Titans fall to Texans in 34-31 shootout

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Despite a number of big plays by Chris Johnson and a 21-7 first-half lead, the Tennessee Titans were upset at home by the equally-as-explosive Houston Texans 34-31.

The loss was sealed when Kerry Collins forced a Kerry Collins fumble as the pigskin was knocked loose by the QB’s own body. The unfortunate mishap fittingly ended a contest that outside of the offensive fireworks, will be remembered for the Titans’ inability to stop the high-octane Matt Schaub/Andre Johnson-led Houston Texan passing attack.

With the loss, the Titans fall to 0-2, not exactly the type of start we were expecting from Jeff Fisher’s troops. 

My thoughts on today’s disappointing Tennessee Titan loss are after the jump. 


What the hell’s going on out here?

This memorable phrase uttered by the legendary Vince Lombardi is a perfect way to sum up the lackluster efforts of the Titans’ passing defense against the Texans.

Matt Schaub sitting comfortably in the pocket while lofting bombs to Texan wide receivers running wide-open downfield was a recurring theme today. The Titans failed to sack Schaub once and the Houston signal-caller, who was once the whipping-boy a.k.a. pinata of the Titan defense, magically transformed into a feared nemesis as a result of his 357 yard/ 4TD effort.

Whether it’s fair or not, it’s only a matter of time before the blame gets aimed in the direction of new defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil. On too many occasions, his blitzes failed to work and as a unit, his troops were an undisciplined bunch who continued to fall for way too many play-fakes.

The only positive from today’s putrid defensive performance, you ask? Little Dynamo Steve Slaton, who had previously ran for at least 100 yards in his first two meetings against Tennessee, was held to only 34 yards on 17 carries.

Of course, considering the Lombardi aspirations of this football team, moral victories will ring hollow in the Titan lockeroom this week.

Every Coaches Dream

The artist known as Every Coaches Dream, Chris Johnson, will be every defensive coordinator’s nightmare if he continues to perform the way he played today. CJ was a force catching and running the football, combining for a total of 284 yards and a whopping three touchdowns.

Barring injury, I see no sophomore jinx in sight for the Titans’ explosive second-year running back

Nate the Great

As I mentioned in an article last week, I was highly anticipating a game’s worth of action from free agent signee Nate Washington. Nate didn’t disappoint, catching 4 balls for 36 yards and a touchdown. The TD reception was a nice over-the-shoulder grab on a Kerry Collins endzone toss. 

We should all expect continued production from Nate as the season goes on.

Some final random thoughts
 

-With Craig Hentrich’s calf-injury, don’t be shocked if preseason-star A.J. Trapasso is signed away from Tampa’s practice squad.
 
-Outside of one muffed punt, Ryan Mouton didn’t look too bad out there returning punts. He’s no Chris Carr, but he’s an upgrade over Cortland Finnegan.

-Never thought I’d see this defense give up six plays of over 20 yards or more. 

-Can’t blame stud offensive tackle Michael Roos for giving up a sack to “Super Mario” Williams. The Texans have themselves one heck of a defensive lineman for years to come.

-Speaking of studs, Andre Johnson continues to emerge as one of the game’s top receivers. Unfortunately, he’s had some of his best performances against the Titans as of late.

-Liked what I saw from Alge Crumpler. Despite his offensive guard type stature, he looked light on his feet with a couple of nifty moves to escape Texan defenders today.

-Guess we’ll have to wait another week for Jared Cook to make his long-awaited impact.

-The crowd sure did respond negatively to the Jason McCourty fumble recovery that was nullified. I wasn’t at the game, but even watching on television, you could hear the fans vividly voice their disapproval of that call by the refs.

Your turn, guys. What are your thoughts regarding the Titans’ heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the Texans today?   

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14 Responses to “Titans fall to Texans in 34-31 shootout”

  1. Strangely Enough Says:

    Stopping the run is meaningless when there are receivers running free on every play.
    Game management in a shootout is sometimes overrated.
    0-3 has been upgraded from highly unlikely to distinct possibility with a chance of likely.
    This feels a lot like the ’06 season where relying on the defense to win games ends up costing them winnable games. The pass defense has looked that bad.

  2. Strangely Enough Says:

    Stopping the run is meaningless when there are receivers running free on every play.
    Game management in a shootout is sometimes overrated.
    0-3 has been upgraded from highly unlikely to distinct possibility with a chance of likely.
    This feels a lot like the ’06 season where relying on the defense to win games ends up costing them winnable games. The pass defense has looked that bad.

  3. bobcomu Says:

    As much as I hate to admit it I think that the loss of Big Al is really hurting the defense. Yeah they’ve been stuffing the run, but no real pressure on the QB has been making the pro bowler stacked secondary look anything but.

