Well that didn’t last long. The Zach Mettenberger era in Tennessee is over – at least for this year. Mettenberger left Sunday’s game against the New York Giants injuring his shoulder as officially all three quarterbacks on roster have been knocked out for at least part of the 2014 season. It doesn’t seem to matter who is under center as the results remain the same. The Titans lost their seventh straight game ending the Giants’ losing streak 36-7.
Yep, the Titans managed one touchdown all day. And you know what? That score was made by the defense. Of course that was one of the few bright spots for the Titan defense as Odell Beckham Jr. had a field day against the Tennessee secondary as he needed no acrobatics hauling in 11 Eli Manning passes for 130 yards and a score. The rookie receiver hit the century mark in receiving yards for the fourth time.
“Well, obviously it was a tough day today. It’s not fun, but we are working. The only thing is that our guys are trying and we’ll keep working and come out of it,” said Titan coach Ken Whisenhunt.
Manning and Beckham connected early and often as the Giants doubled the host team in total offense. It’s kind of sad when you think about it that your second string quarterback. Jake Locker came in for the injured Mettenberger and got nothing done as he ran for his life as the makeshift line guarding him had more holes in it than a block of Swiss cheese.
Jake Locker had to take over again for an injured Mettenberger. Gee, that sounds familiar. It’s usually someone coming in for the often-injured Locker, proving once again it is not his fault but with the offensive line and possibly the offensive schemes. Unlike Mettenberger Locker knows how to run for his life to avoid the massive pass rush that obviously isn’t getting blocked.
Besides seeming injury prone Locker also in vulnerable to bad mistakes as he gets intercepted at the wrong time – not that there’s a good time, but they kill key drives or are returned for either a score or set one up. Maybe he will be happier next year as either a Ram, Buccaneer or Jet since his days in Tennessee are numbered. “It’s an opportunity to go out and play with these guys that I’ve had the opportunity to compete with for four years here, and I’m excited about that, if that’s the case,” he said if he thought his time now under center was an audition for another team.
There was a lot of hope for the Titans with the arrival of coach Ken Whisenhunt. It has been a nightmare. It’s not his fault. There are too many bad personnel decisions with the Titans. It has been that way since they moved from Houston but through the use of smoke and mirrors they haven’t been as evident as right now. Let us not forget that the Oilers/Titans are no NFL juggernaut. Jeff Fisher was the franchise’s most successful coach winning 54 percent of his games. That just goes to show you the Titans have never been an NFL dynasty. “I want to say something about Ken Whisenhunt and his staff, too. Ken’s an excellent football coach. Obviously going through a first-year process here, but he’s a good coach. And he’s staff is a good staff,” said Giants coach Tom
I hope the Titans don’t have the same win now or else mentality of the Falcons. It will take a couple of years to see if Whisenhunt can build a winner. Of course better front office decisions would be helpful. The offensive line has always been an issue for Tennessee. Steve McNair became a running QB in his time there. One of the most prolific passers in college, he had to adapt to running and running for his life. He missed a lot of playing time because of this. Even Vince Young had issues with this as he soon realized he couldn’t outrun everyone like he did at Texas. Locker is another prolific college passer whom we all have forgotten about because we are used to seeing him run almost as much as he passed. And Mettenberger? He’s a sitting duck. Three quarterbacks on the roster and all three injured at one point in the season. Need I say any more? “It’s tough but all around we’ve got to execute better to get accomplished what we want to accomplish, myself included. The five guys on the offensive line, the receivers and backs that are in the game; just a poor job of executing today and that’s on all of us,” Mettenberger said.
The one bright spot Sunday was the play of defensive back Marqueston Huff. Huff accounted for the Titans’ only point returning a Manning interception for a score. “That’s the NFL. The guys in the league tell me ‘they’ll throw you at least one.’ So I guess that’s the one they threw me. Me personally, I’m a football player, so I expect myself to go out there and make plays. It felt good at the moment, because I felt like I was trying to create a spark for the team, but now just looking at it, it really didn’t do anything for the game. So it’s just another play. It’s just another play for me right now. It’s good that I finally got my first career interception out of the way, but I wish it would have come in a win,” he said.
The Titans remain home this Sunday as they welcome the 2-11 New York Jets to LP Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:05pm and will be aired on CBS.
– Dave Weinthal
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