There has been plenty of hand wringing in recent days – and understandably so – over Sunday’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars and others similar to it during Mike Munchak’s time as coach of the Tennessee Titans.
Too often since the start of 2011 the team has come up short against some of the NFL’s worst teams.
Look closely, though. The Titans’ victories over that span are not exactly cause for celebration either. Of the 15 in 2011 and 2012 only two were against teams that finished with winning records. Similarly, three of this season’s four wins are over teams that currently have losing records.
None of last season’s six victories were over teams that made the playoffs. There were three in 2011, but one was against Denver during a season-opening 2-5 stretch before Tim Tebow rallied the Broncos to the postseason. Another was in the regular season finale against Houston, which had clinched the AFC South and rested many of its regulars for all of most of that game.
“It’s a curse here, and the curse needs to be broken,” safety Bernard Pollard, who was not here the last two seasons, said. “I’m just being honest with you. … We have too talented a team to continue to go out there and do the things that we’ve been doing. It has to change now.
“… I’ve been around the block. I understand. I’ve been around some really good coaches. I’ve been around some really good players. … To see the talent that we have – the talent is there. Talent and potential can only take you so far. The players on this team, we need to come together, play as one.”
TITANS VICTORIES, 2011-PRESENT
(With teams' final/current records)
San Diego 4-5
New York Jets 5-4
St. Louis Rams 4-6
New York Jets 6-10
Tampa Bay 4-12
(*-made the playoffs)
Beginning with Thursday’s game against Indianapolis (7:25 p.m., NFL Network), four of the next five are against teams with winning records – the 6-3 Colts (twice), 8-1 Denver and 5-4 Arizona.
If things don’t change in terms of the results, the fortunes of this franchise certainly won’t be reversed.
“In our mind [Thursday’s game] is a must-win,” Munchak said. “We must beat a division opponent. We’re going to play this team at their place in two weeks. We have to win this one, and we know that. We know what we’re facing but it’s not the end of the season if we don’t.”