Titans painfully feel Colts' kick

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 11:28pm
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Peyton Manning and the Colts picked apart the Titans defense Sunday night. / Mike Strasinger for The City Paper

Never mind all the Code Blues at LP Field Sunday night. The Tennessee Titans can’t get away from Code Lose.

Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts showed the nation what Tennessee fans already were painfully aware of – that the Titans are not a very good football team as evidenced by their nationally televised 31-9 blowout that dropped the Titans to 0-5.

“I don’t know what that is,” linebacker Keith Bulluck said. “We put in the work in the off-season. We put in the work in the preseason and we’ve failed five tests. It’s like you study, you study and you keep failing tests. It’s hard when you’re failing your favorite subject.”

In contrast, the 5-0 Colts aced the exam in front of the national television audience, showing the distance between the two teams to be five games in the AFC South standings, but light years in terms of execution and precision.

Manning sliced the Titans defense, throwing for 309 yards and three touchdowns on 36 or 44 passes. It marked his fifth consecutive 300-yard passing game this season and the fourth time the Titans beleaguered defense had surrendered 300 to an opposing quarterback.

The Colts took an early gift from the Titans as Larry Bethea punched the ball free from Alge Crumpler after a completed pass, and Keyunta Dawson recovered and returned it to the Tennessee 23.

From there, Manning needed just five plays, going for it on fourth-and-inches and hitting Reggie Wayne from three yards out for a quick 7-0 lead.

The Colts were generous themselves, as Tim Jennings got in the way of his own return man, T.J. Rushing, who was trying to fair catch Reggie Hodges punt. Instead, the ball hit Jennings in the helmet and Ken Amato recovered at the Colts 37. However, the Titans gained only six yards on five plays and settled for Rob Bironas’ 49-yard field goal.

After Keith Bulluck intercepted Manning as Jacob Ford hit the Colts quarterback, the Titans got the ball back in Indianapolis territory, but again settled for Bironas’ 43-yard field goal.

At 7-6, that was as close as the Titans would get, as they made the mistake of trading touchdowns for field goals with Manning.

“To have a chance to beat the Colts the way they're playing right now, you have to play a near-perfect game. It was clear tonight that we didn't,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. “The formula got flipped. We were hoping to hold them to threes and score points. Instead, they held us to threes and scored points.”

Manning engineered two second-quarter touchdown drives, one that went 93 yards in 47 seconds (thanks to a pair of roughing the pass penalties on the Titans), while Tennessee managed just one more Bironas field goal.

That 93-yard drive was finished off with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Austin Collie with just 25 seconds to go in the half.

In the second half, the Colts put the game away on Manning’s third touchdown pass of the game, this one from six yards away to Collie. It also came courtesy of a Titans turnover, a Kerry Collins interception by Jennings on a pass he wrestled away from Nate Washington at the Tennessee 31-yard line.

The Colts managed to tack on another field goal and the rest of the night was spent between Titans fans leaving early for the parking lots and the race for Manning to record his fifth consecutive 300-yard passing game. That came in the fourth quarter with 4:22 to play on his seven-yard pass to Wayne.

When it was over, the Titans had plenty to answer for, but no real answers to give on their seemingly bottomless plight.

“Now is the time we should strap up and do what we are supposed to do. We’re basically getting hit in the mouth right now,” receiver Nate Washington said.

That’s a tough thing for a team that harbored Super Bowl aspirations and was coming off a 13-3 season a year ago to handle.
Bulluck was asked if the Titans perhaps were not as good as they expected to be this year.

“[We’re] 0-5, I think I started to wonder that a couple of games ago. But I know this team can play. The players on this team are very good football players. We just have to bring it all together as a team – offense, defense, special teams,” Bulluck said.

Added guard Jake Scott, “We’re not winning. We’re not making the plays. We’re not converting third downs. There’s a fine line in this league between being really good and really bad, and right now we’re walking the wrong side of it.”

 

45 Comments on this post:

By: jps13pat on 10/11/09 at 11:39

I'm more disappointed in this team than in any team I've ever rooted for. These guys have no heart. I say trade 'em all for draft picks and start rookies the rest of the year. I'm only halfway joking...

