JOE BIDDLE: Pittsburgh stands in Titans way

JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: July 7, 2013 (Image 1)

The Titans future is much like that of the small knot of Texans and other volunteers who clung to each other inside the Alamo Mission.

They were surrounded by Mexican General Santa Anna's army that gathered for a third and final attack on the small fort in San Antonio. His army was overpowering rough and tumble frontiersmen who withstood a 13-day siege, but even they realized their fate.

Those approximately 100 brave men stayed and fought to the grave, outnumbered by 1,500 troops.

That is what I want to see Thursday night when the Pittsburgh Steelers invade LP Field.

Can this Titans team salvage what has been an embarrassing 1-4 start?

Titans Coach Mike Munchak pretty much admitted his hands are tied. He has chosen the coaches and players he will fight with, for better or worse.

So far, it has been worse. In the Associated Press Pro 32 Power Ratings, the Titans are No. 30, ahead of the 1-4 Jaguars and winless Browns. Their lone win came in a wild 44-41 overtime game against Detroit at LP Field. The four losses were X-rated, not suitable viewing for those under 18.

The Steelers are coming off a win against the Eagles and Coach Mike Tomlin came away grousing about penalties and style points.

“It was no work of art by any stretch,'' Tomlin said after the game.

Is he kidding? Man, the Titans would have taken that one and celebrated. They would take anything at this point. But that's the difference between a .500 team still in the hunt and a Titans ship taking on water.

Munchak has been around the NFL long enough to weather these type storms. He knows it is up to the players. They are the ones who can make it happen and we should know early on by their body language if they will fight to the end.

While Tomlin is fretting about illegal formation flags and false starts, the Titans have a laundry list of problems that affect all phases of the game.

They have been outscored 181-88 five games deep in the season. That 93-point difference is the widest margin in the NFL.

While fans are now pointing fingers at coordinators Chris Palmer and Jerry Gray, they must be accountable. However, I haven't seen either one of them miss a tackle, throw an interception, or drop to the ground at the slightest contact.

Munchak took a hard look at penalties and turnovers, two areas that lead to 1-4 records.

“That's really been killing us all year,'' he said after the 30-7 loss to the Vikings. “It kept us in a one-down situation, which you don't want to be in when you're on the road in a noisy place.''

It will be interesting to see how many Titans fans show up in full throat Thursday night. We know Steelers Nation will be loud and proud. It will be present in large numbers.

Steelers fans are the NFL's version of Kentucky basketball fans. They invade no matter how tight the ticket, no matter if they have to go to work the next day after a road game the night before. They live for their team.

Will the Titans fans stay strong, or run for the exits if the Titans show up flat and get behind early?

“It's kind of disappointing, running down the same road every Sunday. … We're not able to put drives together and put up points,'' said Titans jogging back Chris Johnson, who averaged 1.8 yards a carry in Minnesota.

“We just have to try and come together as a team and start trying to get some victories here. Honestly, the worst thing we could do is start pointing the fingers.''

The men at the Alamo fought to the bitter end. How much fight is left in the Titans?

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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