(3-9) vs Titans (2-10)
The Titans were
down 24-0 going into the second half of their game in Houston. They scored the
next two touchdowns, but couldn't stop the Texans after that and lost 45-21.
Giants let another one get away last week in Jacksonville. They held an almost
insurmountable 21-3 lead going into the third quarter, but ended up with a 25-24
- Jaguars Wrap-Up
It must have been a tough call for
the owner to fire head coach Mike Munchak at the end of the 2013 season. He was
with the organization from the start as a player, their first round draft pick
in 1982, when they were the Houston Oilers. After his very successful playing
years were over, Munchak became an assistant coach and the former offensive lineman
was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame before becoming the head coach of
his team in 2011. The Titans won 9 games, then 6, and then 7 in his three years
as coach and the word was that they wanted him to make coaching staff changes
that he didn't believe in for 2014.
After his 30 plus year career with the
team, Munchak was out and Ken Whisenhunt was hired on as his replacement and Munchak
now works for the Pittsburgh Steelers as an offensive line coach. Some say Munchak
was their team's best free-agent pickup of the offseason. So how are things working
out? Whisenhunt had his work cut out for him. There were a lot of coaching changes
of course, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, quarterbacks, offensive
line, tight ends, defensive line, linebackers,secondary, etc.
It takes time
to implement change, one of the messages former coach Munchak was trying to get
across to his management. Currently the Titans are 2-10 and on a six game losing
streak which would have stretched to eleven if they hadn't beaten the lowly Jaguars
by two points back in October. Some say that the players were the problem last
year for Munchak and that he was on the right track. It's interesting that Titans
president and CEO Tommy Smith has recently stated that the coach and General Manager
are safe, but the player roster is not.
Rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger
took over from Jake Locker and has started in the last five games. Mettenberger
was throwing touchdown passes to Odell Beckham Jr. just last year at LSU (three
in one September game). He's coming off a shoulder injury from last week's game,
but is expected to play. Mettenberger is not one of those mobile quarterbacks,
but has completed 60.7 percent of his passes. He's working behind an offensive
line suffering from injuries and some player letdowns, with second and third stringers
The offense took a big hit with Justin Hunter's injury last week.
He was averaging 17.8 yards per reception, the third-best in the NFL, but was
placed on injured reserve with a lacerated spleen. Wide receiver Kendall Wright
leads the Titans with 51 catches and five touchdowns. Wright had his best game
of the season last week, but he cracked a bone in his right hand in practice and
may not play. Tight end Delanie Walker leads the team with 673 receiving yards
and should be targeted more in this game because of those injuries.
back rookie Bishop Sankey finds himself up against a Giants' run defense that
is the leagues second-worst. He could only better his opportunity here if he was
playing against his own team. The Giants gave up 5.4 yards a carry last week to
the Jaguars and though much of that damage was done by their quarterback, the
Giants will be tested in that area.
The Titans are ranked last
in the league at keeping points off the board. They allow 28.2 points a game to
opponents on average. In run defense they are the worst in the league, giving
up 141.5 yards per game. They can put up some good quarterback pressure coming
from all quarters and are eighth in the league with 31 sacks with 15 different
players having at least one. Jurrell Casey had 10.5 sacks last year and currently
he leads the team with 5.
That's the good stuff, and this season the Titans
are still adjusting to having switched from a 4-3 defensive scheme to a 3-4. Adjustments
can be complicated for returning players and finding the right fit for each player
can be tricky. They have been hit for big plays this season because of assignments
and missed tackles. Cornerback Jason McCourty did a solid job last week against
Andre Johnson and will see his share of Odell Beckham Jr. McCourty leads the team
with three interceptions.
They suffered through losing Victor
Cruz, waited for Odell Beckham Jr. to be healthy and lost running back Rashad
Jennings for a time. The offensive line has had it's tale of woes with Geoff Schwartz,
Charles Brown, recently Justin Pugh, Adam Snyder and James Brewer. Pugh is slated
to be back and that will help. Odell Beckham has been the consistent shining star
of the receiver group and caught the most passes last week. Tight end Larry Donnell
was next, but he has trouble holding onto the ball and his mistakes have been
costly. The Giants lead the NFL with 13 lost fumbles and four are his alone.
Jennings ran for 91 yards and had two touchdowns last week. That's the most productive
he's been since his return, but he was not able to play in the fourth quarter
and is questionable for this game. Rookie Andre Williams is still learning as
he goes so he might as well learn against a team that has big problems in protecting
the run. No coach likes to fall back on injuries as an excuse, but you have to
recognize that the Giants have had them impact
every phase of their offense this season.
Just last week they sacked a
rookie quarterback seven times and now they will face another. Damontre Moore
got more playing time against the Jaguars and with Mathias Kiwanuka and Robert
Ayers on injured reserve and Cullen Jenkins nursing a calf injury, he might be
starting. Moore's strength is as a pass rusher, but not as a run-stopper. The
Titans were an average rushing team last season, but have dropped down considerably,
averaging 30 yards a game less than last year for a 88.3 yards a game average.
Moore could look good here.
Middle linebacker Jameel McClain played well last
week, had the most tackles, and will be counted on for run defense. Devon Kennard
got two sacks last week and Jason Pierre-Paul was credited with 1.5. Kerry Wynn
came on strong playing in his first game of the season and he combined on a sack.
Stevie Brown looked as good as he's been in the past, and the secondary allowed
only 140 passing yards and just 1 passing touchdown. Linebackers Mark Herzlich
and Jacquian Williams have suffered concussions and will not make this trip.
Titans have started three quarterbacks this season and are struggling with their
offensive line. That has not helped them be competitive most weeks, losing seven
games by at least two touchdowns. Their running game has taken a major downturn
and hasn't reached 100 yards in the last seven games. They are not a high scoring
offense, ranking near the bottom, averaging just 17.8 points a game.
Giants have played three close games in the last three weeks, losing because of
injuries, breakdowns and turnovers. Better game play could have meant a 6-6 record
with four games left to play, but instead they are at 3-9. This week if the players
stay intact healthwise and don't make those same mistakes, they should come away
with a win over the Titans.
TeamGiants on Twitter.
The Cowboys (9-4) already played their
game on Thursday in Chicago where they won over the Bears (5-8). They were favored
to win that game. On Sunday at 1:00pm, the same time the Giants are playing the
Titans, the Redskins (3-9) will host the Rams (5-7). The Eagles (9-3) play later
in the day at 4:25pm against the traveling Seahawks (8-4). The Giants and Eagles
are favored to win their games.
Giants Store, and see some of the really unique items we put together.
There are some items you certainly haven't seen elsewhere, and each sale helps
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have lost the last seven games, the longest current losing streak in the NFL.
now have 20 players on injured reserve.
have lost seven games by at least two touchdowns.
have allowed 40-plus points in back-to-back losses to Philadelphia (43) and Houston
Dec 14 - Redskins at Giants
Dec 21 - Giants at St. Louis
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