To say that the Tennessee Titans have been slow out of the gate to kickoff the 2012 season would be an understatement.
The club has looked awful in two losses to the Patriots and Chargers to start the season, and now have to chin up as this week they battle the Detroit Lions at home to try and avoid an 0-3 start.
Last season the Titans went 9-7 in coach Mike Munchak‘s first season. Doing that again looks light years away, a the Titans have been outscored 72-23 through their first two games.
The Titans are 31st in the league with 248.0 offensive yards per game and their 25 first downs are the fewest. Chris Johnson gained only 17 yards on eight carries during last week’s 38-10 drubbing in San Diego, and Jake Locker completed only half of his 30 passes.
“We’re starting off not playing the way we thought we would so does that mean we panic? No definitely not,” Munchak said. “We have too much work ahead of us. There’s too much football to be played yet.”
And here come the Lions, a team that is not happy about playing bad in San Fran last Sunday night, this after barely squeaking out a win over the Rams to start the season.
Last Sunday was about missed shots, as the Lions drove inside the 49ers’ 25-yard line six times but scored only one TD and went 4 of 5 on field goals.
“We didn’t play our best game really in any phases,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “I’m proud of our guys for fighting and staying in there, but we’ve got to put some effort into coming out and trying to play a little bit better.”
Stafford has four interceptions and two touchdowns through the first two games, but the Lions’ biggest concern might be their short-handed secondary.
Detroit claimed cornerback Jerome Murphy off waivers from New Orleans on Wednesday after Drayton Florence suffered a broken arm in last week’s loss. Chris Houston (ankle), Louis Delmas (knee) and Bill Bentley (concussion) sat out against San Francisco, but Houston and Bentley returned to practice this week.
It shouldn’t matter much, as the Lions should be able to get off to a fast start with their offense, putting Locker and the Titans offense behind the 8-ball most of the day.
The Titans might not have defensive captain Colin McCarthy to help them earn a fourth straight win over Detroit. The middle linebacker has an injured right ankle and was in a walking boot during the loss in San Diego, just another blow to the team.
Can’t see the Lions losing this one, they want to prove they are for real, while the Titans have to find a way to get Johnson and that offense going – fast.
Detroit 37 Tennessee 21