Thursday game gives Titans no time to fix mistakes

Associated Press Modified: October 8, 2012 at 7:18 pm •  Published: October 8, 2012
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Chris Johnson succinctly sums up the Tennessee Titans' problems: Everybody is taking turns making mistakes.

His teammates pretty much agree.

Knowing the problem and fixing it is proving much tougher than the Titans (1-4) expected. They also have no time to dwell on how quickly this season has gone so wrong because the Pittsburgh Steelers visit Thursday night.

"We don't look like a good team, so I wouldn't sit here and say that we're close," Johnson said Monday.

That's one good thing about the quick turnaround for coaches and players who want to erase the bad memories of the first five weeks.

"It's frustrating," coach Mike Munchak said. "Believe me, we're frustrated a lot of ways just like the fans are, which they should be. We know this is our big opportunity to hopefully change the opinion of a lot of people by how we play on Thursday night."

Tennessee went 9-7 in Munchak's first season as head coach in 2011, just missing a wild-card berth on a tiebreaker, and the coach said he sees probably more talent on this roster.

Unfortunately, these Titans can't hold onto the football offensively, the defense struggles to tackle and now discipline is becoming an issue with 10 penalties in a 30-7 loss at Minnesota. Munchak said he believes he has the right coaches and players to turn this season around.

"We haven't shown that the first five weeks," Munchak said. "We realize that. We're responsible for what's happening out there, and we're the only ones that can fix it."

The Titans can blame a tough early schedule, facing teams with a combined record of 15-8. Tennessee's lone win came against the only opponent currently with a losing mark, and the Titans needed overtime to edge Detroit (1-3). Down the stretch, the Titans play only two teams currently with winning records in Chicago and Houston.

That offers no hope unless the Titans dramatically clean up their act.

No NFL offense hold the ball less than Tennessee at 24 minutes, 50 seconds per game, and only five teams score fewer points per game than the Titans. Previously, it seemed the running game was the biggest issue. Against Minnesota, even the normally sure-handed Johnson fumbled, and Matt Hasselbeck was intercepted on the next series.

"That's been a big thing," tight end Jared Cook said. "We've kind of been shooting ourselves in the foot a lot. We're just not moving the ball like we did last year. We're a better team than that. We know that. We're just not doing what we need to do."



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