Slow starts usually end up killing any teams’ chances of winning a football game.
But there’s a silver lining within the monster of slow starts, you can always find your ways out of the hole and find yourself with some sort of shot to come out with a W.
That’s been the memo for the Tennessee Titans recently. The Titans find their selves starting out slow on both sides of the ball, but somehow find a way to turn up the dial in the 2nd half, and win football games.
However, with that sort of play, comes consequences.
The slow starts have been a major problem for the Titans, but with the team winning games and racking up points, there hasn’t been any sort of major worry.
Some day, you’ll run into a good football team and you just won’t be able to find the same magic you’ve found over and over again.
That’s exactly what went down as the Titans lost to the Houston Texans, 24-21.
Titans Offense Starts Slow, Bounces Back, But Still Falls Short
The Titans’ offense, for the most part, didn’t play the football that they wanted.
Inconsistencies in the passing game, the running game not getting on track, killed any sort of early momentum for the Titans in such a crucial game at home.
Derrick Henry not being 100% limited his success on the ground, which affected the Titans’ love of the play action game.
Despite Henry’s hurt hamstring limiting his effectiveness, Ryan Tannehill still found a way to get the aerial attack going as the game went along.
AJ Brown was a beneficiary of that, catching 8 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Brown’s success was seemingly the only stand out offensive positivity that fell upon the Titans today.
That’ll have to change fast, as the Titans host the Saints next week.
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Saints are led by this guy named Drew Brees, and he’s leading a disgustingly good offense right now in New Orleans.
Points will be needed, maybe even in bunches, in order for the Titans to even keep up.
Injuries On Defense Come Back to Bite The Titans
This banged up Titans secondary has been getting by, despite the prolonged absences of Malcom Butler and Adoree Jackson.
Tramaine Brock, Tye Smith, and LeShaun Sims filled in for those 2 today, and ended up receiving a fine roasting from DeAndre Hopkins and Kenny Stills.
Hopkins finished the game with 119 yards receiving, including 2 big plays in which Deshaun Watson bought time and Hopkins found holes in the back end.
There’s no keeping Hopkins down for long, as he’s one of the best wide receivers in the league and is lining up across from your usual CB4 and CB5, plus a guy that was just claimed off waivers from the Cardinals.
But in order to somehow keep your defense competent, your remaining top corners have to be able to step up and do their job to limit any sort of defensive leakage.
That didn’t happen today.
Kenny Stills caught 2 early touchdowns, one against the Titans’ best remaining corner, Logan Ryan.
It wasn’t a complete stinker of a day for the defense, but it wasn’t exactly great neither.
Example? The drive in which the Titans’ defense let up a touchdown right after the offense tied the game at 14.
Either way, the secondary will have its hands full next week with Michael Thomas. Few teams have been able to slow him down, so I wouldn’t count on this banged up secondary being able to seal the deal.
But that’s why we play the games right?
The Titans are now in a tough spot, not just in the race for the AFC South, but for a wildcard spot as well.
Winning against the Saints is a must now, and if that can’t be done, the Titans’ playoff chances could be in a lot of trouble.
Featured photo via Wesley Hitt/Getty Images