Titans have short turnaround with Thanksgiving game at Detroit


The Titans have little time to regroup before boarding a plane Wednesday for a Thanksgiving game at Detroit.


The New York Jets crashed Nashville's party with authority Sunday, beating Tennessee 34-13.

As national attention mounted, the Titans' margin for error vanished in recent weeks. Tennessee withstood a barrage of close calls before Brett Favre's arm shattered the glass on the perfect season.

"We didn't tackle, we had some wrong gap fits, we didn't play the type of game I think we could play on defense, offense or special teams," head coach Jeff Fisher said. "We were punting the ball and letting it bounce and go into the end zone ... it was just one of those games."

Said quarterback Kerry Collins: "They were the better team today. That's a hard pill to swallow for everybody in this locker room."

After a rousing victory over Indianapolis on Monday Night Football, the offense has required at least a half of football to gain any momentum. The Titans managed one first down in the first quarter against the Jets and gained 88 total yards after two quarters. "We had some mistakes, some drops and stuff like that," running back Chris Johnson said. "Basically instead of waiting to the second or third quarter to start putting drives together, we've got to put a drive together coming out in the first quarter."

Tennessee required overtime to beat Favres' former team, the Green Bay Packers, on Nov. 2. Tennessee fended off Chicago 21-14 the following week and trailed Jacksonville 14-3 at halftime last week before pulling through in the second half.

After a tenuous 10-3 halftime deficit, Sunday's second-half surge belonged to New York. Favre and the Jets now lead the AFC East at 8-3, while the Titans fall to 10-1.

The loss breaks Tennessee's 13-game regular season winning streak. Tennessee lost 23-17 Dec. 9 to San Diego, its last regular-season defeat. Tennessee faces a short turnaround this week with a Thanksgiving Day game at Detroit.

"Honestly, the way I feel right now, I wouldn't care if we played tomorrow," linebacker Keith Bulluck said. "If [the Jets] handle their business, they might get a chance to play us again. The AFC playoffs are going to come through us regardless. Take a note, because this feeling is not sitting well with this team ... we're ready to turn up the heat."

Not many figured Tennessee would finish the schedule without losing. Still, Thursday's Thanksgiving turkey and dressing may have lost some luster. Many players referred to the loss as "a bad taste."

The Titans haven't scored more than 24 points the last four games, placing a difficult burden on the defense. At any rate, this team hasn't flashed the explosiveness that spring-boarded Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to 16-0 last year.

"Losses are never good," defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said. "Nobody really expected to go undefeated, but we don't like to lose and it's hard to look at the bright side of a loss."

By the end of the game, frustration permeated on the field and in the stands. After a pass interference call on cornerback Chris Carr, Titans fans booed the referees and burst into chants of disapproval while the Jets drove for their final touchdown. Vanden Bosch scrapped with D'Brickashaw Ferguson, who ended up helmetless, and center Kevin Mawae got into a shouting match with Jets tight end Chris Baker from the sideline.

"This is the biggest challenge that we've faced all year. Up to this point, we've had a lot of success. This is our first taste of adversity," Collins said. "We're going to need to handle it like professionals and move on. I think it's up to the leaders on this team to keep the right approach and the right attitude ... and I think that needs to come from the veteran leadership."

Related Content

Advertising