Another tough game to watch for Browns fans. While most seemed surprised at the blow-out, if you look at their schedule up until now (Jets, Colts, Bengals), it’s only going to get harder as the season progresses. Visions of an 0-16 record loom large in the minds of even die hard fans. And the fear that getting the first pick in the draft (again) will only bring disappointment as the front office seems to struggle with player selection and analytics is very real.
Week after week fans see players the Browns released making plays, like wide recievers Willie Snead in NO or Travis Benjamin in Los Angeles for the Chargers. They see players they passed on in the draft wining games; quarterbacks Carson Wentz PHI and Deshaun Watson HOU being the most popular benchmarks so far. And they question the ability of the front office – and analytics – to put together a football team. Rightfully so.
When your team loses this bad, it makes you overthink everything. How in the world could they just play so bad for four quarters and not make any adjustments to turn the tide? I hope the team regroups and reassembles and rises out of the ashes like a phoenix. Or like an NFL team with a will to win like the team that played against the Seattle Seahawks last week.
The tone of the game was set right from the start when quarterback Marcus Mariota threw a pass that was intercepted by Texan safety Andre Hal in the first quarter. Except for the two touchdowns Mariota ran in himself, there just were not many plays by the Titans that were anything to get excited about.
Mariota suffered a hamstring injury during his second touchdown run and did not return to the game. Matt Cassel was in at QB in the second half of the game and this was not a good look at all. Cassel had three turnovers and zero points…the turnovers added 13 points for the Texans. Lawd, have mercy, what a mess.
I kept hoping that the Titans would get a run game going, that running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry would be able to get some touchdowns since Cassel wasn’t exactly throwing the football where he needed to be throwing it, but it wasn’t to be.
The Titans defense had no answer to the Texans’ rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson who had five touchdowns. Embarrassing. The Titans didn’t seem to have an answer to the Houston’s wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins either. Tennessee rookie cornerback Adoree Jackson had a rough time covering Hopkins (maybe the height difference hindered him) and why defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau did not move the more experienced cornerback Logan Ryan to cover Hopkins earlier is questionable. The Titans defense was just absent. Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey got his first QB sack this season and safety Kevin Byard got his career first interception, but that was about all folks.
In his Monday press conference, head coach Mike Mularkey revealed that Mariota has a hamstring sprain and may be able to play this Sunday in Miami against the Dolphins. His status is officially “day to day.” In addition to Mariota’s injury, Mularkey said that he doesn’t expect safety Johnathan Cyprien or wide receiver Corey Davis to play this next Sunday due to hamstring injuries.
The Titans are still at the top of the AFC South, 2-2 the same as the Texans and Jags, with the Colts at the bottom. The Titans play the Texans again in December, so the coaching staff has plenty of time to come up with a new plan for that match up.
The Titans are on the road again for their next matchup, traveling to Miami to face the 1-2 Dolphins, who lost to the New Orleans Saints 20-0 last week. So this matchup involves two teams with embarrassing losses that most likely will be trying their best to play hard to save face and get back on top of their game. Per TitansOnline:
We are already on to Miami,” Mularkey said. “We’re trying to get the taste out of our mouths. We have a lot of football left. There’s seven 2-win teams and six 3-win teams and we’re right in the middle of them in this first quarter of the season.”
This fan is ready for all of the Titans players to get healthy and work together as a well oiled machine. This loss was not fun. It hurt to watch the guys out there after allowing a 30-point first half with no adjustments and no answers to the Texans’ pounding. For the December 3 re-match the coaches better have a plan! The Dolphins are up next so time for a total turn around by all three parts of this Titans organization.
Want to talk Titans with Karen? Find her on Twitter @ksc47
In a game where both the offense and defense seemed to struggle, the Patriots pulled out a win on yet another quarterback Tom Brady game winning, game ending drive (the 50th in his career). Brady connected on a 25 yd pass to speedster wide reciever Brandin Cooks, who made a spectacular catch to put the Patriots ahead 36-33 after the successful 2 point conversion attempt, leaving the Texans with 23 seconds left for Houston Texans’ rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson to make something happen. It wasn’t meant to be.
This wasn’t one of the Patriots’ best games, and as I mentioned last week, the Texans’ defense is tough – they’re big and they’re fast, and even with their starting secondary depleted, they managed to give Patriots receivers a difficult time. Thoughts on this game….
The Offensive Line needs to do a LOT better than they did this week. Brady was sacked 5 times in the game on Sunday for a loss of 41 yds, and honestly, every time Brady caught the snap, I was afraid for him. Tackle Nate Solder especially seemed unable to block the quick Texan defense. Not only was Brady sacked, but he was hit 8 times, including a hit taken when guard Joe Thuney was run over on the pass to Cooks for the touchdown.
Running game was virtually shut down by the Texans’ defense. Only 59 yds rushing and no rushing touchdowns. Offensive line play definitely contributed to the problem here.