Resilient Titans remain undefeated with 13-10 win

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The Tennessee Titans improved to 5-0 with a gutsy 13-10 win over the hated Baltimore Ravens.
Facing a hostile crowd fueled by the performance of a physical Raven defense, Kerry Collins capped off an 11-play, 80-yard late 4th quarter drive with a game-winning TD strike to forgotten veteran TE Alge Crumpler.
More thoughts on today’s victory, after the jump.

Game balls
For three and a half quarters, visions of Super Bowll XXXV emerged as Kerry Collins once again struggled mightily against the Raven defense, tossing two interceptions while being bewildered by Ray Lewis and company.
With a little over six minutes remaining in the 4th, Collins stepped up as he completed six passes on the Titans’ game-winning TD drive.
Kerry took a page out of Shaquille O’Neal’s free-throw shooting notebook by making his throws when they mattered the most.
Bo Scaife’s solid season continued today, as indicated by his 7-catch, 72-yard performance. Scaife has emerged as a great safety valve for Collins and despite the presence of former Pro Bowl TE Alge Crumpler, Bo has without a doubt been the team’s best tight end in 2008.
My final game ball goes to veteran LB Keith Bulluck, who tallied seven solo tackles while assisting on six others. Keith’s veteran leadership was often on display during a game where, as a result of the offense’s struggles, it was imperative for the “D” to hold their end of the bargain.
Mission accomplished, Keith.
Other solid performances
Brandon Jones did a solid job of filling in for injured WR Justin Gage. He caught three passes for 54 yards and survived a lethal hit by Bart Scott on a crossing route.
As I mentioned in a recent article, Alge Crumpler had been MIA up to today’s game. However, as veterans tend to do, Crumpler stepped up when he was needed the most with his game-winning touchdown reception.
The offensive line had a tough time opening up holes but they did a fine job of keeping the jersey of Kerry Collins clean on the afternoon while shutting out the Ravens’ defense in the sack department.
Gripes
At times, the Titans were their own worst enemies as a result of several dumb penalties committed. The Titans were flagged 10 times and despite their ability to overcome their own mistakes today, penalties are more than capable of haunting them somewhere down the road.
Lendale White only amassed four yards on three rushing attempts. For the season, White is averaging a putrid 2.6 yards per carry.
Thank God for Chris Johnson.
Entering today’s contest, the Tennessee Titans had sacked opposing quarterbacks 15 times in 2008. Against Baltimore, the defensive line failed to get a lot of pressure on rookie QB Joe Flacco, as the Titans went sackless on the afternoon.
I’m not that upset about the D-line’s performance and I expect them to once again demonstrate their ability of taking down opposing quarterbacks against future opponents.
Final thoughts
-I love the intensity that Cortland Finnegan brings to the table, but sometimes, that tenacity needs to be controlled.
-Once again, Tony Brown jumps offsides. Some things never change.
-Nice effort by David Thornton on what appeared to be an INT, but unfortunately, the refs weren’t buying it.
-Hats off to Nick Harper for sealing the game with an INT.
-Derrick Mason is still one of the game’s better possession receivers.
What are your thoughts on today’s huge Titan victory?

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28 Responses to “Resilient Titans remain undefeated with 13-10 win”

  1. kevin G Says:

    I heard heard that vandenbosh and tony brown left the game, were they seriously hurt?

  2. David H. Says:

    That was a great team the Titans beat today. Once again our D comes through in the clutch!!!! Ray Ray hasn’t lost a step at all. He is still one of the greatest linebackers in the game today and probably of all time. I new Tennessee would pull this one out but I have to admit that after the first quarter, I thought it was Super Bowl XXXV all over again. Like the crafty veteran that he is, he came through in the clutch. I think its safe to say that barring an injury to Kerry “Vodka” Collins, VY won’t see the field this year. I seriously think we have a shot to get to the big dance!!!

  3. Drexel Perry Says:

    Vanden Bosch left with a groin strain…thankfully, the team will have the bye to rest him up.
    Brown left the game, but his injury didn’t appear to be serious:
    http://www.titansradio.com/cgi-bin/blurb_view.cgi?blurb=news615900

  4. Gamer921 Says:

    Drex,
    A great blog last week about the Vikings.
    This game reminded me of two Kimbo Slice’s in a Ravens and Titans uniform.( the extended version)
    Wow! What a slugfest… Cortland got too edgy, then Keith pushes him back into place. Ray Lewis flying around like a hurricane . Big AL is down, exhausted , KVB is injured and standing on sidelines. Brutal, just Brutal .
    Then KC throws a perfect zip line down the middle to Alge.
    Game ball : KC
    This team is ready. Bring on Week 6!
    KVB had groin pull/strain on the left side
    Tony Brown contusion on thigh or calf

  5. Dave Says:

    I was incredibly pissed off for 58 minutes…Kerry/Alge brought me back to my happy place, Nick Harper kept me there.

