TAMPA, Fla. – With the famed pirate ship serving as the backdrop at Raymond James Stadium, the Titans headed to Florida on Sunday looking to right their own ship.
Instead, the Titans drifted into even more turbulent waters in a 20-6 loss to the Buccaneers.
With the loss, the Titans dropped to 3-6, and they've now lost four of their last five games.
"Nobody was good enough, starting with the head coach," Coach Mike Vrabel said after the game. "I felt like we had a good week, but this is the only day that matters. This is the only day that matters. This is the day that we have to be great, but we weren't good enough."
Will Levis started at quarterback for the Titans on a day when the offense just couldn't get anything going on a consistent basis. Rather than scoring touchdowns, they kicked field goals.
Levis finished the day 19-of-39 for 199 yards and an interception. He was under duress most of the day, and he was sacked four times in the contest.
Running back Derrick Henry managed just 24 yards on 11 carries, a 2.2-yard average, with a long of eight yards. On several of those carries, he was greeted by defenders on the backfield.
Defensively, the Titans didn't get enough stops when they needed them.
It all added up to another frustrating loss.
"I'm tired of losing," defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons said. "We need to start finding a way to win the game. We need to make more plays on defense, and put the offense in good position. And, at the end of the day, we have to score more points. We have to score points, and we have to get off the field – that's pretty much what it is.
"They had 20 points, and we had six. We didn't do enough to win the game."
The Titans took an early 3-0 lead on a 38-yard field goal by kicker Nick Folk, which capped a 12-play, 55-yard drive in the team's opening possession. Levis was 4-of-5 on the opening drive, which ended because of a sack.
The Titans then made a play on defense, as cornerback Roger McCreary intercepted Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield to end Tampa Bay's opening possession.
The Titans defense forced a three-and-out the next time out.
But the Titans squandered an excellent scoring opportunity after taking over at the Tampa Bay 41-yard line early in the second quarter, as they settled for a 51-yard field goal that was missed by Folk. It was Folk's first miss with the Titans after 20 consecutive made field goals.
Things went downhill from there.
When the Buccaneers got the ball back, they drove the field and scored on a 43-yard touchdown pass from Mayfield to running back Rachaad White to take a 7-3 lead.
The Titans trailed 7-3 at the half.
The Buccaneers made it 10-3 on a 25-yard field goal by kicker Chase McLaughlin.
Later in the third quarter, the Buccaneers stretched their lead to 17-3 on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Mayfield to receiver Mike Evans.
The Titans cut the lead to 17-6 with 12:54 left in the fourth quarter on a 27-yard field goal by Folk before the Buccaneers stretched the lead back to 20-6 on another McLaughlin field goal.
Mayfield was 18-of-29 for 278 yards with two touchdowns in the contest.
The Titans return to action next Sunday against the Jaguars in Jacksonville, now in desperate need of a turnaround with eight games to play.
"It's tough," Levis said. "We're not trying to focus on the record. … We are going to get in (the building) tomorrow, and focus on tomorrow, dominate tomorrow.
"This is when teams can falter and break apart, or come together and show how strong we really are. We are trying to prove we can be that second one."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10 at Raymond James Stadium.