Strong Defense + Running game= Titans 17-10 victory

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The familiar combination of strong defense and a stout running game was the recipe for the Titans’ success in their 17-10 victory over the Jaguars.
An injury to an inconsistent Vince Young put a damper on the contest, but fortunately for the Titans, Kerry Collins stepped in and completed both of his passes on a touchdown drive that sealed the victory.
My thoughts on today’s game, after the jump.

Game Balls
The Titan defense lived up to its billing as it constantly harrassed David Garrard and pummeled the Jags’ formidable rushing attack. On the afternoon, the Titan defense held the Jags to only 33 yards rushing, sacked Garrard seven times and forced three turnovers.
Albert Haynesworth and Tony Brown each had two sacks as the Titan defensive line accounted for six of the team’s seven quarterback takedowns.
Cortland Finnegan gave yet another indication that he is ready to emerge as a standout corner in this league. He intercepted two Garrard passes and was constantly in the face of the Jaguar receivers. The guy plays with an edge and a confidence that you can’t teach.
Bo Scaife stepped up with two clutch catches on the Titans’ game-sealing drive. When the Titans were faced with a 3rd and 15 on that crucial drive, Scaife turned a short tight end screen into a 44 yard catch that saved the Titans from yet another failed third down conversion.
Scaife finished with an impressive, 6 catch-105 yard performance.
Chris Johnson was all over the field today, running for 93 yards on 15 carries while also snagging three balls for 34 yards. Johnson’s speed is a sight to behold and he figures to be an important aspect of the Titan offense this year.
The final game ball goes out to Kerry Collins, who stepped up when he was needed the most, completing both of his passes for 65 yards. If Vince is forced to miss some time due to his knee injury, I’m confident that Collins has what it takes to manage the game for a Titan team that relies upon its physical running game and strong defense.
Today’s goats
Prior to an injury, Vince was having yet another one of his trademark inconsistent passing performances. He missed on a couple of deep throws earlier in the game and threw two interceptions that appeared to be intended for Jaguar defenders.
Today was a bad day for Vince, to say the least.
I was also not enamored with the Titans’ special teams today. Rookie Brian Witherspoon almost broke several returns for the Jaguars, averaging 41 yards per kick return and 22 yards per punt return.
Special teams can often decide the outcome of a close game, so the Titans need to improve their coverage units in a hurry.
Justin McCareins had a rough day. He put a goose-egg on the board while also dropping a few passes. As a whole, the receivers only caught four of the Titans’ 14 completions.
Like Andrew, I’m still not convinced that cutting Roydell Williams was the right decision, but that’s spilt milk: what’s done is done.
Hopefully, we’ll see more out of the receivers in the coming weeks.
Final thoughts
-Defeating a division rival is always a positive, so based on that outcome alone, today was a good day for the Titans.
-The defense was simply amazing and appears to be even faster and more aggressive than last year’s unit that finished as the league’s fifth-rated D.
-Chris Johnson is as good as advertised and will be giving opposing defensive coordinators headaches all season long.
-The passing game needs to improve. In other news, the sky is blue.
-3/13 on 3rd down conversions isn’t going to cut it.
What are your thoughts on today’s performance?

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20 Responses to “Strong Defense + Running game= Titans 17-10 victory”

  1. Scott Says:

    What a great victory. What a great defence. What a great running game. I will take this game – poor passing performance and all. CJ and Scaife were outstanding. With good receivers, this team would be unstoppable.

  2. jeryt. Says:

    The titans d-fense is ‘GREAT’ AS FOR THE SO CALLED OFFENSE IT’S STILL IN A WORKING PROGRESS BUT THE SMELL OF VICTORY IS GREAT NO INJURYS ON D-FENSE, CINNCIIS NEXT..GO TITANS.

  3. Robert F. Ludwick Says:

    I’m pretty disappointed with the offensive performance today. Chris Johnson was pretty effective, turns out that drafting him higher than most would have anticipated may pay off.
    In any case, like I said, disappointed with the offense today. I’m becoming more and more of a critic of Vince Young and today did nothing to calm me down. I think it’s time the Titans got a true pocket passer and some good wide receivers. Granted, not all of the issues were on Vince today, as there were several drops and bobbles… But Vince hasn’t shown anything since his rookie year. If this keeps up this year, I’ll be among those calling for a regime change at quarterback.

  4. Seth Leonard Says:

    Vince….don’t be too hurt

  5. Kaine Says:

    Don’t be too hard on me. But I believe we should have drafted Colt Brennan. Maybe we can trade for him? With the way our starting QB plays, I’d give a 4th or 5th for him. I do also believe we need a pocket QB. I believe he is the accurate, gunslinging, pockey QB we need.

  6. fireballfan32 Says:

    I thought the offense looked prrety good, the first int was just an awful throw but the second was an outstanding play for a D-lineman to make. Even Vinces deep throws were where they needed to be, but he cant throw it then run down the field and catch it. The most important part of the offenses day, all that really mattered in the end, two redzone possessions=two touchdowns. GO TITANS!!!

  7. fireballfan32 Says:

    Oh yeah, COLT BRENNAN SUCKS!!

  8. wheels Says:

    Great day for the Titans! Hopefully Vince will be okay, I am as frustrated as many of you but he is our best chance at QB for the long haul. I’ll assume the Colt Brennan comment was a joke…..did you see the game against GA last year?? Chris Johnson is the real deal, Justin McCareins is awful, can’t believe he is our starter. Big game next week. Go Titans!

