What can I, or anyone for that matter say to explain Sunday's brutal beat down the Tennessee Titans suffered at the hands of the New York Jets.
It was a preformance that certainly was not expected, though most people had little confidence that the Titans would win either way. Still everyone expected the team to show up and to play hard. That certainly did not appear to be what happened, especially in the first half when the Titans defense couldn't tackle air, and looked lost and confused on one of the most bizzare and ugly plays in team history.
Almost immediately after the final horn sounded fans comments turned to asking the one question you never want to hear in reguard to any team. Did they quit?
Let's go back just one week and remember that the Titans had just completed their third win of the season against the Jaguars. They were excited and feeling good. The team had a good week of practice with high energy and the players were extra excited last week because they reached the end of the padded practice portion of the season.
What does that mean? It means that the team, because of league rules under the collective bargaining agreement have passed the date set in they agreement where they no longer can practice in pads. It makes life easier during practice when they know they are not in pads and not going to have hard contact.
So has the team quit on Mike Mularkey?
My answer to that would be no. The players have responded to Mularkey and the moves that he has made since taking over the interim title for this team.
Since Mularkey took over penalties have been down, sacks have been down, Taylor Lewan's play has improved and most importantly, wins have been up- thought it didn't take a lot to improve in that area- which is what everyone involved in the organization and fans want to see from this team.
The reasons for what happened on Sunday are simple.
The Jets are a pretty good football team. They took control early and took the game from the Titans, They deserve credit for handling their business as they continue to work towards a playoff spot.
Make no mistake, I'm not saying the Titans win with those two guys on the field, but the importance of them, especially Morgan is evident when looking at the team statistics overall.
The biggest fator though is perhaps the most simple of them all. This is not a talented team overall.
Yes they defense is ranked highly and they have played well at times, but when you look at it there is not a lot of top notch depth for this team to be able to absorbe the loss of a starter.
When Jason McCourty missed time early because of his injury, the team was fresh and healthy and they were able to cover the weakness of players like Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Coty Sensabaugh as his replacement. Add to that the fact that the depth behind those two were an undrafted rookie Cody Riggs- who played well at times and has some value going forward in my opinion- and B.W. Webb as the back line of secondary depth.
With Morgan healthy, he allowed Brian Orakpo to produce at a high level. Without Morgan, Orakpo's numbers have dropped and without that pressure the secondary was exposed.
This team needs a lot of improvements. You can start with the fans calls for new ownership. but that may not happen.
What we do know is that wheter it is Ruston Webster as the general manager or someone new takes over, theis free agency period and draft are key to this team's future.
There were some great additions last season, especially Marcus Mariota, and there are some others who are solid NFL talents but there are glaring weaknesses and a need for bette depth that must be addressed. If that is done properly then the Titans could be a much improved team next season.
There's also the question of the head coach. That is a decision that must be made and it must be made quickly so that this team can have a plan in place as to who they want in free-agency and then in the draft.
This organization can't afford to mess this up because I do not believe that the players quit in Sunday, in spite of how the game went, and they deserve to have ownership move quickly to address the areas that the players can't control to show the team what direction this franchise is going next.
It's a tough situation for the players, and when the dust settles everything for the 2016 season is actually riding in the hands of an unproven, and confusing ownership group.