By: gdiafante on 10/12/09 at 6:01

Time for a shakeup...new coach...there's plenty of new blood out there, or several Super Bowl winning coaches (Gruden, Shanahan, Holmgren, Cowher) that are an option.

Sometimes, change is good.

By: dargent7 on 10/12/09 at 6:38

Well, sport's fans, at 0-5 something has to be done. "Bud" Adams won't fire Fisher mid stream, and whether Fisher puts VY in, we'll see next Sunday.

By: gdiafante on 10/12/09 at 7:05

Move the team to Novia Scotia.

Done.

By: frank brown on 10/12/09 at 7:30

As long as Jeff Fisher is the coach I will be proud of this 8 and 8 franchise.

By: Alphadog7 on 10/12/09 at 7:40

Anyone who thinks Vince Young would have better results than Collins doesn't get football. Kerry Collins was 19 for 32. If you take off the drops and receivers who ran the wrong routes, those are Peyton Manning numbers. I am so glad Fisher put Young in last night to show fans with a short memory that it wasn't any different, in fact it was worse. Young was inaccurate on his drive and when he was accurate, the receivers still didn't catch the ball. At least Collins was throwing perfect strikes when he had a chance to get set. The O-line didn't protect Vince any more than Kerry, and I doubt Vince would have erased the teams penalties.

I can't believe the ignorant "blame the QB" fans. I thought Tennessee fans understood football better than that. Collins sure deserves better treatment, we have all seen what he can do when surrounded by the right people.

And by the way, the problem isn't Fisher either.

By: gdiafante on 10/12/09 at 7:46

"I can't believe the ignorant "blame the QB" fans. I thought Tennessee fans understood football better than that."

Obviously you misjudged Tennessee fans. Does that make you ignorant as well?

By: mtlycru1 on 10/12/09 at 8:01

Didn't the Titans call for "Code Blue" all week.......uhm, that means adult cardiac arrest at a hospital.......seems the team knew what was going to hit them. Again, what a waste of taxpayer money this team has been.....they have and have had many involved in illegal and immoral acts......why do they think they should win?.....anyone remember how many times they took Pacman back.....no matter what all he got in to..then they paid a riduculous salary to a no good, always hurt, cheating/mistreatin' QB who got exactly what he deserved in the end.

Throw these guys out of this stadium, let move one and turn it into something worthwhile (why not convert IT into the new convention center instead of wasting our money on another money pit)?

By: TitansFan035 on 10/12/09 at 8:03

As long as we have "Conservative field goal Fisher" as a head coach we will never win anything....He is to lame the offense is so boring! FIRE FISHER AND PUT BUD ADAMS IN THE NURSING HOME!!

By: jwk6179 on 10/12/09 at 8:06

How do you spell loser- T-I-T-A-N-S !!! How do you spell losers-- T-I-T-A-N-S-F-A-N-S!!!!

By: TitansFan035 on 10/12/09 at 8:08

MOVE THIS TEAM TO L.A , BRING A FRANCHISE TO NASHVILLE THAT WANTS TO WIN NO JUST COMPETE AND GO 8-8...AL BUD ADAMS WANTS IS TO SEE PEOPLE ON THE STANDS AT L.P FIELD NOTHING ELSE MATTERS HE IS LIKE THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS OF THE NFL....

By: JohnGalt on 10/12/09 at 8:58

I believe it was a poster last week using the screen name TITANS1 who predicted a big Titans' win over the Colts.

I disagreed predicting all (if any) Titans' points would come from FGs and Peyton would punish the Titans.

It's hard not to see this same scenario every game for the remainder of the season.

By: TITAN1 on 10/12/09 at 9:05

Loser is spelled jwk6179. jw, if you don't like it here, move.

By: TITAN1 on 10/12/09 at 9:07

JohnGalt, I don't know about TITANS1, but I, TITAN1 predicted a close win by the Titans or a blowout by Indy. I thought if it was a close game we would win, but if not Indy would.

By: TitansFan035 on 10/12/09 at 9:09

You can tell Titans1, still lives at home in the basement, get off the P.C your sister has to do homework!

By: frank brown on 10/12/09 at 9:23

Titan1 is always a gentlemen even when he is being attacked for his simplistic look at his teams of favor.