  9. jrtitans Says:

    We won and red zone efficiency was 100% inside the 20. We’re almost like the Bears two years ago. If we protect the ball –we can win a lot of games.
    Expected to see more of an impact of Alge ( actually see him do what BO did. AND…why didnt VY run more sine he was bragging about his hamstring before the game?
    Early news is Brady is out for the season–if we can win with Indy and take the division–this could be a good year to make a run at the superbowl.
    Defense baby! 7 sacks/only allowed 33 yards rushing/ and the interceptions plus Rey Hill was inactive– Man, we got it going on.

  10. Drexel Perry Says:

    Speaking of the Bears, they are giving Indy all they can handle in the first half. The Indy run defense looks terrible so hopefully, the Titans can exploit that later on this year.
    As for Vince’s running, there was one play in particular where he threw an incompletion instead of running for a probable first down. That was a sign to me that maybe the hamstring was an issue afterall.
    I expect you’ll see more of Alge in the coming weeks but in the meantime, it’s nice to see Scaife make some plays.

  11. Kaine Says:

    Yeah I remember the GA game. I also remember that his Oline wasn’t there. How well will you throw when you get 8-10 sacks against you? I also remember how accurate he was when he did throw. The GA game was a disappointment. Especially when they (the fans) were yellin Overated to Colt. I hope GA gets knocked out of the top 25 during the year. They need some humbling.

  12. Garland Says:

    You forgot to give Griffin credit for his first career sack. On the play, he blitzed inside while Garrard rolled out, but Griff changed course and ran him down for the loss.
    I think the key was the play of Brown, Jones, and Vickerson. The line got good pressure all day without having to do too much blitzing. It’s nice to see someone besides Albert playing well inside. I didn’t notice the typical drop-off when Albert left the game a few times, and that was really the weakness of the defense last year.

  13. adam Says:

    I for one am excited to see what Collins will bring to the table with starter reps during the week. I know that there were multiple drops, but I think this offense will click much sooner with him at the helm. Not suggesting that there will be a QB controversy – I think Vince’s body language and unwillingness to compete in the face of adversity ended any controversy this afternoon.

  14. JimOKC Says:

    Good article Drex. The D was awesome. VY didnt play terrible and didn’t play stellar. He contributed to the offense and did not do anything to cost the team the game. Special Teams was ugly. I am glad to come away from this game with a win since we weren’t supposed to beat the Jags and I hope that VY is ok physically. There is plenty of work to do yet and plenty of season left to play. After week one in our division, I am happy with the win.

  15. Markus Says:

    we should move VY to WR and use Collins @ QB….hahahaha…the D looks like a unit that may be one of the best the league has ever seen…CJ is the real deal, White looks slow and may be headed for spot duty (30% or less of the touches). Love how CJ attacks the D, north-south, no BS dancing around for a crease. he sees one and goes, or makes one! A few moore games like this and MR will be opening up the coffers come the offseason for a WR. I just hope we spend the resiculous amount of $$$ Al will want to keep him. Kearse looked good, Thornton is a machine.
    Special Teams wasn’t so special. We better get that fixed like yesterday! If it weren’t for the Special Teams and VY’s interception (1st one), we would have pitched a shutout…Go Titans!

  16. Markus Says:

    we should move VY to WR and use Collins @ QB….hahahaha…the D looks like a unit that may be one of the best the league has ever seen…CJ is the real deal, White looks slow and may be headed for spot duty (30% or less of the touches). Love how CJ attacks the D, north-south, no BS dancing around for a crease. he sees one and goes, or makes one! A few more games like this and MR will be opening up the coffers come the offseason for a WR. I just hope we spend the rediculous amount of $$$ Al will want to keep him. Kearse looked good, Thornton is a machine.
    Special Teams wasn’t so special. We better get that fixed like yesterday! If it weren’t for the Special Teams and VY’s interception (1st one), we would have pitched a shutout…Go Titans!

  17. Nick Says:

    Here’s the thing about Colt Brennan, he’s a good qb, but would not work in the Titans system. Brennan is a perfect fit in Jim Zorn’s west coast offense, but would not translate well to Fisher’s system. Plus, I honestly think everybody is being way too hard on VY. The man has done nothing but win games since he has been in Tennessee. VY is progressing, which is what all qbs do. Did Peyton Manning break the TD record in his third year, no he did not. Vince made correct reads, stepped up in the pocket, and delivered a catchable ball, but the damn receivers could not catch jack shit. Vince Young is our qb, and he should be, because the other two that came out of his draft class are not doing as well as Vince, and Leinart can’t even win the starting position in Arizona, ARIZONA!!!! So as far a quarterback controversy, there should be none, at all.

  18. jerryt. Says:

    Vince will be fine, he cant do it all but he can do what his skills will let him do, that’s win football games, and jrtitans you are right about rey hill please keep him on the sideline and replace macariens with hawkins PLEASE.

  19. Markus Says:

    where’s Hawk?! How long will he be out? We need him….he’s quick, has the extra gear the others lack, and he also has those oh-so-elusive flypaper hands!

  20. Drexel Perry Says:

    Markus,
    Hawk was inactive this Sunday and is battling back from a high ankle sprain. That’s a nagging injury that can sideline a player for several weeks.
    Hopefully, he will be back sometime soon. I’m also looking forward to seeing what he can do on the field.

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