Taylor Lewan went public last week concerning the “lack of respect” the Titans received after their big win against the Philadelphia Eagles.
It was enough to prompt the NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt to explain the situation to Lewan via a verbal bashing that would’ve made anyone feel small.
Well, just a few days later, Lewan and the Titans are well aware of why they were “disrespected”.
After collapsing in a turnover-filled loss to the Buffalo Bills – arguably the worst team in the NFL – the Titans now find themselves at 3-2. The loss was bad enough, but they also missed out on an opportunity to take a sizeable lead in the AFC South after losses by Jacksonville and Indianapolis.
Lewan played in just 17 snaps before leaving the game due to a foot injury. By then, the Titans had already committed one turnover and were down 7-3. Three plays after Lewan’s exit, Marcus Mariota threw an interception that would’ve led to a field goal if it weren’t for the Bills’ incompetence on special teams.
Tennessee had a chance to win the game on more than one occasion. Down 10-6 in the fourth quarter, Mariota threw a dime to a wide-open Nick Williams only to watch the receiver drop the ball as he entered the end zone. Later in the fourth, leading 12-10 after Ryan Succop nailed a 50-yard field goal, the Titans couldn’t get one stop against the league’s 31st-ranked offense to preserve the victory.
Instead, Buffalo drove 47 yards on 11 plays as Steven Hauschka hit the game-winning 46-yarder to send Tennessee back home with a fat L.
Don’t get it confused, the win against the Eagles was huge for the franchise. They are in fact the defending Super Bowl champs, but guess what? Tampa Bay beat them earlier in the season and the Vikings – who also lost to the Bills – just beat them as well.
Any team can lose in the NFL on Sunday. The better teams win consistently and THAT is how you earn respect in the NFL.
The Titans’ offense was atrocious. Mariota posted a 51.6 rating and the team finished with a net total of 221 offensive yards – and don’t forget the three turnovers.
To make matters worse, Josh Allen finished with a 42.0 rating and 82 yards passing and his only touchdown came on the ground. In today’s NFL, if you hold any team under 100 yards passing, that should be an automatic win.
The Bills controlled the game, evidenced by their 43 rushing attempts and they never allowed the Titans to get in any type of rhythm offensively. Any team that deserves respect will find a way to win these types of games and Tennessee simply couldn’t get it done.
This is nothing new to the franchise. After rolling to an 8-4 record in 2017, they inexcusably dropped two straight games to the Cardinals and 49ers. The offense was the achilles heel yet again, scoring 30 points in those two games after averaging close to 22 points per game in the previous five showdowns. They would go on to finish 9-7 and just make the playoffs as a wildcard team.
Scratching your way into your first playoff appearance in nearly a decade won’t earn respect and neither will losing to a bottom-feeder during the regular season. It doesn’t matter who you beat, it’s who you beat on a regular basis that really matters.
The Titans learned this the hard way and hopefully for them, this lesson will stick.
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