  6. wheels Says:

    Just got home from the game, great to be 5-0. I would have to disagree with David H, the Ravens are a very physical team but far from great. They were able to run the ball and stop the run today but it wasn’t enough as KC came through when it counted. Carr was awesome today in the return game. We didn’t play great, the defense let up a fair amount of yards,the time of possesion was lopsided but we came away with a HUGE W. Shame the Colts came back. We need to bye to get healthy and I don’t think we’ve seen the last of VY this year. Go Titans!

  7. Garland Says:

    I am wondering if anyone else has noticed something I have. Kerry Collins does not seem to do a good job of taking advantage of “free plays” when the defense has jumped offside. There was a play early in the game today where Suggs had jumped offside and the flag came out right away. Instead of hurling it downfield, knowing that an interception would be wiped away by the penalty, Collins just ran for the sideline and gained nothing on the play. I have seen him do this sort of thing a couple of times this year, and it is frustrating that those opportunities are wasted. I wonder if it’s not as obvious to the QB as it is to the TV audience that a flag has been thrown or if there is some other good reason to not throw the ball up to at least give your guys a shot. Am I missing something?
    That was a great win today. I had lost hope when the defense melted down in the third quarter. It felt like the Ravens were up by a whole lot more than a touchdown at that point, but the offense hung in there and finally put together a couple of fantastic drives at the end. What a way to go into the bye week!

  8. Fan Says:

    Well, I think much of why Collins doesn’t take the free shot has to do with the fact that Collins is terrible in general. If he’s going to throw picks and throw for less than 200 yards a game, the Titans might as well put Young back in; at least Young can add some running yards. Collins will begin costing the Titans games when they play good teams and now that defenses have had a chance to prepare for him.

  9. Seth Leonard Says:

    Be quiet, Fan. Collins is getting it done and Vince only puts fear in my heart when I think about him stepping in. Let’s let him ripen up a bit more before we peel him.

  10. Garland Says:

    On the two picks that Collins threw today, I am willing to cut him some slack. The first was a tipped ball at the line. That happens. The second was on third and long, if I remember correctly, and wound up being an effective substitute for a punt. The Ravens, after a penalty, wound up starting that drive around their 10 yard line. So Collins did not hurt the team with picks today. In fact, you could see a stark contrast in the Ravens’ rookie and the Titans’ vet. On plays where the QB was flushed to the outside and didn’t have anyone open, Collins threw the ball away while Flacco threw the ball to Titans (first Thornton and then Harper). Collins does not throw stupid interceptions trying to do too much when there is nothing there.

  11. Robert F. Ludwick Says:

    I love Finnegan, and although I think he needed to back off a few times today, I love that intensity he’s got. We need it as a team. I doubt that the coaches are going to get on his case much because he’s a big reason our defense has fire and intensity.

  12. Nick Says:

    Just a question, but how is Kerry’s INTs any different from Vince’s in the first game. It seems like the same set of circumstances. And most of you would be lying if you weren’t sitting there saying put VY back in because it’s just not Kerry’s day, because I know I sure as hell was. Collins looked horrible today, except for the last drive. Anybody, I repeat ANYBODY, who thinks Kerry Collins is a long term solution, Peter King, then you are a moron.

  13. Billy Joe Says:

    Between the 10 penalties and two turnovers, I was very relieved to get out of this one with a victory! If we can minimize these mistakes and control the ball more, I’m confident we’ll keep rolling. It will be imperative as we face more high powered offenses in the coming weeks.

  14. Seth Leonard Says:

    Id rather have vince as a backup for now. I mean, he’s not even really 100 percent yet. It would be a lot worse to have him come in, hurt something in his knee, and go down for more time. Then we wouldn’t even have the option of putting him in.

  15. Drexel Perry Says:

    Good discussion, guys.
    A mark of a good team is when they are able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat despite not playing well.
    The Titans went into a hostile environment, weathered the storm, and came out victorious against a solid ballclub.
    As for Kerry Collins, he stepped up when it mattered the most. The team appears to be rallying around his leadership on the field and for now and perhaps the rest of the season, the Titans would be foolish to tinker with their successful formula.
    As for Vince, his job is to continue to prepare himself to play because as we all know, he’s only a Kerry Collins-hit away from being thrown back into the fire.

