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Another game and another Titans sloppy win. The Titans overcame miscues and a resilient yet reeling Houston team. Their 24-13 win places them at 8-4 and in prime position for a wild-card spot. That’s all well and good but this game was another sign that the Titans aren’t ready for prime time. Yes, good teams know how to win ugly, but the Titans don’t appear to know any other way. In their defense, they got better in some places. That being said playing sloppy will come back to bite them.

For the first time since October 22nd, Marcus Mariota didn’t throw an interception. He mainly won the game on his legs but did throw a touchdown pass to Delanie Walker. Once again the Titans relied primarily on their run game but Mariota’s efficiency improved. That’s positive but what isn’t positive is that they are continuing to run him. It’s understandable that the team wants to make their first postseason since 08. However, the Titans don’t appear to be putting him in a position to succeed in the pocket.

Mike Mularkey either can’t figure out a way to keep Mariota in the pocket or he won’t. It is true that Corey Davis has struggled as a first-year receiver but that’s on Mularkey too. He’s seemed resigned to his team’s sloppy play. The team embraced their ability to win sloppy games. That’s fine if there are games in which the Titans blow out lesser competition but that hasn’t happened. Delanie Walker seems to be the only one publicly admitting that.

Going forward the Titans have an easy game against a tanking 49ers team. This provides them a great chance to fix this stuff. A win is likely and would maintain their two-game wild-card lead and their one-game division lead. That being said, if all the Titans are going to be is the good-bad team, then that won’t get them very far. The Titans won’t be able to hope for a LeShaun Sims┬ápick to secure a win against the good teams. The Steelers game should’ve been a wake-up call. Mularkey and company have only seen it as a blip.

Sports Al Dente 2019

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