The Tennessee Titans showed fight in battling back from 17 points down to force overtime in an eventual loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, but head coach Mike Munchak will need more than moral victories if he hopes to keep his job. Titans president Tommy Smith said the organization will wait until after the season to decide Munchak's fate, but stressed that winning is the expected standard, according to The Tennesseean.
"I'm disappointed because I like winning," Smith said following the 37-34 defeat, in which Tennessee scored 17 points in the final four minutes of regulation only to lose in overtime by a field goal. "I don't like losing. We're not in the losing business. We're in the winning business. It's nice to be competitive and say you got close... We're not into that."
The Titans are now 5-9 and will miss the playoffs for a third time in Munchak's three seasons. Under his leadership, the team has gone 19-23 and has just one winning season -- a 9-7 finish in 2011.
"At the end of the season we'll sit down... and we'll go through this and at that time make some value judgements," Smith said. "So there's nothing today that I can share with you about that. Just know that anything and everything is being looked at."
After the loss to Arizona, some in Tennessee have voiced their disagreement with Munchak's decision not to go for two at the end of regulation. After the Titans pulled to within one point on a Ryan Fitzpatrick touchdown pass with 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Munchak elected to kick the extra point and send the game to overtime rather than go for the two-point conversion and the immediate win.
Munchak himself expressed regret over the decision after the game, as reported by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky.
I thought about it a lot. I just felt that we played so hard to get back into it, to put it on one play, that all of a sudden the game is over, the high to low. Now you sit there and think, ‘We might as well have done it. We had a better chance to win.' I felt the momentum was on our side. We got the ball, which I hoped we would. We were in position to take over the game. We have to make plays there and win it. Now that we didn't get it done, I wish we did go for it.
Earlier that same day, embattled Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan elected to go for two in a similar situation after his team pulled to within one point of the Atlanta Falcons with just 18 seconds remaining. The conversion failed and the Redskins lost, 27-26.