The wheels have officially come off for the Tennessee Titans.
Nate Washington refused to comment about the Vince Young situation after Sunday's game.
A series of events during and after Sunday's 19-16 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins at LP Field have the team in a tailspin.
The Titans have lost three in a row to sink to 5-5, falling to a Washington team that gave up 59 points the week before. And yet the Titans still found a way to not only lose, but turn their season into a train wreck in the process.
"We have a lot of work to do. We are going to have to look at the roster. We need guys to go out there and make plays. There may be changes. I am very disappointed," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said.
Fisher appers to be most disappointed with quarterback Vince Young, who has lost his starting job. Young threw part of his uniform in the stands when walking off the field and left the stadium immediately after the game - despite Fisher asking Young not to quit on his teammates.
The demotion may be a moot point because Fisher also indicated that Young might need surgery to repair a tendon in the quarterback's right (throwing) thumb.
Untested rookie Rusty Smith apparently heard from the media that he is now the starting quarterback, and according to receiver Nate Washington, players were told after the game to “keep their mouths shut” about the Young situation.
The Tennessee defense continues to struggle. The Titans were shredded for 465 yards and 86 offensive plays by a Redskins team that hardly qualifies as a juggernaut.
The Titans struggled on offense as well, not scoring a single touchdown – save for Marc Mariani's 87-yard punt return.
One glaring bad spot for the Titans was third-down defense. The Redskins, who were last in the league in third-down conversions, moved the chains on eight of 16 third-down chances Sunday.
“As a team, coaches, defense, we all need to come together to figure out some way, somehow, on how we can improve this third-down defense and get off the field,” safety Michael Griffin said.
Jason Babin gave Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb credit for Washington's ability to keep the chains moving.
“He used his legs to get away from numerous sacks,” Babin said.
Even with all that, plus the Young drama that would later unfold, the Titans still had a chance to win the game. The Titans didn't give up many big plays on third down, but they fell apart time after time with opportunities to get off the field.
At no time was it worse than on the final drive of overtime. That's when an Alterraun Verner interception was overturned by replay. During the play, a roughing penalty on Jason Babin was called on the Titans sideline, bailing the Redskins out of a second-and-22 situation that would have been third-and-22 if not for the penalty.
“We were off the field," Babin said about the penalty. "A guy hit me and I turned around and pushed him, and his helmet was unsnapped, so I think it looked a lot worse than it was.”
That was bad enough for the Titans, but later in the drive Will Witherspoon was whistled for 15 more yards on a helmet-to-helmet hit on McNabb. Finally, Verner was hit with a five-yard penalty for illegal contact.
It all added up to a 48-yard, game-winning field goal for Graham Gano - whose 47-yard attempt into the wind came up short at the end of regulation.
A season that had started 5-2 for the Titans now appears to be filled with drama - and headed down a path that could mean a high draft pick.
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