nine AFC teams between 4-3 and 3-5 not counting division leaders, the Titans still have hope at the midpoint of the season. But they must fix their struggling defense that not even a two-game winning streak could disguise. They are young and have a no margin for error.
The Titans had just 10 defenders on the field during the Colts’ 80-yard drive to tie it at 13 with 3:24 left. Munchak noticed the problem on fourth-and-1 at the Titans 8 and couldn’t get a timeout called before they gave up a 7-yard run. The coach said it happened a second time during that drive, too.
Asked if that was something the players should have noticed first, Munchak said, “You would hope so.”
The Titans ran only 59 offensive plays. The Colts had 76 and rolled up 457 yards counting the 80-yard drive for the winning TD in overtime.
But Tennessee won its previous two games by making key plays late, and thought it recovered a fumble to set up a winning field goal with 26 seconds left in regulation Sunday.
Officials called forward progress being stopped on Dwayne Allen when Colin McCarthy was tackling him, even though the Allen had not gone backward when linebacker Akeem Ayers stripped the ball. Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner recovered at the Indianapolis 28, and Tennessee started celebrating.
Munchak said that will be among the plays the Titans send to the NFL, along with an offensive pass interference that wiped out a touchdown. Verner said he didn’t understand the rule, but that it wouldn’t do him any good to look it up now.
“We all still feel it’s a fumble,” Verner said. “That’s the call they made, and we have to live with it.”
Of course, Colts interim coach Bruce Arians thought officials made “a dang good call” and said he heard a whistle stopping the play.
“You’d have felt terrible had we lost the game there,” Arians said.
Britt said they knew going into the game that the crew headed by referee Al Riveron called the most offensive penalties in the NFL last season and he should have been smarter. But he was flagged for two pass interferences in the first half. Britt also wanted more deep passes with Colts cornerback Vontae Davis spraining his left knee on the opening drive.
“Everybody’s just anxious to get back out there and do their job and ready to get this turned around …” Britt said. “Everybody’s frustrated at losing a close game like that. All the games we won so far were overtime or close games. … We believe we could’ve made it happen.”
The Titans now have to get over it quickly with Chicago (6-1) visiting Sunday.
Veteran Matt Hasselbeck will start his fifth straight game while the Titans wait for Jake Locker’s shoulder to heal enough that doctors clear him to return to full practice. Locker dislocated his left, non-throwing shoulder for the second time in four games on Sept. 30, breaking a piece of bone in the front of the shoulder.
The Titans visit Miami on Nov. 11 before their bye week, so they might give Locker that time to further heal.
“We’re not making decisions too far out,” Munchak said. “It’s more just a day-to-day thing now.”
NOTES: Munchak said left tackle Michael Roos will practice this week after snapping his 119-game consecutive starts streak against the Colts due to an appendectomy last week. … The Titans were waiting to see what an MRI exam on right guard Leroy Harris’ right knee found after he was hurt on the opening drive and missed the rest of the game. … Munchak said he expects right tackle David Stewart might miss some practice but should be ready against the Bears.
AP Sports Writer Michael Marot in Indianapolis contributed to this report.
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Published in The Messenger 10.30.12