Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 10/26/11
Titans coach Mike Munchak isn't going to send running back Chris Johnson and his 30 million to the bench for a lackluster performance this season. Neither is he making any changes on the offensive line for now, even though there are decent backups on hand. Tennessee got blasted 41-7 Sunday by Houston, forcing Munchak and the Titans into re-evaluation mode. But while the Titans were hammered last week, Johnson and the offensive line have been getting hammered for weeks. The running game ranks last in the NFL, despite having one of the game's top threats in Johnson and a line with a good reputation as a strong unit. Munchak said he hesitates to make changes on the line, especially because such moves might be disruptive to the chemistry of the unit, which has done a solid job of pass protection for Matt Hasselbeck. While Fernando Velasco might be stronger at the point of attack in the running game than guard Leroy Harris or center Eugene Amano, he is probably not entering the starting lineup just yet. "Two weeks ago, we were 3-1, thinking we were a pretty good football team," Munchak said. "I know we were struggling with the run game most of the season. Other than maybe one game, we are not running the ball the way we would like to, but if you are going to make a change, if you change the offensive line, it can't be a one-week thought. 'Let me put this guy in for one week and see how it works.' "You may mess up more things. I think on the offensive side, I don't know what the stats are now, but I think we gave up the least sacks in the league (entering play Sunday). So obviously in the passing game those five guys are doing a really good job, so is it worth the sacrifice that maybe we will get 10 or 20 more yards rushing, but the quarterback may get hit three or four more times because you have communication problems inserting one new guy. "When you make changes, you have to take into account all the factors that go with that change, and sometimes it's not worth the risk." How could the Tennessee Titans have had such a disastrous performance in a game that meant so much against the team they have virtually owned for so long? After the game on Sunday, the Titans were still searching for those answers themselves, having been blasted 41-7 by the Houston Texans, a team that had beaten them only five times in the previous 18 meetings. "We definitely are used to punching them in the mouth, but they're a better team now," fullback Ahmard Hall said. Indeed, the Titans find themselves only a half game out of the division lead, though it currently feels like the Titans and Texans are two ships passing in the AFC South standings night. Two consecutive games now the Titans have been blown out, having been outscored 79-24 in those losses. The Titans' sudden ineptness now has coach Mike Munchak and his staff re-evaluating everything about the team in search of answers. "I think when you lose like that, you should re-evaluate everything," Munchak said. "You can't let it shake you to where that you change everything that you are doing because of one game, because you have to believe in what you do. But you have to have guys that take ownership of what they do." At the core of the problem -- at least on the offensive side of the ball -- is the almost inexplicable drop-off in production of running back Chris Johnson, who in the minds of fans, at least, is danger of going from play-maker to seat taker. Johnson won't be benched anytime soon, as the Titans have invested 30 million guaranteed in him after his holdout, but the truth is, with only 268 yards rushing through six games, Johnson is looking like a more distant memory all the time. Certainly some of the culpability with Johnson's woes are on him, whether it is his lack of conditioning from the holdout, or not making the right reads, or whatever else. The offensive line has its share in the responsibility as well, and changes there, while not likely, could be afoot if things don't get resolved. The defense also had its problems, allowing two 100-yard rushers and nearly 300 yards passing to Matt Schaub, who finished with 296 as the Texans called off the dogs offensively at the end. "It was just bad football all around," linebacker Barrett Ruud said. "We were just way too inconsistent. It seemed like there was a mistake or two on way too many plays. Houston's got a good offense. And when you make a few mistakes, we were not nearly consistent enough to play with them today." So why so flat in such a big game? "If I knew the answer to that, it probably wouldn't have happened," cornerback Jason McCourty said. "I don't really know what to say. It was a big game for us, and the way we came out to play was horrible."
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