  4. Will Says:

    I agree with Strangely Enough that this team has the same feel as the 06 team, which went 8-8.
    My thesis has been, and will be, that you don’t let go of your best player (Haynesworth) and expect to waltz back to the playoffs. Chuck Cecil has to make some defensive adjustments, and Mike Heimerdinger needs to trust Kerry Collins, or it’s going to be a long season.

  5. Scott Says:

    I didn’t see the game – which proved to be a good thing. I just followed it on-line on the NFL’s website, while watching the games that were being broadcast in my area. I was absolutely shocked by the number of big plays that the Titans gave up on defence. I just kept thinking this is our pro bowl secondary?
    And really it is two weeks in a row now were the defence has given up more than 300 passing yards. That is just unbelievable for a Titans team. I understand that Albert is a good player and is tough to replace, but he was only playing 50 to 60% of the snaps on defence anyway. It can’t all be about the loss of Albert.
    I am starting to think Schwartz is the piece that is missing from this puzzle. Either that or maybe Cortland, Griffin and Hope are starting to believe all of the hype about them, and just think they have to show up for a game like this.

  6. Shawn Smith Says:

    The word that came to my mind while watching the defense give up 4 passing TDs is discipline…I don’t think this defense is as disciplined as it was last year, meaning that they keep putting themselves in the wrong position at the wrong time. Even though that falls on the player during the game, the root cause is poor coaching and preparation. How can we have kept leaving Nick Harper on Andre Johnson?? How does Griffin keep biting on play action fakes when he’s 20 yards from the line of scrimmage? Why aren’t any of the blitzes or rushes not getting any pressure? Yes, big Al is gone but most of the other guys on the DL are better than half of the league so why? The offense is moving the ball, has plenty of weapons, and should only improve…Fisher needs to focus on shoring up that pass defense or we may not make it to 8-8.

  7. Joel Bourgouin Says:

    I was disappointed on the play calling on both sides of the ball. We have good WR and TE why aren’t we using them? and the defense, Fisher better step in and make some adjustments or were in big trouble. Also, i would have liked to see Lendale White alot more in this game and Kerry Collins just looked off. If were gonna play this kind of ball we might as well put VY in so he can get some practice.

  8. Johnathan Says:

    I said in the chat during the Pitt game that Chuck Cecil will end up being the demise of this defense. Everyone jumped on me, said I was overreacting and that I just needed to be patient. Anyone still feel the same way? 2 straight games that he has failed to make adjustments. 2 straight games it has caused a loss.

  9. Nick Says:

    Chuck Cecil is the cause of our pass defense looking like the Lions. Also, Kerry Collins needs to be pulled from the game. Throwing a pick and fumbling, not the way to win. I’ve been saying since they put Kerry in that once VY was healthy he needs to go back in. Kerry Collins sucks and if you don’t believe that, then you are not watching the same game I was. Kerry consitently threw the ball short on third and long plays, because he has no mobility. Nick Harper needs to be traded for a real cornerback, one who doesn’t get beat like a drum.

  10. RT Says:

    Kerry Collins may not be the best QB in the world but I would be horrified if VY is put in to a game i have never liked him as the quaterback and i really hope he is not the starting QB again. Back to the game i think we just gave up to many big plays and this is something that seriously needs fixing considering our next opponents if we continue to play like this we could be 0-6.

  11. TT Says:

    Any critique of the offense after that game is just DERANGED – they scored 31 points… if you score 31 points and think your offense had a bad day in any way whatsoever you must think you’re watching basketball, not the NFL…
    The problem is the defense, pure and simple… More specifically, the problem is that the defense really, really sucks

  12. Johnathan Says:

    Does Vince make mistakes? Yes. But if it comes down to it, of the two of them, he is the only one that can take the team on his back and win a game. Kerry is a good game manager, and I applaud him for it, I know I certainly couldn’t do it. The fact is though, Kerry is only a game manager.
    I am not saying Vince will win a Super Bowl, but, in my opinion, he is the only one of our QB’s with the ability to get us there. This team is going to need a QB that can go out and win games, not just manage them. Vince could fail miserably, but he is the only one with the potential to succeed greatly.

  13. Drexel Perry Says:

    As always, thanks for dropping by with your thoughts guys.
    I’m not sure that switching from Kerry to Vince is going to solve the team’s problems. Sure, Vince could add a spark but the reason why the Titans are 0-2 has more to do with the defense than the offensive side of the football.
    Unless Vince can get after opposing quarterbacks or defend wide receivers, inserting him into lineup probably won’t make that much of a difference.

  14. David Dalling Says:

    Kerry Collins sucks. The Titans won’t go anywhere with him at quarterback. Is’s as simple as that. Vince may not be the answer but Kerry has prooved time and time again that he isn’t either. If it’s not VY we need to go get someone who can simply hand the ball off and complete small passes. That’s not a big job to ask of an NFL QB.

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