By: brrrrk on 10/12/09 at 9:25

I knew it from the beginning that the fans in Tennessee would be fair-weather fans. One bad start to a season and you're already calling for someones head.

By: Alphadog7 on 10/12/09 at 9:30

By: gdiafante on 10/12/09 at 8:46
"I can't believe the ignorant "blame the QB" fans. I thought Tennessee fans understood football better than that."

Obviously you misjudged Tennessee fans. Does that make you ignorant as well?

Alphadog:

Are you asking if I'm ignorant of the level of football knowledge of the "blame the QB" fans? Not anymore. I am ignorant of the point you're trying to make though.

By: jwk6179 on 10/12/09 at 9:37

MOVE THIS TEAM TO L.A , BRING A FRANCHISE TO NASHVILLE THAT WANTS TO WIN NO JUST COMPETE AND GO 8-8...AL BUD ADAMS WANTS IS TO SEE PEOPLE ON THE STANDS AT L.P FIELD NOTHING ELSE MATTERS HE IS LIKE THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS OF THE NFL....
You do realize that the Titans were to ever leave Nashville for say LA, Nashville would never get another NFL team. Nashville is a SMALL MARKET TEAM, about the size of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas City, etc. I just don't see the NFL awarding Nashville a replacement franchise if the Titans were to leave.

By: localboy on 10/12/09 at 9:48

Too bad about the game - nobody, player or coach, goes out to lose on purpose so those guys must be bummed out today. No biggie, though - pro football is just filler between college games - SEC scores!

By: jwk6179 on 10/12/09 at 9:52

TITAN1, who said anything about me not liking it here? I have lived here since 1986 and plan on living here for at least another 20 to 30 years. All I'm pointing out is the HYPOCRISY of all the so-called "Life-Long, Die Hard Titan Fans" out there that in reality didn't give a RATS-ARSE about this team when they were known as the Houston Oilers. If these so-called Die-Hard Fans were really as big of fans as they claim they are, then WHY WERE THEY AMOUNG THE BIGGEST CRYBABIES about the team's nickname?

Another thing, how long do you think Bud's family will keep this team in Nashville after he dies? I would be the least bit surprised if after his death, who ever takes over ownership of this team starts exploring other markets.

By: MetalMan on 10/12/09 at 9:55

Get rid of Haynesworth and pay top dollar for Vince Young - then blame Collins when we can't put it together? I've got a good idea: sell Young for whatever you can get for him, invest in a recruit to be Collins' understudy for a couple of years, like Colt McCoy or Tebow, and see what we can do about another coaching staff. Fisher ain't getting it done.

By: brrrrk on 10/12/09 at 10:14

jwk6179 said

"You do realize that the Titans were to ever leave Nashville for say LA, Nashville would never get another NFL team. Nashville is a SMALL MARKET TEAM, about the size of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas City, etc. I just don't see the NFL awarding Nashville a replacement franchise if the Titans were to leave."

The real question is, do Nashville fans deserve a franchise? Hell, they barely support winning franchises like the Preds or the Kats (who ended up leaving town for lack of support).

By: gdiafante on 10/12/09 at 10:15

If the Titans win more than 9 games in a season, they are overachieving. It's that simple. You know what you get in Fisher, year in and year out, which is an average team that can never get over the hump.

It is refreshing to see some fans finally understand.

By: TITAN1 on 10/12/09 at 10:17

TitansFan035, you don't know anything about me except what I have stated on this mb, but I do know that you are a troll using different names.

By: gdiafante on 10/12/09 at 10:18

Brrrk, good points. I don't think Nashville is a professional sports city. They're bandwagon fans. Although I do believe the Preds fans are more loyal.

By: gdiafante on 10/12/09 at 10:19

035, don't pay attention to Titan1, he accuses everyone of being a troll and using different names. Yawn.

By: TITAN1 on 10/12/09 at 10:22

jw, you have only been here since 1986? I've been here since 1955. You and your alter egos have trashed not only Titans fans for supporting our hometown team, but all of Nashville and Tennessee. Rent a u-haul and and get out of our great city and state and we will all be better off.

By: TITAN1 on 10/12/09 at 10:23

Ahh, the other alter ego. LOL!

By: gdiafante on 10/12/09 at 10:25

Jw, I've met Titan1 in real life and I can tell you that he's as dumb as a rock.

