Found December 29, 2012 on
Fox Sports Florida:
Game time: Sunday at 1 p.m. ET
No matter what happens in Sunday's season finale at LP Field, the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars will finish with the worst records in the AFC South.
There are still plenty of questions about what will happen this offseason for these struggling franchises.
In their second season under Mike Munchak, the Titans (5-10) have missed the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year. They have major questions on both sides of the ball as second-year quarterback Jake Locker has more interceptions (11) than touchdown passes (10) and the team is giving up a league-worst 30.1 points per game after last Sunday's 55-7 loss at Green Bay.
Locker was picked off twice and sacked a season-high seven times and Tennessee allowed its most points since losing 59-0 to New England on Oct. 18, 2009.
"It's embarrassing to lose 50-something to seven," Munchak said after the Titans fell to 0-8 against teams with winning records. "That's just not acceptable and we let it happen. Thank God we have that (game this week) because I wouldn't want this to be our last game of the year."
Munchak has two years left on his contract, but with seven of the team's losses coming by 14 points or more, Titans owner Bud Adams has plenty of decisions to make about the future of his team.
New Jaguars owner Shad Khan has to decide if first-year coach Mike Mularkey and general manager Gene Smith will return after the team missed the playoffs for a fifth straight season.
Jacksonville (2-13) set a team record for losses last Sunday with a 23-16 defeat to New England, but Mularkey is proud of how his players have competed during this rough season. Three of the Jaguars' last five losses have been by seven points or fewer.
"They just haven't been rewarded with something when they've played well, and that's probably the most disappointing thing," Mularkey said.
The Jaguars, who've dropped 11 of 12 overall, must end a five-game road losing streak to complete their first season sweep of the Titans since 2005.
Led by quarterback Chad Henne, who replaced the injured Blaine Gabbert to throw two TD passes in his first start since last October with Miami, Jacksonville ended a seven-game overall slide with a 24-19 victory over the Titans on Nov. 25.
Henne will be missing one of his main targets Sunday with Cecil Shorts - the team leader with 979 receiving yards and seven scores - done for the season after suffering a concussion last week.
Jaguars back Rashad Jennings (shoulder) was also placed on injured reserve this week.
Last year's NFL rushing leader, Maurice Jones-Drew, will miss the season finale due to a sprained foot that cost him the final 10 games of the season. He ran for 103 yards and a touchdown in the Jaguars' last visit to Nashville, a 23-17 Titans victory Dec. 24, 2011.
Whoever lines up for Jacksonville will face a Titans team that's 10 points shy of setting the franchise record for most points allowed. The 1983 Houston Oilers currently hold that dubious distinction at 460.
"We have one more game, and we've got to fix it," cornerback Alterraun Verner said. "We've got to come out way better than this and finish off strong. This is embarrassing."
That would also be a good description of the Titans' offense last week when they totaled a season-low 180 yards. Tennessee had averaged 334.7 yards in the three previous games under offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, who replaced the fired Chris Palmer following the loss to the Jaguars.
Chris Johnson ran for 80 yards against Jacksonville and was held to 28 on 11 carries last Sunday, but the Jaguars have the second-worst rushing defense in the league at 145.1 yards allowed per game.
Johnson was limited by a right ankle injury this week, but he's expected to start after returning to practice Friday.
Jacksonville has won three of four in this series but has lost three of four in Nashville.
BEST OF MAXIM
According to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, Titans owner Bud Adams has informed head coach Mike Munchak that he’ll be back for the 2013 season.
#Titans owner Bud Adams just informed Mike Munchak he will be back with the team in 2013
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) December 31, 2012
Front office executive Mike Reinfeldt wasn’t as fortunate, he’s been let go.
Adams told me he plans...
David Climer of The Nashville Tennessean writes that the Titans are unlikely to part ways with head coach Mike Munchak this offseason.
“They’re going to keep him. Get used to it,” writes Climer.
Climer adds that owner Bud Adams is unlikely to make another coaching change given his age.
Munchak’s Titans suffered a terrible loss last weekend and the team looks to be in pretty...
Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams told the Tennessean on Monday that coach Mike Munchak will keep his job but fired Senior Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer Mike Reinfeldt. Reinfeldt ran the team's personnel, in addition to his COO duties. General manager Ruston Webster will reportedly take over running the Titans' personnel. "(Reinfeldt) had two years...
Jim Wyatt reports that the Tennessee Titans will retain head coach Mike Munchak for next season, despite what was another disappointing season for the team.
Earlier reports mentioned that although owner Bud Adams was terribly disappointed with the play of the team, he was unlikely to make a change and go through that process. It’s worth noting that Adams kept Jeff Fisher in...
According to the Nashville Tennessean, Titans quarterback Jake Locker will undergo left shoulder surgery "in the near future."Fantasy Spin:Locker was given the starting job at the beginning of the season but was never able to find his groove in Tennessee's offense. Maybe the shoulder injury had something to do with that but we still don't have high hopes for him going into 2013.
Per Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams has informed head coach Mike Munchak his job is safe and he will be back to coach the team in 2013. Adams indicated to Wyatt he believes Munchak needs the right people around him. It's easy for me to think that believes Jerry Gray will not be back as defensive coordinator in 2013, but we'll see.
So it has come to this. Late last season, I wrote a post on a Titans offense that was fundamentally nonfunctional. Three hundred seventy-six days later, the offense is once again fundamentally nonfunctional, for similar but not exactly the same reasons. For this post, though, I'll concentrate on one of the differences. In that post a year ago, I declared Matt Hasselbeck was neither...
Mike Munchak believes he's the man to coach Tennessee back to the playoffs.
His case: two wins in his final three games along with some young talent that helped the Titans become the first in NFL history with two players scoring twice each on returns.
Mike Mularkey's argument for keeping his job in Jacksonville may be a bit tougher, especially after what happened in the...
To help round out our 2012 here at The Jaggernaut, Andrew Strickert of Total Titans agreed to answer some of our questions about the Titans and this weekend's game. If you'd like to see my answers to his questions, take a trip over to Total Titans and check it out. Once again, our thanks to Andrew and Total Titans.
The Jaggernaut: Obviously one of the big questions for...
Titans head coach Mike Munchak mentioned that re-signing TE Jared Cook will be one of their top priorities this offseason, per Terry McCormick.
Cook underwent shoulder surgery after tearing his rotator cuff back in Week 13, which subsequently ended his season. Cook has plenty of potential to become a big-play threat for the Titans, but he has underachieved while in the team’s...