Punchless Titans get pummeled by Bengals

Monday, November 26, 2007 at 1:06am

CINCINNATI — Look out below!

The Tennessee Titans continued their rapid descent out of contention and toward the bottom of the AFC South with an embarrassing 35-6 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

Tennessee dropped to 6-5 with the defeat and, just like losses the weeks before to Jacksonville and Denver, never led in the game. Instead, the Titans wound up with another double-digit defeat as they continue a free fall that threatens to take a team on the cusp of a playoff berth three weeks ago farther down the ladder in the postseason pecking order.

“I certainly didn’t see that coming,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. “During the week, I thought we rebounded fairly well from the Monday night loss [in Denver]. I thought they were ready to play. I really don’t have many answers for you at this point.”

The Titans will have to find answers quickly, as the 8-3 Jaguars are disappearing over the wild-card horizon, and even the Cleveland Browns sped past Tennessee Sunday by improving to 7-4.

Meanwhile, Tennessee’s defense continued its struggles Sunday without Albert Haynesworth, who missed his third straight game with a hamstring injury. Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer completed 32 of 38 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns to Chad Johnson, who doubled his season output in scores and wound up with 12 catches for 103 yards. The touchdown hat trick marked Johnson’s first touchdowns in eight weeks.

Tennessee’s defense was completely shredded, and it showed most on third down as the Bengals converted on 12 of their first 15 third-down tries (14 of 18 overall) and did not punt until the 6:10 mark of the fourth quarter.

“We got whooped,” cornerback Nick Harper said. “They were in our huddle and knew what we were running before we did. They studied us well. They had a good game plan for what we do. Nothing worked.”

Nothing worked for the Titans on offense either, as Tennessee converted just 2 of 10 third-down tries. Still, the Titans had their chances to stay close, but five trips into the red zone produced just two Rob Bironas field goals. The Titans lost a lost fumble on a strip of Vince Young inside the 10, and turned the ball over twice on downs in the red zone.

In the process, the Titans wasted a 73-yard pass from Vince Young to Justin Gage and a 46-yard Young-to-Eric Moulds completion, getting no points from either drive.

Later, after replay overturned a Chris Brown touchdown, placing the ball at the 1, the Titans’ completely inept red zone offense couldn’t punch it in with two more chances. Brown was stuffed for no gain on third down, then a ragged fourth-down pass was deflected in the end zone and fell incomplete.

“It was very frustrating. It was ugly out there,” Brown said. “We moved the ball down the field, but once again we couldn’t put it in the end zone and kept turning the ball over. We got away with it the first half of the season, but we can’t do it the second half. … We have to go out there these last five games and make a statement if we want to be in the postseason. It starts next week.”

The Titans host the Houston Texans next week at LP Field as they attempt to regroup in time to salvage something of a promising 6-2 start that has suddenly gone horribly wrong.

“You go 6-2 the first half to give yourself some cushion for the second half. Well, our cushion is gone. We don’t have a cushion any longer,” linebacker Keith Bulluck said.

With that cushion gone and three lopsided losses in as many games, it could be a bumpy ride.

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By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Are football teams entitled to dignity? I just happened to think about that as I was reading this article. It would be hard to have dignity and play as poorly as the Titans played yesterday. Well the goal for the Titans should be 8 and 8. This is their heritage and comfort level.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

They could wind up, 6-10, 7-9, 8-8, 9-7, 10-6, or 11-5. Frank,I know you hope it is 8-8 or less. Why don't you sell your PSLs to someone who supports the Titans, no matter their record?

By: serr8d on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Ahhh, Frank, I must now name you "8-8 Frank".With mustard and relish, of course, and after a particularly painful loss, heaping helpings of sauerkraut...Keep kosher, now, you hear?;D

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Socrates, if this is loserville, it's because you are here.

By: Socrates on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, once again, the Tennessee Titans have brought national exposure to Nashville as they lose to perennial cellar-dwellers Cincinnati Bengals, and that jock-sniffing putz Titan-R-Losers want us taxpayers to fund the LOSERVILLE fans playpen. Yeah, Nashville loves a loser, but that is no reason that their PSL owners and ticket buyers should not pay the full cost of maintenance and repair of LOSERFIELD formerly known as LP Field with their ticket purchases. “Welcome to LOSERVILLE, USA where LOSERS play at LOSERfield Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha.

By: Socrates on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I don’t play for the LOSERVILLE Titans, nor am I one of their jock-sniffing LOSERVILLE fans.

