Who’s up next? Jake Locker’s return to the starting lineup didn’t last long as less than one complete game before he was knocked out of the game and now placed on IR. I guess being a quarterback in Tennessee is one of the seven deadly sins. At one point this season each of the three rostered quarterbacks have bee knocked out action for an extended period of time. Locker is gone for the season and probably suited up for the last time in a Titan uniform. Charlie Whitehurst missed a number of games giving way to rookie and team future leader Zach Mettenberger but he lasted barely three games and will most likely miss the rest of the season. Monday the Titans signed QB Jordan Palmer off the practice squad so there is the potential to knock a fourth quarterback out of the game for Tennessee. Mercifully after Sunday there are only two games left in the season.
“Well you know you can pick a couple of other positions where we have had bad luck, too. But unfortunately that’s the way it is. But I want to be clear that Zach’s (Mettenberger) and Jake’s are different, but yeah you know it’s hard. That’s an important position and we have had a couple of guys get injured there,” said Titan coach Ken Whisenhunt as to if he feel snake bit at the QB position.
The Titans lost Sunday to the New York Jets and in doing so made the record books. It’s not a proud feat, but one of interest any way. The Jets came from behind to defeat Tennessee at LP Field 16-11. For the first time in its 93 years of existence this is the first time the final score ended 16-11. There’s today’s trivial fact to thrill and impress friends. Neither team thrilled or impressed the crowd in Nashville as two futile franchises hooked up for the Futility Bowl or who’s going to get the first pick in the draft contest. In that case Tennessee wins.
“I’m proud of that fact. Last time we had a pillow fight, me and (Ken) Whisenhunt, nobody’s going to watch those games. Last time, I think we won 7-6, so the scoring was way up when we played this time,” Jet coach Rex Ryan said about the unique final score.
Sunday marked the return of Chris Johnson to LP Field. Formerly known as CJ2K he down pretty much to a half a “K” these days. Johnson gained 55 yards on ten carries, 37 of which came on one play. You can do the math yourself to figure out his average per carry on the other ten yards.
The game resembled more of a baseball game if you go by the score. With 12 minutes remaining in the first half the Titans took a 5-0 lead. It was 5-3 at the half and 8-3 as neither team’s offense did much to impress or for that matter intimidate.
Geno Smith threw for 179 yards and a touchdown as well as getting cold-cocked by Titan lineman Durrell Casey in the third quarter. That cleared the benches and you would have thought a playoff berth was on the line instead of simple pride. “I want to apologize to my team for putting us in a bad situation like that. And I have to control myself in those situations and control my feelings out there,” Casey said about the incident.
Trailing 11-10 with just over three minutes to play Chris Ivory scored for the Jets from a yard out to give them the win, only their third of the season.
The Titans extended their losing streak to eight with the loss. “We haven’t had the season that we wanted, but we still work hard in practice; we’re just not reaping the fruits of our labor. It’s very tough, and we have to put ourselves in better positions to win these games,” Titan running back Dexter McCluster said about the losing streak.
Ryan had only one word to say when asked if Jets fans were disappointed they won instead of going for a higher draft position. “Tough. You know, a real Jets fan wants to win. It doesn’t matter what pick you get or whatever. If it were Peyton Manning out there I could understand it but I don’t think Peyton Manning is out there. But either way, you know what, we are going to fight every game. We are going to fight next week too against New England and we’re looking forward to it. Jets fans want to win. Are you kidding me? We have only got two of them. So I am sure they are happy with it and for those who just want a draft pick or whatever, well they really don’t understand the heart of players in the locker room and really that doesn’t sound like a Jets fan to me. A Jets fan is a tough guy and wants to win and that’s what we gave our true Jets fans today,” he said.
“I am proud of our team for the way they fought. We were down a number of guys. We had guys playing positions they haven’t played before. We hung in there and we fought. I am extremely frustrated with us giving the game away by the penalty there at the end. We had two situations with penalties that just can’t happen and we addressed it in the locker room after the game. Obviously, where we are as a team there is a lot of frustration because of the way our guys have fought and battled and we hadn’t won enough games. When you get into a situation like that in the fourth quarter after you fought your guts out to try and get in that position and you get them off the field on third down, that can’t happen. So, that is extremely disappointing,” said Whisenhunt.
The Titans have a short turnaround as they play Thursday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30pm and will be aired on the NFL Network.
– Dave Weinthal
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