NFL Team Report - Tennessee Titans - INSIDE SLANT
Tennessee Titans owner K.S. "Bud" Adams died Monday morning of natural causes in his Houston home, the team announced. He was 90.
Adams co-founded the AFL and owned the Houston Oilers since their debut in the league in 1960, through their move to Memphis in 1997 and then Nashville, where they became the Tennessee Titans.
Adams and Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson were the last surviving original AFL owners. Adams' Oilers won AFL titles in 1960 and '61.
The Oilers were the first football team to play indoors at the Houston Astrodome. They played there until their controversial move to Tennessee. The Titans reached the Super Bowl in the 1999 season.
He accumulated more wins than any other current NFL owner with 409. The 400th occurred against the Houston Texans in the 2011 regular-season finale.
"We are sad to hear about the passing of Titans owner Bud Adams," Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. "I will never forget when I first bought the Redskins how gracious he was and the passion that he had for pro football. It was wonderful to be one of his friends."
Adams also owned the Houston Mavericks of the ABA from 1967-69 and the Nashville Kats of the Arena League from 2001-07.
"Bud Adams played a pivotal role in the growth of pro football as a pioneer and innovator," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "As a founding owner of the American Football League that began play in 1960, Bud saw the potential of pro football and brought the game to new cities and new heights of popularity, first in Houston and then in Nashville. He was an brilliant entrepreneur with a terrific sense of humor that helped lighten many a tense meeting. His commitment to the best interests of the game and league was unwavering, and his personal along with the team's impact in community relations and philanthropy set a standard for the NFL. Bud was truly a gift to the NFL. We extend our deepest sympathy to his daughters Susan and Amy, and the entire family."
He is also survived by seven grandchildren.
--Some Titans players and staff had labeled Sunday's game with the San Francisco 49ers a "must win" situation.
So, the Titans went out and gave their worst performance of the season to date in falling to 3-4 and entering their bye week now on a three-game losing skid.
In their previous three defeats, the Titans were at least competitive, thanks mainly to a stingy defense. But on Sunday that defense finally buckled and succumbed to the 49ers who baffled them with play fakes off the read option that lead to big runs from Colin Keapernick.
So where does that leave the Titans as they have an off week before their much-anticipated reunion with former coach Jeff Fisher on Nov. 3 against the St. Louis Rams?
It leaves them back at the drawing board trying to figure out how to regain their confidence and composure. The Titans, until Sunday, had been able to go toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in the NFL, and except for a trip to Denver and a home-and-home with AFC South leader Indianapolis, the Titans schedule does get a little easier after the bye.
But the Titans, even with a bit of a break in the schedule, can't afford to play like they have at critical times in certain games. Sunday's effort was the most glaring example. They allowed 153 yards rushing in being consistently duped by the 49ers' read option package, had 10 penalties for 100 yards and allowed 8 of 16 third-down conversions.
"We talk about having an identity, but we can't have an identity by going out there and fricking beating ourselves," safety Bernard Pollard said.
A promising 3-1 start that had the Titans believing they could and should compete with the best teams in the NFL, has suddenly turned into many question marks now at 3-4.
"We're 3-4, and we have to decide how we're gonna handle that," Coach Mike Munchak said. "We're not even at the halfway point yet. ... This season is a long journey, and 3-4 is not where we' hoped we'd be."
Running back Chris Johnson said the Titans have to use the bye week to regroup and make a push, as they now stand two games behind the Colts in the AFC South through seven weeks.
"We break the season down like quarters. The first quarter we were 3-1, and then we come back and lose games back-to-back. We just have to go into it with the same mentality. We have to wint he third quarter of the season," he said.
