Who were those people dressed up like Titans fans? I’ll get to the disappointing performance of the players in a minute, but I’ve got to say first that today’s game was the strangest, and worst, experience I’ve had yet at a Titans home game. For the past six years, whenever the Titans are on defense, without any coaxing, the fans in my section — and most of those on the field level, stand up and scream their heads off. It’s just a tradition. You stand up. You scream. You go home hoarse.
Today, however, it was like a totally different crowd showed up. All the seats in my section were filled up with what looked like Titans fans. They were wearing Titans gear. But these people were not fans. They had come to the game, a TITANS game, and were being spectators. Spectators at a Titans game! No 12th-man thing going on here. It was like showing up at an alternate universe, or something. A “down-in-front” crowd had replaced the fanatics who were usually sitting in those seats. I thought I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone, or any moment now, someone was going to tell me it was all a part of some giant practical joke. It was only deep in the second half, at the coaxing of Kevin Carter, that the home crowd “got into” a defensive stand. Pathetic. The “best fans in the NFL” claim has now become an ironic joke.
Granted, the team didn’t give the fans a lot to cheer about either. In a nutshell, the Texans shut down Chris Brown. Drew Bennett continued to drop the must-catch, in the hands passes. (Is he channeling Chris Sanders, or something?) Steve McNair threw four (it could have been more, I lost count at four) interceptions and seemed “off” all day. And Lamont Thompson got whipped in his pass coverage. There’s more really bad things to say (i.e., every team in our division has beaten us at our house), but frankly, I’d rather go sulk elsewhere.
Update: My 14-year-old co-analyst (a Jets fan since the 3rd grade) points out that the Titans’ lack of depth at wide receiver and failure to pressure opposing quarterbacks are the missing links, and the cause of both problems may be benefitting other teams: Justin MacCariens is now at the 5-0 Jets. And Jevon Kearse is now at the 5-0 Eagles.