Some notes on Titans-Rams

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It was a great night for football. It was good to see some friends and have a nice tailgate although I unfortunately got there later than expected and missed a few people I had hoped to meet. The weather was very mild for August and the fan turnout was pretty good.
Jevon Kearse got the loudest and longest ovation during the player introductions. The cheers were louder when he leapt to swat away a pass on the Titans’ second defensive series. He still has great athleticism and didn’t look like he’s lost much there.
While going to our seats, we saw a player down after the first play, on the left side of the defense. I hoped it wasn’t Jevon or David Thornton. Turned out to be Nick Harper, who was replaced by Reynaldo Hill. I later learned it was a concussion and Harper should be okay.
We’d better hope so. Hill was the most disappointing Titan on the field last night. The Rams’ only touchdown was set up by a long pass on which Hill got turned around and burned. The play would have been six points, but for a TD saving tackle by Calvin Lowry. When Lowry was flagged for a horse collar tackle on the play, one buddy started complaining about the refs. It was only a two-yard penalty, from the 4 to the 2 yard line, and the Rams scored a few plays later.
I’m not sure why that horse collar tackle was called when another one, in which Alge Crumpler was the victim, wasn’t called.
I was especially impressed with the work of the o-line. They opened holes on the Titans’ first drive and LenDale White looked pretty good pounding the ball. Both the starters and reserves on the line dominated the Rams for the most part. Michael Roos did a good job on the second overall draft pick, Chris Long. One thing I had been curious about was how Leroy Harris would be used — center or guard. He replaced Kevin Mawae early in the second quarter to work with the first team line, then later moved to left guard after the first team o-line was done for the night.
Props also to the d-line, which played well. They stopped the run for the most part and harassed Rams QB Mark Bulger. KVB gave Orlando Pace a hard time. Jason Jones played pretty well in place of Tony Brown. I had hoped to see more of Jacob Ford but he did have a sack.
The linebackers also looked good. At the end of the first quarter, the first team D had given up just three first downs and three points on three Rams possessions. It must be remembered though that it’s only preseason and the Rams were without their stud, Steven Jackson.
Fans got to see why the Titans drafted Chris Johnson. This guy has a lot of potential. Give him a block or two and he can take it the distance in a very short time. He just blew through a hole last night and was off to the races for a TD. As soon as he was through the hole it was easy to see nobody was going to catch him. He’s definitely a big play threat, something the Titans’ offense has lacked for a long time.
While White and Johnson looked good, I wasn’t as impressed by Chris Henry although he did have a few good runs to give him some decent stats. The player who really surprised me was Quinton Ganther, who bounced a run outside, found no Rams there, and made his way untouched to the end zone. He had few more good runs and another touchdown, which all added up to his best showing by far as a Titan. Omar Cuff finished up at RB and seemed to hit the holes well.
Kicker Jon Vaughn wasn’t impressive. One of his field goals looked like Gary Anderson’s playoff winner against the Ravens. It was questionable if it would even get there, then barely made it over the crossbar. None of Vaughn’s kickoffs were long. It will be nice to have Rob Bironas back.
The Titans’ passing game also failed to impress, especially the receivers. Vince didn’t look sharp. Kerry Collins looked a little better, but not much. But when the defense is stout and the running game moves the ball up and down the field, the shortcomings in the passing game are something that can be overlooked — a little — for the moment.
I’m looking forward to Friday night versus the Raiders.

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4 Responses to “Some notes on Titans-Rams”

  1. jrtitans Says:

    Andrew,
    Great pic,happy that MVN is keeping us informed and I agree with your comments.
    Seeing us score over 30 points and seeing the guys I wanted to see do well ( CJ,Alge and Kearse) was a plus.
    Looking forward to Fridays game and hopefully we will see some touchdown passes.

  2. bobcomu Says:

    Vince Young didnt look sharp? Obviously he didnt do a whole lot but I thought that he looked pretty good with what he had. He knew where he wanted to go with the ball and didnt try to force something that wasnt there. Even on the deep miss to Gage he made the right read, he has to take advantage of single coverage down field Gage has to find a way to get to the ball.

  3. JimOKC Says:

    I enjoyed watching the replay today. LW looked really good. CJs run was definately a home run. I am very excited about him. I think the downfield blocking by our wideouts was good. As far as the passing game, I think that the qbs did a good job of taking care of the ball and I also think that they did a decent job of placing the ball to where the reciever was the only one to have a shot at making a play. Defensively, we should be better than last year.
    Jim

  4. Tom Gower Says:

    Oh, Andrew, I have to say, that’s a great picture.

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