By: jwk6179 on 10/12/09 at 10:32

TITAN1, I have never trashed the state of TENNESSEE. All I stated that I have lived in Nashville since 1986. I have lived in Tennessee all my life. I'm a big UT fan and I am an UT ALUMNI. I'm just POINTING out all the HYPOCRISY of the so-called True-Blue Titan fans.

Also, tell all your Vandy fans that Jay Cutler NO LONGER PLAYS IN NASHVILLE AND THEY NEED TO PUT AWAY ALL THOSE JAY CUTLER JERSEYS I"VE SEEN AROUND TOWN!!!! THAT what you've telling all the people wearing Peyton Manning Jerseys.

By: courier37027 on 10/12/09 at 12:10

TITAN1 said, " I thought if it was a close game we would win, but if not Indy would." Are you really Doug Matthews? Matthews makes similar brilliant observations as,"The Vols should win eight games this year. Maybe more, maybe less." That pretty much covers every number between zero and twelve.

I will say it one more time. And this time I mean it. The Titans had better step it up and bring it to the table. Because anything less than 110% won't do.

Cliches, catch them on the radio at 3:00 today.

By: TITAN1 on 10/12/09 at 2:53

gd, you have never met me, if you did you would know that I get along with anyone who doesn't act like he or she is better than everyone else and they should bow down to them.

By: TITAN1 on 10/12/09 at 2:57

If you live here and pull for another team that is your business, but trashing the hometown fans is very pathetic. But, I'm sure seeing that hometown support just eats at you.

By: TITAN1 on 10/12/09 at 4:15

courier, for someone who is always cutting down 104.5, you sure quote them a lot.

By: jwk6179 on 10/12/09 at 4:21

I'm not trashing the hometown team, just IDIOTS LIKE YOU that live, eat and breathe any PROPAGANDA that comes from Bud Adams, John McLain, George Plaster and the Titans organization and treat it like the GOSPEL.

By: TITAN1 on 10/12/09 at 4:37

Listen jw, if you don't like the thousands of us who are die hard Titans fans then you are going to be very miserable for a very long time. You see me post on this message board in a Titans story and think that is all I do. Are you really that ate up with jealousy and envy that you have to act that stupid?

By: TITAN1 on 10/12/09 at 4:39

Another thing, win I support my team, it is not because of what anyone says. I back my hometown team win or lose.

By: jwk6179 on 10/12/09 at 5:24

Don't you the 10 or 15 True Die Hard Fans. The thousands you speak of WILL JUMP OFF THE TITANS BANDWAGON when they finish 1-15 0r 2-14 this season.

By: TITAN1 on 10/12/09 at 5:43

jw, go up to each of those 58,000 or season ticket holders and make that statement. You are beginning to look like a Christmas tree, red with jealousy and green with envy.

By: terry r payne on 10/12/09 at 6:19

I love boys that play with their balls

By: courier37027 on 10/12/09 at 6:27

TITAN1, were you that caller in the 3:00 hour who hailed himself the biggest Titans fan ever? Or were you the later caller who said, "There ain't a bigger Titans fans than myself." Maybe you were that self-described "Flamehead" caller who has been following the Titans since they were conceived as the Oilers.

By: TITAN1 on 10/12/09 at 8:44

I have never called the radio station and very seldom listen.

By: jps13pat on 10/12/09 at 10:15

You guys are nuts, arguing like a bunch of children. Let's take a step back and look at some facts. FACT: Titans have sold out every game that has been played in Nashville. FACT: Nashville has seen its fair share of terrible Titans teams. That would lead any logical person to conclude that Titans fans are not fair-weather. We may be ticked off, but we have every right to be ticked off. Our team won more games than any team in the NFL last season, and now we're wondering if we're going to win a single game this season. That's pathetic.

And how did this post become a hate fest for 104.5 the Zone? Whose mother did they kill???

By: TITAN1 on 10/13/09 at 5:01

jps, courier has always cut down 104.5 but you can tell from his post that he listens regulary. jw is a local packer fan and can't stand the support the Titans get, so it makes him so mad he says stupid things like we are band wagon fans. I wish we were 5-0 instead of 0-5 but I can't wait till our next tailgate and game. I remember when we were not even on the radar to have a NFL team.