NFL Team Report - Tennessee Titans - NOTES, QUOTES
--WR Kenny Britt's forgettable season continued Sunday. Britt had one catch for an eight-yard gain. But it was a sequence later in the contest that his frustration showed through. Britt was able to draw a pass interference penalty from the 49ers' Tarell Brown, even though he got away with a shove after the play was over. After Jake Locker threw high to Britt in the end zone, Brown pushed Britt to the ground as he was coming down. The receiver took exception and retaliated, drawing a 15-yard penalty. As it turned out, the Titans scored on the next play, but it showed Britt's frustrations boiling over.
He declined comment after the game, but teammate Delanie Walker spoke about the matter.
"You can't lose your mind out there because we were losing the game," Walker said. "We were trying to get back in the game and we're out there fighting with them. That's what they wanted us to do. They want to get us out of the game when we are getting the momentum. Just nonsense. That's unprofessional and we don't need to put that on film."
--Brian Schwenkie made his first start at center after being inactive for the first six games. Schwenkie, a rookie fourth-round pick from California, replaced Rob Turner in the starting lineup. Turner was one of Tennessee's inactives against the 49ers.
"There's things I need to work on, but as far as the run game goes, I was pretty happy with how I did," he said. "On those third-down situations, I've got to get better and learn from it obviously."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I can't put my team in that situation by making boneheaded mistakes like that." -- KR Darius Reynaud, whose muffed punt was recovered by the 49ers for a TD.
NFL Team Report - Tennessee Titans - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--QB Jake Locker showed no ill effects from missing two weeks with a hip an knee injury. Locker, after a slow start, finished with 326 yards passing and hit on 25 of 41 passes for two touchdowns with one interception.
--WR Kenny Britt caught one pass and drew a pass interference penalty on the 49ers, but also got a 15-yard penalty for his retaliation against the Niners' Tarell Brown.
--RB Chris Johnson rushed for just 39 yards Sunday, but also had a 66 yard TD reception off a screen pass.
--KR Darius Reynaud had a terrible game and might have cost himself his job with a muffed punt that gave the 49ers a late touchdown. He also had two kick returns where he was stopped inside the 15-yard line and lost yardage trying to reverse field on a punt return.
--WR Kendall Wright had nine catches for 98 yards on Sunday to lead the Titans.
--QB Jake Locker wasn't quite as mobile in his return from hip and knee injuries that cost him the past two weeks, but scrambled well enough for 29 yards on thee runs.
--RB Shonn Greene got his first action since having his knee scoped a month ago and played sparingly with just one carry for two yards.
--LB Moise Fokou was out Sunday due to a knee injury suffered last week.
--DE Derrick Morgan was scratched after working out pre-game due to a shoulder injury, one that he played through last week, although he was limited.
--S Michael Griffin left the game with a hip flexor and did not return.
--DE Ropati Pitoitua had a calf injury, but returned to finish the contest.
REPORT CARD VS. 49ERS
PASSING OFFENSE: C -- Jake Locker was 25 of 41 for 326 yards with two touchdowns and an interceptions. The problem was, the Titans waited until they were down 24-0 in the fourth quarter to get anything going..
RUSHING OFFENSE: C-minus -- They averaged 5.4 yards per rush, but only ran the ball 13 times (three of those were Locker scrambles) due to being so far behind in the second half.
PASS DEFENSE: C -- Colin Kaepernick was effective when he had to be throwing the football, completing 13 of 21against Tennessee for 199 yards. A big interception by Bernard Pollard went by the boards on an Akeem Ayers penalty for hitting Kaepernick low.
RUSH DEFENSE: F -- What had been pretty good through six weeks, fell apart against the 49ers read option. Kaepernick was especially effective with the play fake to Frank Gore and then using the naked bootleg off that to fool the Titans time and again.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F -- Darius Reynaud is likely to be replaced after his latest adventure in kick returning. He had a muffed punt for a 49ers TD and also made questionable decisions on at least three other kicks.
COACHING: F -- In a game players and coaches both thought could be "must win," the Titans laid an egg and were completely flat for three quarters, playing listlessly on offense and sluggish on defense, while special teams continues to be a disaster.