Friday, September 11, 2009

What Is The Deal With The Titans?

It's the first game. It's just one game. Ultimately, it may not mean much for the season.

However, is there a team that loses more games like last night's 13-10 final against the Steelers than the Titans?

This post is very much woe-is-me and I'm sorry in advance for the complaints. But something is up.

It's all about plays, but it always seems like teams make absolute miracle plays against this team. Troy Polamalu's interception...I mean come on. Sort of reminds me of that Marvin Harrison stretched-out one-handed catch a few years ago. Somehow these teams, like the Ravens, find a way to block a field goal in these close contests. These are all rare plays, but happen to the Titans with alarming frequency. Didn't you just get a feeling on the blocked field goal attempt something bad was going to happen?

My point is, you don't see the Titans make these plays, ever. Yeah, they got that Hines Ward fumble late in regulation...near their own goal line. Couldn't force one anywhere meaningful, where you might position yourself to win the game. That's not a's a comment on the serendipity of this team.

We had the fortunate experience of seeing the Music City Miracle ten years ago. I am not referring to plays like these. That truly was a miracle play. But remember the circumstances by which that play was necessary--the Titans had the lead the whole game and then found themselves behind...somehow. They dominated that game against the Bills and found themselves inexplicably in the position to lose it.

That New England playoff game a few years ago...Drew Bennett drops a sure catch in field goal range to tie it, not to mention the intentional grounding before that play that knocked them out of range in the first place.

Two Ravens losses in the playoffs after dominating both sides of the ball, but finding ways to lose possession and give up easy TDs and/or stopping drives near the Ravens' goal line. Plus, more blocked field goals.

The AFC Championship against the Raiders where the Titans got the lead, then were going to get the ball back, only to fumble it in their own territory and lose the lead going into halftime.

The Super Bowl where Anthony Dorsett tripped and fell and allowed Isaac Bruce to score an uncontested TD. Not to mention, the 1-yard-short play which was all kinds of wrong.

Between the Titans and the Braves, I think I've experienced enough highs knocked down to lows. I have heard a great many people say, "Well, I'd rather be in your position than to follow my team." I'd say, try it. It's clearly not fun. Back in the late eighties when all I had was a crappy Braves team and a just-as-crappy Falcons team, you could find solace in that they were bad and you didn't have to worry about it. You don't invest any heart in the matter because you know that they're not likely to go anywhere. You just hoped they could win this time. If they didn't, you expected it.

These teams (Titans, Braves) do not make the special plays necessary to win and/or the other teams do make the special plays necessary to win. Or, it's a bad decision or something that was a strength inexplicably turns into a weakness at the crucial time. It's a bad combination of lousy events that occur in games that will be close.

I'm just saying you would think with all the times I've seen a team I follow go to the postseason (or have the potential to go to the postseason), I would have seen numerous times where my team took control of the game and put it away, or at the very least, wouldn't allow the other team to make that big play. I can count the special plays on one hand probably, in 20+ years of following sports, that my team made. I would explode trying to count how many times a team made a play against my team.

Perhaps some of it is that I focus so much on the negative, I forget the positive. But going back through the ages, the only plays I can remember being truly amazing for my team and devastating for the other team are the Music City Miracle and Francisco Cabrera's game winning single in the 1992 NLCS against the Pirates (Pirates fans definitely know the pain). I can't even make a case for anything in the 1995 World Series run that truly fits: David Justice's HR in Game 6 that proved to be the game winner is close, but then I had to bite my nails through the rest of the game hoping the Indians didn't score.

I'm just looking for my team to make an important play in a meaningful way. It's ridiculously rare.

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At 9/14/2009 09:29:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I still think Fisher needs to go. Collinsworth was complaining all of the last series about the Titans four-man rush, which they never changed from. And that's the problem. You can put one look up against most teams in the league and beat them with it, but teams like the Steelers will adjust and beat you. He is missing that final piece.

At 9/17/2009 02:51:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

I hate to say it, but I somewhat agree with Mike. I like Fisher, but I would be curious to see what a coaching change would bring. It's helped a lot of teams in the past, Bucs going from Dungee to Gruden; the Yankees and the Diamondbacks firing Showalter (I think that poor dude everytime I see him; you were so close).

It's good to shake things up a bit at times. It could be a huge backfire as well, but I have a feeling it wouldn't be.


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