A 3rd take on Titans-Rams


I know Drexel and Andrew have already given some of their thoughts on yesterday’s game against the Rams, but now you’re getting mine. I’ll have some general thoughts, plus some comments specific to the players to watch I mentioned in the preview.
1. It’s going to be another long year for the Rams fans.
2. I’ll pay attention to this when I do UFR, but I’m pretty sure that LB 59 McGarigle, starting in place of Will Witherspoon, made a bad play on every decent run the Titans had the first drive.
3. GREAT play by Jason Jones to beat RG Incognito to stuff Leonard.
4. Haynesworth jumping offside will drive me insane again this year-the 1st quarter penalty on Kearse came on a play where Haynesworth jumped and then the rest of the D-line followed him.
5. Thornton follows up a bad play missing a tackle, with a good one disrupting a screen.
6. Reynaldo Hill did not magically stop sucking during the offseason.
7. It was nice to see that on the Rams’ 1st quarter FG drive, their bigger plays came against the Titans’ backup defensive linemen.
8. I was pleased with Chris Carr’s performance as a returner. Best part: he didn’t give up the ball once, which is something he’s had problems with in the past.
9. Wow, VY made that scramble look easy. It’s supposed to look hard to get 35 yards on a run.
10. The sack VY took at the end of the first quarter… VY should have a better idea of where the pressure is and get the ball off. That said, that sack is mostly on Amano, who got totally lost on the play. It’s not good when an O-lineman is standing around looking for the guy he’s supposed to be blocking.
11. Hopefully Fisher’s using these games to get his eyes in shape-the Ealy challenge was a bad one, and a big mistake by Biren. The Martin challenge was a better one, but I believe still the correct call by the officials. Remember, the ball must be inbounds when it crosses the goalline. Fisher seemed to recognize this in the post-game presser.
12. As nice as it is to have football back, it’s still just preseason, and the first preseason game at that.
13. I don’t feel like saying much about the second half.
The players I mentioned to watch?
1. Chris Johnson. Nice TD run, showing his speed. Other than that, pretty meh.
2. Jason Jones. As noted above, a nice play to beat Incognito, who’s not a rookie himself. I didn’t see him as a liability.
3. Jevon Kearse. One pass deflection, on a play where it looked like the Rams didn’t bother to try to block him. Mostly a zero aside from that.
4. Chris Hope. I didn’t see much noticeable. Some hesitation on Leonard’s first good run, but that was because there was a blocker and two angles. Hill’s job was to fill the other, and he didn’t.
5. Eric King. A couple special teams tackles, but overall not very impressive. A couple blown tackles on Dante Hall, and no particularly good defensive plays.
Also, kudos to the Rams broadcast team for calling Daniel Loper the “most important Titans offensive lineman” because of his ability to play three positions.
Finally, one last point. The Titans ran the ball for a lot of yards, primarily because they had a lot of long runs. A better measure of whether or not the run game was good is success rate. Note: a high percentage is good. Here’s how each back did:
White : 67%
Johnson: 33%
Henry : 50%
Ganther: 75%
Cuff : 56%
Overall: 56%
This is definitely an above-average performance, but not as much so as you might expect. For example, Chris Brown’s success rate last year for all his carries was 57%. Part of it’s the O-line, of course, and the Titans did have a good game running the ball, but let’s not get too carried away.


7 Responses to “A 3rd take on Titans-Rams”

  1. Garland Says:

    I don’t care what the success rate is if one out of seven carries is a 66-yard touchdown. That’s obviously way more valuable than a 3-yard run that gets a first down (I assume that is a “success” as well), but each counts the same is the success rate. So like any single stat, success rate only tells part of the story.

  2. Tom Gower Says:

    True, Garland, but big plays like that are pretty rare, not common like they were on Saturday. Average overall but with a lot of big plays was the Vikings formula last year. Johnson is a home run threat, but there’s a difference between a home run hitter with a .300 OBP and one with a .400 OBP, to mix my sports metaphors, and I’m not sure which Johnson is at this point.

  3. jerry t Says:

    From what i saw saturday night the run game is kick
    a**. As for the recievers, jeff needs to get on to thier
    a** a.s.a.p I know it’s still early but man they suck and
    J gauge didn’t catch a ball did he.

  4. Garland Says:

    The mea culpas continue, this time from Peter King:
    “Watching the highlights Sunday morning, there was nothing as impressive as rookie Titan back Chris Johnson’s 66-yard touchdown burst against the Rams. Remember when we all ridiculed Tennessee for taking their third straight running back on the first day of the draft in April? Never mind. Johnson’s speed could be a real difference-maker for Tennessee.”

  5. Robert F. Ludwick Says:

    Indeed it’s nice to see some vindication for Chris Johnson, although I’ll admit that I was on the critics’ side of the fence when they drafted him, for the most part. Perhaps the coaching staff actually *did* know what they were doing, choosing a speedy running back above a speedy wide receiver.
    Just goes to show you that a speedy running back that can catch may be better than a speedy wide receiver.

  6. jerry t Says:

    Run run run the titans do run run run……..

  7. Does CJ’s low success rate in 2009 mean bad things for 2010? | Total Titans Says:

    […] being afraid to sound a sour note, one of my concerns about Chris Johnson ever since his first big preseason performance against the Rams has been whether or not he can run the ball with consistent success.  He’s […]

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