It was a heck of a comeback that featured a lot of good work. Big throws from Ryan Fitzpatrick. Big catches from Kendall Wright. A big onside kick recovery from a team that’s been terrible at the play this year.
But in the end, the Titans lost their eighth game in their last 10. They lost their fifth in a row at home. They lost.
“It’s the same thing at the end,” defensive tackle Jurrell Casey said. “You lose, you come in here, you feel like s---, at the end of the day you’ve got your head in your hands trying to figure out what’s going on. They are all the same. No loss is better than another.”
The magical X factor that gets the Titans on the right side of a close game continues to elude them. They are 4-6 this season in games decided by 8 points or fewer. They are 1-5 in their last six such games.
“Are we pleased with the resolve and the fight that we showed down 17 points in the fourth quarter? Yes,” safety George Wilson said. “At the end of the day the Cardinals made the plays to get the win, we didn’t, and there is no moral victory in that.”
Left tackle Michael Roos dressed slowly and talked of being baffled just like he has numerous times before.
He compares the 2012 6-10 Titans to the 2013 5-9 Titans and sees a huge difference, just not in the record.
“It’s not good enough,” he said. “We had high hopes. So many games, we’re right there. Last year we got our butts handed to us, there were games it didn’t look like we wanted to be out there. Nobody’s giving up in any game this year and we’ve been right there in the fourth quarter leading a lot.
“We just can’t make those plays. It’s a matter of guys believing, seeing the resolve from games like this and fighting to the end. It’s progress, it’s not enough, it’s too little too late in this season. That’s the NFL. You watch Tom Brady, he goes to the last drive every weekend almost and they find a way to make it happen. It’s just a little bit, you’ve got to find it in the NFL, once you have it you get that confidence just keep rolling with it. We clearly don’t have it yet.
“That’s the hard part. You don’t know what it is, or who it is. It’s an intangible thing and you’ve just got to find a way to keep believing and it’ll come.”
The Titans hoped to go back to making LP Field a tough road trip. Safety Bernard Pollard talked of going 8-0 at home.
But they are 2-5 with five consecutive home losses.
"We have to be better at that,” Pollard said. “We have to have an attitude, we have to have something when teams come in here it has to piss you off, you have to have some kind of mindset regardless if you think it or not. Fake it. When teams come in here, it needs to be war at all times and you have to minimize mistakes and we have not done that at all.”