  16. jerryt. Says:

    Mr. perry i liked the way you summed it up.
    Although the titans are winning all these games against some pretty good competition, around the 9th week i hope they play the way their playing for the rest of the season. The ravens have a pretty good D and vinnce would have been another weapon on the field, but they buckaled down as a unit and beat a good ravens team, thumbs up to kerry VETRIAN STYLE?…

  17. JimOKC Says:

    As Seth said, VY is not 100%. Had we not needed an insurance punter (Miller), we probably would not have released Simms (reports have him to be re-signed this week- we will see).
    That said, it was an ugly win. I don’t have a problem with that. Kerry stuck with it and did a good job of exploiting the ravens D starting late in the 3rd quarter.
    Personally, I don’t think that a less than 100% healthy Vince would have fared any better against that D. I don’t have a crystal ball – so I could be wrong.

  18. Johnathan Says:

    Kerry found a way to win in the end. Isn’t that what all the Vince supporters said about him? I think Vince is the long-term answer this season. Kerry is great to have as a back-up. I hope he gets it turned around, because I support this team first, and that is why I think Vince, in the end, makes the team better. And the Titans are 5-0, so you can’t complain, and I am not complaining. I just think Kerry Collins has a career 1:1 Int-TD ratio, so I don’t think he just magically became a better QB that doesn’t throw INT’s.
    Vince can put more pressure on the defense with his running, and when he is 100% I think he should be back out there.
    That said, he isn’t 100% yet, so KC is the QB for now.

  19. Dave Says:

    I don’t want to argue, but if you don’t think that quarterbacks ( all players, really) mature and become better with knowledge gained through experience, then you really don’t know anything about football. Kerry’s two picks were both good plays by the Ravens D, not his own mental mistakes ( such as is/was the case with Vince in the past and Flacco in yesterday’s game). Kerry is obviously not our long term guy, but I wasn’t, at any time yesterday, hoping they’d put Vince in. I think he is gaining a ton by watching Collins lead this team.

  20. kevin G Says:

    bottom line: could Vince Young have made that game winning drive at the end of the 4th? right here right now to me that answer is no.
    also there is a new crase sweeping the NFL and that is the dolphins “wildcat” formation (features direct snaps to running backs), is it just me or does that seem tailor made for us, direct snapping to vince, having him make one read and tuck and run otherwise run it maybe 3-4 times a game, would look real good against the colts in 3 weeks

  21. Garland Says:

    Why would you use VY in the wildcat? Are not CJ and LW better runners than Vince? Anyone got a link to a good analysis of the this wildcat formation and why it has been so effective so far?

  22. Drexel Perry Says:

    Garland,
    Here’s a video I found on NFL.com and it breaks down how Miami was able to effectively use the formation against the Patriots.
    http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80b1831e
    It’s an interesting formation but one would think that once opposing d-coordinators see enough of it on film, the proper adjustments will be made to consistently stop it.

  23. Dave Says:

    Everything old is new again…we should bring back the run and shoot for a game or two…Kerry throwing for 500yards a game would be cool, mostly because I have him starting in my Fantasy league.

  24. Nick Says:

    They already have the wildcat formation for qbs, it’s called the spread offense in the college game. It will never work in the nfl, because the speed is so much different.

  25. Markus Says:

    about the Wildcat formation…Fisher said in an interview yesterday that it would unlikely…BUT…there’s a good chance that VY and KC would be on the field at the same time…and that Vince can catch a nice fade route…hint hint…

  26. lahlahb Says:

    kerry is no better than vince if wasnt for the tenacious d we would be in trouble people have vinces head he throws a int on the openin drive 55 % completion glad he got hit in the head b/c we werent goin anywhere he woulded finished with 110 yards 2 ints cant wait for vince to be back

  27. Andrew Strickert Says:

    Garland,
    The so-called Wildcat offense is just the old single-wing, which used to be “THE” offense everyone used to run back in the 1930s and 1940s. A few teams here and there use it every now and then, such as Arkansas when they had McFadden and Felix Jones. There’s one high school coach here in Nashville who’s been running it for 10 to 15 plays a game for the last 20 years. It’s been effective and works for him, partly because the other high school teams know it’s coming but only practice for it one week a year. There are some other high school coaches in Tennessee who run it as well.
    It is different than the so-called spread offense, which is a generic term. It’s not a read-option offense either. One feature of the single-wing is the use of a wingback. Another feature is the direct snap to the running back. Yet another feature is an unbalanced line, which has the defense screwed up even before the snap.
    Garland, if you google the term “single-wing” you can probably find a whole bunch of links.

  28. Garland Says:

    Thanks, Drex, for the link, and thanks to Andrew for the explanation.

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