A porous defense keeps undermining Tampa Bay's chances of winning.The Bucs (3-5) have lost five of six following a 2-0 start. Neither changing quarterbacks nor firing defensive coordinator Mike Smith has been an answer to ending a tailspin that's dropped the team into a familiar hole: last place in the NFC South Brian Orakpo Jersey , where they've finished six of the last seven seasons."I don't think the past equals the future," coach Dirk Koetter said after Sunday's 42-28 loss to the Carolina Panthers, a game the Bucs trailed 35-7 at one point. "We've got to play better football, more consistent football. We have to get off to better starts. We've got to be in the hunt in (the) turnover battle."The Bucs are first in the NFL in passing offense and second in total yards. But well as they've moved the ball through eight games, they're just as bad defensively in allowing a league-high 275 points (34.4 per game) and ranking 30th among 32 teams against the pass.To make matters worse, Tampa Bay hasn't forced a turnover in a club-record five consecutive games.Winston lost his starting job after throwing four interceptions two weeks ago. Fitzpatrick flourished early in the season filling in while Winston was serving a three-game suspension. However, in his last three starts the Bucs have been outscored 103-27 in the opening half.Inconsistency on offense has been part of the problem. Shoddy defense has been a recurring theme, even in the games the Bucs have won.Carolina scored on five straight possessions during one stretch of the first half to build a 28-point lead. Fitzpatrick rallied the team within 35-28 in the fourth quarter before the Panthers put away the game.The loss dropped the Bucs to 2-3 in games started by Fitzpatrick. Winston, who's thrown 10 interceptions in four games, is 1-2.A common denominator in Tampa Bay's three victories is the Bucs have played mostly with the lead and found a way to hold off New Orleans, Philadelphia and Cleveland late.In the other five games 鈥?all losses 鈥?opponents have compiled double-digit leads in the first half, and the offense has spent the second half trying to make up ground.Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said players have to own the ineffectiveness."It's frustrating, but that's on the players. It's not on the coaches. It's on us, it's on me," Pierre-Paul said. "I'm tired of the coaches saying they have to take it because it's up to the players to play ball."Koetter said poor tackling was the primary culprit against the Panthers. Mistakes on offense and special teams contributed to falling by 28 in the second quarter."We actually did start fast on defense," Koetter said Monday. "On those five straight drives where they scored, on three of those drives we put them in horrible field position with an interception, two sacks, a punt return and a fake punt."Fitzpatrick rallied the team from a big second-half deficit for the second straight week http://www.titanscheapshops.com/cheap-auth...gan-ryan-jersey , only to fall short in the end, throwing for 243 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.Not good enough to win, but encouraging enough the Koetter said the 35-year-old will start again Sunday at home against Washington."We know we have the talent, it's just we can't keep digging ourselves in these holes, especially on the road," Fitzpatrick said."I don't know that there is an answer or a magical formula or anything; it's just frustrating right now to not play well and then play well in spurts," the quarterback added. "We're just not a very consistent team and not a consistent offense right now."Titans Offensive Line Coach Keith Carter Impressive Over First Two Weeks Football games are won and lost in the trenches.That is a fact. Yet, offensive linemen are the most unheralded players on a football roster. The points dont show up on their stat line, but productive offensive line play is the catalyst for offensive points being scored.After two weeks of play, the Titans sit 1-1 with a division win already in the bag. The offensive line is a big reason why.Grimms ReplacementTitans Offensive Line Coach Keith Carter was dealt a pretty difficult hand early. He started the season without starting RT Jack Conklin. He lost the highest-paid offensive lineman in football before the first half of the first game of the season with LT Taylor Lewan going down with a concussion. Carter lost TE Delanie Walker (yes, I know hes not a lineman), who was hands down the Titans best blocking tight end - who helped make up for the difference in skill level between swing tackle Dennis Kelly and Conklin.
Then, he loses Kelly to an unknown virus with his timetable of return unknown at this point.The Titans were forced to promote T Tyler Marz into the starting lineup at the last minute. With grocery bags full of practice squad reps for both the Titans and the Chargers, Marz was thrust into the line with no regular season snaps under his belt. The Titans hosted the Texans defensive front without their top three tackles active. That is what nightmares are made of. But, it wasnt a nightmare at all.Credit to CarterCarter worked through - what appeared on paper to be - a personnel nightmare. Prior to DE Jadeveon Clowney being ruled out, the Titans offensive linemen were gearing up for their toughest task of the season as the Texans defensive front is far superior to the Miami front they faced week one. Carters guys were prepared and didnt enter the game lacking confidence in their own abilities. The group also didnt show a lack of confidence in their understanding of the offensive game plan. OC Matt LaFleur installed the Wildcat offense during the week (or, at least thats what we assume) in order to account for the possibility of playing without starting quarterback Marcus Mariota. For the offensive line, this meant learning some new strategies or techniques Cheap Corey Davis Jersey , memorizing new terminology and a lot of shifting from level to level. Granted, it was only executed for one series, it still did the job. The offensive line was a big reason for the success of the Wildcat series.Be on the lookout for Mike Miracles All 22 breakdown which will showcase in great detail what the offensive line did well.Adjusting for JacksonvilleIts unknown whether or not we will see the same offensive line group in Jacksonville or if Lewan and Conklin make their return into the lineup. Its fair to guess Lewan is more than likely going to play, but nothing is set in stone with Conklin.The Jaguars defensive front is tough, but the Titans offensive line will not head into Florida with an intimidated mentality. Instead, Carter will have his group primed and ready for the challenge. The secondary of the Jaguars the strength of their defense, but a game plan with emphasis on Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis can neutralize the effectiveness of the secondary. When the balance of pass to run tips in favor of the run heavily, the strong pass defensive secondary has not bearing. QB Blaine Gabbert did well, although the Titans didnt unleash him yet. He was asked to do just enough in the passing game, which is great. It provides the Jaguars with little tape on what the Titans may try to do in the passing game on Sunday.Gabbert, who defeated the Jaguars last season with a less talented Arizona Cardinals team, is up for the challenge of earning another win against his former team. With the Cardinals, Gabbert defeated essentially the same Jacksonville team and did so with his arm. He threw the ball 38 times, racked up 241 yards with two touchdowns to one interceptions. He did fumble the football twice, so hell have to ensure ball security if he gets the nod to start.Gabbert has earned a vote of confidence by his teammates and if the Titans can afford to rest Mariota, they absolutely should. The offensive line is prepared to block for whoever is under center or whoever is running the football. And under Carter, that is how the group will be conditioned all season.