By: BigPapa on 12/31/69 at 6:00

What happende to the Def??? Can one guy make THAT big of a difference? They look clueless out there. This bunch was flat beating people up the first few games, now they dont look like they could punch their way out of a wet paper sack.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Bigpapa, hopefully big AL will be back this week and we will see if he is the big reason. Losing your most productive player on defense is like losing your starting quarterback on offense. Also if the defense is playing badly it also effects the offense. Hopefully, he will be back and at full strength against the Texans and we'll see how much difference it makes.

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

The D has no desire right now and they are all playing like Bullock, looking for a big play, big hit instead of playing tough. The run game is more of the same; LenWhale has one good run then a lot of 0-2 yard runs, and again does something stupid. Each week he is proving why every other team passed on him and left him for the Titans to deal with. Chris Brown is either hurt or Field Goal Fisher just wants to prove LenWhale is the guy. At least LenWhale won't be the only fat, lazy ex-Trojan around, we now have Mike (All U Can Eat) Williams, all 271 pounds of him. Playing Houston on Sunday should help this team, even if VY is hurt.

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Seer8d, You see through my optimism,don't you? Even if the Titans meet my goal for them their record over the last four years will be 25 wins and 39 losses. You should be able to see from this record that "hope springs eternal" from my ledger. Perhaps my optimism outruns the Titans actual track record..

By: serr8d on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Who is this 'crate fellow? Let's see...Socrass ?I do know there's an ancient Greek philosopher, Σωκράτης, who, if buried, would commence rolling in his grave to have such a degradation posting his name in this here online forum.Especially since there's no logic in his pedanticism.Got hemlock?

By: serr8d on 12/31/69 at 6:00

But, Frank, I enjoy sitting in that Stadium on Sundays. I'll be there, again, watching Houston getting ripped apart next Sunday.If that doesn't happen, then expect an eruption from the Owner's Box. We know how seriously Bud takes it when Houston comes to town...I'll bet, today, Jeff Fisher is going to get some reminder from Bud just how seriously he takes this upcoming contest...

By: Socrates on 12/31/69 at 6:00

It does not matter who I am serr8d, what is important is that I am not one of you LOSERS IN LOSERVILLE! Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha. And, yes, LOSERVILLE just got more national exposure as Fox News announced that “Cincinnati Bengals won a game; finally. They played the LOSERVILLE Titans.”

By: jwk6179 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

With 5 games left in the season, I can't see the Titans going undefeated the rest of the way to finish 11-5 or even 10-6. Based on the way they have been playing the last several weeks, I see either 9-7 0r 8-8 record, which won't get you a playoff birth in the AFC.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

soc, you could be one of a handful who posts under multiple names so they can make it look like someone agrees with them. Your posts are really childish and pretty boring.

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Titan1, I respect your optimism about Big Al but I think the play of the defense goes deeper than just one guy, as I said earlier they are playing for the highlight reel, like Bullock does. I also believe that Big Al is proving that he is not worth a huge investment, he cannot stay healthy.The best part of the game was Steve Beuerlein saying after LenWhale's stupid penalty, "USC thugs, man." After hearing how great all those guys were in college, their offensive players and Norm Chow, have sure stunk in the NFL.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

jw, I think they would have to run the table to get in, possible, but not probable. But, I will still be there for each home game cheering them on.

By: Socrates on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Nice try Titans-R-Losers, but I post only under the username of “Socrates”. Apparently, there are many more than merely a handful of citizens you would like to delusion yourself, which are fed up with supporting LOSERVILLE Field, the Sommet and the Greer that you blowhard, jock strap licking fans want so desperately identify yourself. Stop living vicariously, if you can.

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Seer8d, I know he takes making money seriously. I hope we never have to find out if beating Houston or making money is his #1 priority.

By: serr8d on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Priorities, in an 80-something year old fellow? I would say making money isn't top. Nice, to win a Super Bowl. But beating Houston...now, that's something to get the blood roiling, even at his age. Especially at his age. That, and keeping the U. S. Government (under a Democratic-Leftist-Socialist regime) from raiding his fortune after he passes...

By: serr8d on 12/31/69 at 6:00

socrass, isn't it time to go back into your basement and take your nap? If you've ever left...

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Seer8d, The days of some of us earning huge dollars with a taxation basis of 15% is coming to a close. Those that toil under a tax base of 28,33 and 35% have had enough of people like you and I. They are going to take it back in 08. We cannot stop the ground swell of a democratic landslide in 08. P.S. Neither can Bud Adams.

By: BuckyDent on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Obviously Albert Haynesworth is the GREATEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF ALL TIME.