National audience not likely to see a Titans' turnaround Thursday

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 10:49pm

Mike Munchak was atypically concise Monday when he looked ahead to Thursday’s prime-time matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“We know this is our big opportunity to hopefully change the opinion of a lot of people about how we play,” the Tennessee Titans coach said.

Change others’ opinions? Maybe.

Change their own fortunes? That’s another matter.

The Titans have not exactly been regular performers on any of the NFL’s prime-time platforms — Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights — in recent years. In the last five years they have played under the lights 10 times, an average of two per season. The Houston Texans, by comparison, will play their second prime-time game in six days when they host Green Bay on Sunday.

Tennessee has done well in October night games during that stretch but ultimately has done nothing to fuel the kind of turnaround it currently seeks.

In 2004, for example, it was 1-3 when it went to Green Bay and won on a Monday night. After that, though, came two more defeats in what ultimately turned out to be a 5-11 season.

“We just have to play well and win,” Munchak said. “It’s been a couple of weeks, and it’s been two long weeks. Hopefully this week will change that.”

Typically speaking, by this point the Titans are what they are going to be.

In 2008, for example, they won their first six games then hosted Indianapolis in a critical AFC South showdown. They won 31-12 that night and eventually got to 10-0 on their way to a league-best 13-3 regular season record.

In stark contrast they were 0-4 when the following they hosted Indianapolis in a Sunday night contest. They lost by 22, their largest margin of defeat to that point, as a prelude to the epic 59-0 loss at New England the following week.

“There is a fine line between winning and losing in most instances,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. “If you just look at it in terms of plays and plays exclusively, teams are close. There’s probably not much difference between being 1-4 or 2-2 or 3-1 at this juncture. I think we are all still very much teams in development, and we’re writing our stories.

“Every game we play is a dangerous one. We don’t discount anyone.”

Through their first five games, the 2012 Titans have not been much to see. They lost four times, each by at least three touchdowns, failed to run the ball or stop the pass effectively and so on and so on.

They’ll have a captive audience as the first of 14 games on the schedule this week. The next 12 will take place Sunday followed by the traditional Monday night contest.

For their part, the Steelers have been quick to say Tennessee does not look as bad on film as its record suggests.

“I don’t think that their defense is an indication of their record,” Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “I think they’re a lot better than that. We have to prepare accordingly, because I think they are a good defense.

“… To me, in this league, you throw records out the window. I don’t care what your record is, you’re going against the old line any given Sunday. It doesn’t matter, records. You go out there every Sunday, and you could get beat. You have to approach it like you have to play your best game. That’s how we’re going to approach this.”

Everyone else now will get a chance to form their own opinion.

11 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 10/11/12 at 3:19

Tickets to a Titans game are getting harder each year to give away.

By: shinestx on 10/11/12 at 7:52

Will continue to decline as long as Bud Adams is breathing!

By: TITAN1 on 10/11/12 at 7:57

Ah, the Grim Reaper rears it's ugly head. I had no problem selling an extra ticket for face value and no, he is not a steelers fan.

By: TITAN1 on 10/11/12 at 8:05

shinestx, when Mr Adams pays the big money he gets trashed. When he doesn't he gets trashed. Armchair quarterbacks always point fingers, but never have any answers. If they did, they would apply for the job. They are just not very good right now. They have a lot of talent, but just not playing well.

By: G.Scout on 10/11/12 at 8:46

Agree with TITAN1 -- they're simply not playing well at the moment. If you can't get behind your home town team, you're just not a good fan.

By: dva56 on 10/11/12 at 9:29

Opinions are based on performance coach. The performance of this team so far suggests a name change to the Tennessee Train Wreck.

By: Rasputin72 on 10/11/12 at 10:37

G.Scout.......By the time I was 13 years old I had already developed a philosophy never to be a fan of anything that was remotely connected with losing.

To your point this franchise has a 50 year plus history of being a team that champions pass through on the way to glory.

My time is much too valuable for me to support a losing and sorry franchise like Houston ran out of town.

By: TITAN1 on 10/11/12 at 12:05

rasp/frankbrown, Houston didn't run the Oilers out of town. I never heard any grumblings about Bud Adams from Houston fans UNTIL he moved the team. That is = to sour grapes. You say they have always been a losing and sorry franchise, yet you bought PSLs when they went on sale just as I did, only difference is I am glad I did. Because you think they have always been a sorry and losing franchise, that either makes you an idiot or a hypocrite. This is where you say you bought them to sell to suckers, another lie. You want people on this message board to believe you are some kind of big business man, but if you were then you should have seen some down seasons on the horizon. I bought them for my family and myself to go to the games of our very own NFL team.

By: Rasputin72 on 10/11/12 at 1:28

Titan1.....I normally do not respond to people that I share no common interest. In your case I will make an exception.

The Titans and Oilers are for the most part a "50 year down franchise."

I am glad that you enjoy the Titans and for that matter any other avocation you may have.

In my case, it is my calling to expose "failure"

By: G.Scout on 10/11/12 at 3:02

Rasputin72 -- Your time is much too valuable for what? Do you DO anything other than write daily opinions?

By: TITAN1 on 10/11/12 at 4:07

rasp/frankbrown, please don't expose yourself.