Jaguars 37, Titans 17

What”s wrong with the Tennessee Titans?

Personnel and personnel decisions.

Rule number one of sports: the team with the best players usually wins.

The Titans’ best player last year is now a Washington Redskin, and the 2009 Titans are not getting the job done. Coach Jeff Fisher has scrambled to rectify personnel mistakes made in the offseason and during the first three weeks of the season, but his efforts didn’t help against Jacksonville.

David Garrard played near-perfect football in the first half against a Tennessee defense that offered little resistance. Kerry Collins and Kenny Britt did their best to help the Titans in the second half, but there would be no Miracle in Jacksonville.

Barring a series of Music City Miracles, the 2009 season is over.

Story of the Game: Titans’ championship defense is no more

Here’s a look at the post-Albert Haynesworth defensive line: Jovan Haye started in place of an injured Jason Jones. Rookie Sen’Derrick Marks saw his first game action of the season, made one tackle and incurred an illegal use of the hands penalty, which was declined. Tony Brown did not record any stats. Kyle Vanden Bosch, who continues to underwhelm, made one tackle. The most effective player against the Jaguars was William Hayes, who made four tackles and one sack.

David Garrard passed for 323 yards, three touchdowns, and no picks. He faced rookie cornerbacks Jason McCourty and Ryan Mouton and 2008 seventh-round pick Cary Williams for much of the second half (Nick Harper was injured during the game).

It’s evident that questionable personnel decisions (not resigning Haynesworth and veteran cornerback/returner Chris Carr) have contributed to the Titans’ 0-4 record in addition to the poor on-field performances.

The Other Story of the Game: Slow-starting offense rallies (too) late

I think offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger gave up on his team on the second series of the game. Facing a third-and-four at their own 26 yard line, Heimerdinger called a running play. Chris Johnson gained 2 yards. Granted, the Titans were matched up against multiple defensive backs, but I thought it was a give-up play by a team that desperately needed a win on the road.

Tennessee’s offense began the game with 3 three-and-outs and never recovered. During these series, Kerry Collins completed two of five passes for nine yards.

Collins threw an interception and Johnson fumbled in the second quarter. Jacksonville countered by scoring seventeen points and led 27-3 at halftime.

Did the Titans miss Albert Haynesworth?

More than ever. It’s self-evident. There’s no need to elaborate.

Other Notes

Kenny Britt is the real deal. He caught seven passes for 105 yards. Should he start in favor of Justin Gage?

Mark Jones, signed a few days ago to rectify the Titans kick and punt return woes, had to play for an injured Nate Washington in the fourth quarter. Thankfully, he did not fumble any returns.

What now?

The vultures have landed and are feasting on the 2009 Titans.

Last week, I suggested Vince Young should start, not because Kerry Collins is the primary reason the Titans are losing, but because this team, lacking in wins, personnel, and competitive fire, could use a lift. The Titans lost again. I imagine spirits in the locker room and the front office could not be lower.

Jeff Fisher’s comments after today’s game lead me to believe he is in denial. This team does not has the players to compete for a playoff spot, and coaching and personnel decisions have doomed this team to failure.

Perhaps it’s time for a fresh start, and this time I’m not referring to the quarterback position.

As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter whether Young starts next Sunday. The Titans needed a spark today. Instead, they’re 0-4, and I’m already looking forward to better things in 2010.

In the immediate future, we can look forward to the Titans’ weaknesses being displayed national television next Sunday against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.

Anything can happen, right?

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