Titans routed by Patriots, 34-13

Well, I thought there was a chance it wouldn't be pretty, and it indeed wasn't. The Tennessee Titans struggled to move the ball on offense and didn't get many stops on defense. Add them up, and you get a 34-13 loss to the New England Patriots to open the season.

The day started promisingly enough, as Jake Locker had a nice completion to Kendall Wright for a third down conversion on the opening drive. Down in the red zone, pass interference on third down wasn't called and the Titans settled for a Bironas field goal. The lead would last almost 7 minutes, but only because Brandon Lloyd slowed down after Michael Griffin bit badly on a playfake and failed to haul in a sure touchdown. Griffin, whom Bill Belichick declared this week was one of the best safeties in the league, would be beaten for the actual touchdown, a 23-yard pass to Aaron Hernandez.

The next two Titans drive ended with Jake Locker turnovers, the first on a deep shot where Nate Washington failed to beat the coverage and the safety over the top made the pick on a tip. The second was a fumble on a sack in the end zone that would be recovered and returned for a score to put the Pats up 14-3. A six-and-out later, the Pats marched down the field in 12 plays for a 21-3 lead not long before the two minute warning, and the fires of hope were dimmed.

Things would get marginally more interesting after Locker to Washington made it 21-10, but not much more so. The big news from the second half was Jake Locker and Nate Washington were both shaken up on the same play, one where Washington was crunched between two Pats defenders and let go of the ball and Locker made the tackle after the fumble that after replay wasn't. Locker likely could have returned, but the Titans elected to go the rest of the way with Matt Haseelbeck in a non-competitive game.

On a day when the Titans needed their best-paid players to have good games, that didn't happen. Michael Griffin was lousy. Chris Johnson danced. Kamerion Wimbley had one sack on a good play but didn't seem to be a consistent factor. Jason McCourty was ok, but not great. Steve Hutchinson was flagged for holding that negated a 21-yard Locker run on third down. Michael Roos was beat for the sack that forced the fumble. All in all, a pretty ugly day, and with Colin McCarthy shaken up in addition to Locker and Washington, a painful one was well.

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