Titans make far too many mistakes, routed by Bears

Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 5:46pm

It was not long after the start that the Tennessee Titans were finished.

A dizzying, demoralizing array of goofs and gaffes contributed to a 26-point first-quarter deficit and no real hope for recovery.

When it was over — mercifully — the Titans not only lost a game, 51-20 to the Chicago Bears, they lost their home. For most of the fourth quarter, the overwhelming majority of fans left in LP Field were frocked in Chicago’s colors. They roared with approval as the difference on the scoreboard grew ever larger, booed Green Bay highlights shown in the video boards and reveled in their ability to repeatedly chant “Let’s go Bears” unopposed.

“We didn’t play well [Sunday],” coach Mike Munchak said. “We made it easy on the Bears to beat us. But they took advantage of all the opportunities we gave them. … When you self-destruct like we did in the first quarter it’s hard to overcome all of that.”

Chicago (7-1) was hardly the first team to put up a big point total or win decisively against Tennessee in 2012. In fact, it was the seventh in nine games to score 30 or more and the fifth whose winning margin was three touchdowns or better.

This, however, was not simply a product of deficiencies on defense or a sluggish offense. Every aspect of the game contributed in unison to the highest point total by a visiting team in LP Field history.

The Bears got touchdowns from the defense and special teams, forced five turnovers, including four fumbles, generally did what they wanted, when they wanted and how they wanted. Cornerback Charles Tillman led the way with four forced fumbles, the first when he knocked the ball out of Kenny Britt’s hands after a 23-yard gain on the game’s first offensive snap.

“They made some great plays,” running back Chris Johnson, who fumbled twice, said. “They’re very good at what they do in getting the ball out. They just made a lot of good plays.”

Britt’s fumble was simply a prelude. The demise officially started when Bears cornerback Sherrick McManis blocked a punt and defensive end Corey Wootten returned five yards for a touchdown and the game’s first points. In short order, Chicago’s Brian Urlacher returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown, running back Matt Forte scored on an eight-yard run one play after Devin Hester returned a punt 44 yards and quarterback Jay Cutler threw the first of three touchdown passes to wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

Just like that, it was 28-2 (somewhere in there the Titans were credited with a safety because of a Chicago penalty in its own end zone) … and more than three quarters remained. The 28 points were the most ever scored by the Bears in the opening 15 minutes, and they got them all in a span of 5:11.

“We did our best to give away that game in the first quarter,” Munchak said. “I think that’s pretty much what we did. … Twenty-eight points in the first quarter were basically self-inflicted. We didn’t even get to the fact that they’re a good football team — we did that on our own. … We’re going to beat anyone when we play that way and put ourselves in a huge hole.”

The Bears ability to do any or all of those things should not have been a surprise to anyone. Their defense returned six interceptions for touchdowns in their first seven games, an NFL record. Hester already was the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdowns off both kickoff and punt returns and Marshall accounted for 40 percent of all Cutler’s completions this season.

Whatever the Titans did to prepare for Chicago and its particular strengths simply did not work.

“We talked about it,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “Every time I’ve ever played the Bears we’ve talked about it. They’re very, very good at it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them do such an amazing job of getting the ball out. Partly credit them, but right now we’re blaming ourselves and we’re not able to beat anybody turning the ball over that many times.”

Tennessee is now 3-6 with one game to go before its bye. The October optimism generated by two victories and a near-miss defeat in the last three weeks is gone and with the heart of fall at hand it looks s though this team does not have far to go to hit rock bottom.

“I’ve been on teams that are really good teams and you play a stinker,” Hasselbeck said. “You come out and you do that — you lay an egg, you’re horrible. Sometimes what is said is, ‘Hey, that wasn’t us. We’ll just sweep it under the rug and get back to being us.’ But those are good teams that had built a cushion for themselves that are up front in their division and playoffs are probably on the way.

“Our situation is that we gave some opportunities away so we need to capitalize on all the opportunities we have. Coming into this we had eight games to go. We can’t have a stinker. We can’t just lay an egg like that. So that’s what’s disappointing. So it’s hard to say, ‘That wasn’t us.' ’’

15 Comments on this post:

By: 4gold on 11/4/12 at 5:06

"That wasn't us"? Uhhh, that is the problem. Yes it is us. PATHETIC excuse for a football team. Do they really have to pay these guys for what I wasted my time and money on Sunday?

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: Rasputin72 on 11/4/12 at 5:21

A 53 year old bad franchise with bad. players impersonating professional football players.

Hooray at least for Jay Cutler and his Vandy buddies.

By: TITAN1 on 11/4/12 at 8:07

That was rough to sit through, but still had a great time with my grandson, son-in-law, and my brother.

By: shinestx on 11/4/12 at 9:46

Jay Cutler had the good fortune of not going to University of Texas. If he had, he would have been drafted by the Titans. Instead, he is winning!! Same goes for Earle Bennett. Go Dores!

By: 4gold on 11/5/12 at 8:22

All the Chicago Bear fans I was sitting with were very complimentary of our town. Beautiful city, such a cool town, loved all the music on lower broad and so hospitable to sell all our tickets to them. Thats our Nashville, worst home town to any sports program of any kind. Too bad there is no hockey. We could sell all our tickets to Red Wing fans and throw a party for them.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: Rocket99 on 11/5/12 at 8:26

Beginning to wonder why the refs have it out for the Titans.

