NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Progression, regression, progression, regression is a pesky pattern that's emerged the past four weeks.
Linebacker Will Witherspoon said Wednesday that the Titans need to step forward this week, and build momentum for their final six games of the season.
Tennessee (5-5) hosts Tampa Bay (4-6) at noon Sunday at LP Field in what the Titans hope will be a step forward and a springboard to consistent play and winning results.
"November's a big month," Witherspoon said. "You've got to start not just taking it step-by-step; you've got to start jogging with those steps."
The Titans trail AFC South leader Houston (7-3) by two games and are one of four AFC teams that are one game back of Cincinnati for the final wild card spot.
Tennessee won convincingly against winless Indianapolis, but blew a 10-point halftime lead at home to the Bengals. The Titans followed with their largest margin of victory, 30-3, at Carolina, but stumbled early at Atlanta, which held on for a 23-17 win.
Sixth-year fullback Ahmard Hall said this version of the Titans has been more inconsistent than previous teams, with performances often changing within the games and week to week.
"It's unbelievable," Hall said. "You don't know who you are. You don't know what your personality is. It's kind of frustrating, because you just want to get some consistency going."
The Titans aren't saying they are in an identity crisis. They are just saying it's time to reveal their identity.
"Well I think it's a good time to be coming home," Titans coach Mike Munchak said. "We are not (in great position in the standings) so we have to go out and get a win streak going like we said, similar to what Tampa has to do. We need to win this one at home, we need it big and then go on the road and win a tough game in Buffalo and just get rolling. We have to find a way to win more than one game in a row."
The Titans close their season by alternating between home and away games, beginning with the Buccanneers, whose six losses have all occurred against teams that would make the playoffs if the season ended before this week's games.
Cornerback Cortland Finnegan said Sunday is the right time to start the pattern of progression.
"You want to go out there and continue to stay on a roll," Finnegan said. "We know these next six games are important. It's a good place to start at home and build on that. We need the fans and everybody here to be part of this moving forward."