Dropped passes a big part of Titans' problems against Jaguars

Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 7:01pm

To say the Tennessee Titans dropped the ball in Sunday’s 17-6 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars was not simply an expression, it was an accurate reflection of what took place at some critical moments for the offense.

Most notably, Nate Washington and Bo Scaife both failed to make plays on balls that were – at best – catchable or, in some cases, right on target. Each did so twice.

“We had too many drops and we just didn’t make any plays,” coach Jeff Fisher said.

The most grievous error was by Scaife, who was open down the middle on third-and-10 from the Jacksonville 19 on the Titans’ opening possession of the third quarter. They settled for a field goal.

Midway through the fourth quarter, with the Titans behind by 11, Washington failed to make a fourth-down catch on a ball that was underthrown slightly. He also dropped  Tennessee’s first pass of the game.

“Catching the football (when) the weather changes … you adjust,” Fisher said. “You make those adjustments. Guys step up and make adjustments.”

Challenge backfired: Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio issued the only video replay challenge of the day when he thought quarterback Kerry Collins fumbled while being sacked in the fourth quarter and that his team recovered.

Officials initially ruled that Collins was down before the ball came out, which set up a fourth-and-8. Before Del Rio threw the challenge flag, Tennessee sent its punt team on the field.

Upon review, the ruling was changed to an incomplete pass. That made it fourth-and-3, and the Titans sent the offense back on the field, only to have Collins throw incomplete to Washington.

“It’s certainly a big difference between fourth-and-8 and fourth-and-3,” Fisher said. “The challenge created a fourth-and-3, and we have to make the play and convert.”

The good news for Jacksonville was Del Rio was not charged a timeout because his challenge resulted in a change to the outcome.

Back to Collins: For the sixth straight game the Titans had a different starting quarterback than the previous one.

This time it was Collins, who started for the third time during this stretch. He also got the assignment on Oct. 24 against Philadelphia and Nov. 14 at Miami. In between, Vince Young started at San Diego on Oct. 31 and against Washington on Nov. 21, and Rusty Smith started Nov. 28 at Houston.

Collins completed 14 of 32 passes for 169 with two interceptions. That amounted to a season-low 34.5 passer rating.

“I could have thrown the ball better,” Collins said. “There were more plays out there to be made and for whatever reason, we didn’t make them. I know this: I definitely left some things out there. That is extremely frustrating.”

In charge, upstairs: Less than a week since he began chemotherapy treatment for cancer, offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger was in attendance and performed his primary duties.

Although, he was in the press box and not on the sideline (as usual), Heimerdinger called the plays for the offense. According to Fisher, Heimerdinger made the call to quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains, who then relayed them to the quarterback.

“I didn’t feel like there were any problems with it,” Collins said.


• The Titans have played 13 quarters since their last offensive touchdown. That was a 13-year reception by Washington with 1:13 to play in the third quarter Nov. 15 at Miami.

• Rob Bironas has made his last 17 field goal attempts, including two against Jacksonville, which is three shy of the franchise record he shares with Al Del Greco.

• Randy Moss caught his first pass at LP Field as a member of the Titans. His 13-yard gain late in the third quarter (his only catch of the contest) drew a loud ovation from the crowd. Moss did not have a catch two weeks earlier against Washington.

7 Comments on this post:

By: courier37027 on 12/5/10 at 6:07

Not one mention in this article of Titans' defensive woes, ineptness, apathy. Jacksonville controlled ground game and time of possession. Finnegan made a couple of shoulder tackle attempts that would not have stopped a touch football play.

By: jrbbg on 12/5/10 at 7:35

This team has quit on Fisher, Cecil and Dinger. There is more turbulence from the VY situation than meets the eye. Hope, Griffin and Verner were as bad a Finnegan. Garrard had all day on most plays. Today they lacked intensity, focus and leadership. Fisher's fate is likely sealed. Have you seen LaGarrette Blount's numbers? Reinfeldt may go too. Time to retool, Bud. This group is burned out. The stadium was largely empty after halftime. When Indy stinks and Jville looks beatable, Titans swoon, Kerry is just over the hill. Trade for Cam Newton, release VY and start over.

By: GuardianDevil01 on 12/6/10 at 6:24

I bet Coach Fisher gave the team one heck of a calm, non-confrontational discussion after the game. With the effort they showed on Sunday at least we know they will be well rested for Thursday night's game.

By: fdanshep on 12/6/10 at 8:15

Where do we begin? Because of the lack of O-Line play, the holes are brief at best. No time for CJ to be dancing around in the backfield. Ringer would be a better option right now. Bench Hope and put in Robert Johnson. Bo Scafe is the most overpaid tight end in the league and has been a bust since he got the franchise tag. Jared Cook is the answer and should get more of Bo's playing time. Griffin seems to have digressed tremendously since the VY fiasco. The Texas contingent may have quit on Fisher. They might not be the only ones. Vincent Fuller should be playing more in the backfield, not just special teams. Finnegan was playing two hand touch yesterday and is not the player he was last year. Finally after Collins starts Thursday night and the Colts disect the Titans, bench Collins and start Rusty Smith for the rest of the season. Let's see if he can be a starting QB or we need to select a QB with our first pick in the draft.

By: tytanz27 on 12/6/10 at 9:43

I believe fdanshep hit the nail on the head. if the last 3 gms. has shown us anything it's that VY is definitely this teams best option. they need to decide if they're going to commit to him or start all over again. if they choose the latter they should clean house all together. as much as it pains me to say it,maybe coach fisher has carried this organization as far as he can. let's begin another era,anew. thanks coach,for a good run...

By: jwk6179 on 12/6/10 at 10:19

Isn't it amazing that Bo Scafie can catch any pass thrown to him by Vince Young, yet even the simplest of passes thrown to him by Kerry Collins and Rusty Smith, he seems to DROP. He did the same thing last season during the 0-6 start, dropping passes that even a MEDICORE reciever WOULD and SHOULD CATCH. Is he dropping those passes ON PURPOSE? If so, then get rid of him and any other player that SUPPORTS VINCE YOUNG!!

By: courier37027 on 12/7/10 at 8:30

Two days have passed and blktenn hasn't posted in support of jwk's stance. In essence these two are advocating the same concept.