That being said, that's not why we lost. Our offensive line just seemed to forget how to play at times leaving holes big enough for the blimp flying overhead to easily get through. Our defense was just about as bad. I think the little old granny sitting in my row could have scored against them.

As far as the fans go, the Bears fans in my area were the most obnoxious fans I have ever seen in Nashville. They make Raiders fans look like saints. They were loud, drunk, and rude. Some people in the area either went and stood in the endzone areas or left because of these guys.

I also find it a disgrace that so many season ticket holders choose to sell their tickets instead of actually going to the game and supporting the team. Guess the Titans have a lot of fair weather fans.

I do remember the first several years of the team playing in LP Field. We had the reputation of being some of the loudest in the NFL. Our opponents dreaded playing here because of it. The opponents offense couldn't hear the calls from their QB. This caused several misques. Now, we mostly just sit there and watch. Rarely ever making any measurable amount of noise. For the most part, everyone should just stay home and watch it on TV. But then it would be blacked out and we wouldn't be able to.

Bottom line is, the Titans fans need to start supporting our team. We need to turn LP Field back into the place where the opponents dread playing. We need our spirit back.

By: Bigbbooks on 11/5/12 at 8:37

The onslaught of silly, freshman-level penalties that continue to plague the Titans should be a signal to the coaching staff that a return to the basics of Football 101 is warranted for these mulit-millionaire "professionals." It's hard to beat another team when you're so busy beating yourself.

By: joe41 on 11/5/12 at 9:32

I have given up on this team. Let me know when next year gets here. Maybe I will come back. The offensive and defensive lines are the worst ever in professional football. Can't even line up properly. Give me a break Mike. That is coaching. Right now, I am cheering for the Vanderbilt Commodores. They are much more exciting to watch. Even former Commodores Cutler and Bennett are more exciting to watch.


By: TITAN1 on 11/5/12 at 10:14

I still back my teams, through the good times and the bad times. Titans, Vandy, MTSU, Braves.

By: CrimesDown on 11/5/12 at 10:20

I'm a Vanderbilt fan. I've had many reasons over the years to be happy about the basketball team. I've only had a few to get really excited about the football program, but I have always supported them. The reason I will support them no matter what, is because they are students. The Titans on the other hand are professionals. That's what they do for a living. They take our money and give something back. In the Titans case, they are taking far more than they return.

Most of the problems with the Titans starts with Bud Adams. He needs to leave football to the experts. It is hard for any team or coach to win without great draft picks. Bud has screwed the Titans and in turn, the fans because of poor draft pics. Vince Young is one of the worst. Pac Man Jones would have been a better pick for prison than the NFL. There is a list of about 10-12 poor picks that have crippled the Titans. I haven't supported the Titans in 6-7 years because I'm smarter than that.

Go Vandy

By: jwk6179 on 11/5/12 at 10:44

It's not just the poor picks during the first round that have not panned for Titans but a lot of the 2nd and 3rd round picks have been pretty bad, too. With the exception Albert Hainesworth in 2002 and Chris Johnson in 2008, the first rounders have either been bust (Pacman, Vince Young), spent more time injured than healthy (Derrick Morgan, Jake Locker, Kenny Britt), inconsistant (Michael Griffin) or still learning (Kendall Wright). And most of the second rounder during this time period were pretty much reaches that are out the league now (Lendale White, Chris Henry, Tyrone Calico, Ben Troupe, Bo Scaiffe, the trio of WR from the 2005 Draft) or under achievers (Senderrick Marks).

By: Captain Nemo on 11/5/12 at 11:36

You are a better fan than the owner Titan. But left at the third quarter

By: yucchhii on 11/5/12 at 12:20

How did the "STEELERS" lose to THIS team? HMMmmmmm, interesting. They can't win playing with themselves. How does a team.....wait a second, I can't call the Titans a team...a REAL team would win REAL games. Bud Adams doesn't know how to find a REAL HEAD COACH!!! Maybe the Japanese needs to BY this team. Isn't it nice to spend MILLIONS of dollars on something that's USELESS!!

By: concretemike on 11/5/12 at 4:45

The Titans rarely play more than three quarters of a four quarter football game. Yesterday they stopped before the end of the first quarter. We have a thirty seven year old starting quarterback....not going to hold up for a season when the offensive line is just that Offensive. We have a running back who is paid well above his ability....unless the game is lost and the other teams defense stops trying....garbage yards and points. Kenny Britt should have been gone last season with his bad knees and constant trouble with the law. The Titans defense is so full of holes the swiss would call it cheese. The head coach stands on the sidelines watching the game collapse and never gets mad. Throw off your headset and call some of your grown men/football players out and then yell at your coordinators. Show some emotion and get MAD! Your players don't play up to their potential and you allow it. The Titans have given up again, their owner is a 90 year old who has only once put together a Super Bowl contending team. The AFL Championship in 1960 will never count. Otherwise the Oilers/Titans are mediocre at best. I let my season tickets go two years ago and I will never look back......

By: TITAN1 on 11/5/12 at 8:43

concretemike's attempt at humor = FAIL! Oh, and stay away from dogs.