Titans Tumble to 0-4 in 37-17 Loss
By Chris Lambos
Many of us escape to Florida each year to take a week off from our respective fields of employment. On Sunday, the Titans extended their 4 week vacation by visiting sunny Jacksonville .
The team had a chance to unwind with a visit to the Jacksonville Zoo or re-charge their batteries with leisurely strolls along the 1.2 mile Riverwalk in downtown Jacksonville. But ironically, the Titans opted for a little R & R in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. And as the final score indicates, it’s never a good idea to take your work with you on vacation.
I don’t think Tennessee fell to 0-4 as confidently as they did to 0-3. No longer do we hear Jeff Fisher boasting about his trip to the AFC Title Game in 2002 after starting 1-4. But now, it’s a little too late for motivational ‘must-win’ pre-game speeches…what’s a ball coach to do?
First of all, the coaching staff needs to address the execution of the game’s fundamentals. The team is already guilty of 11 turnovers after 4 games (they totaled 17 in the entire 2008 season).
Secondly, staff and players need to open their eyes when reviewing game film. The defense (which is ranked 29th in the NFL) is guilty of far too many assignment screw ups that put points on the board for Titan opponents. EXAMPLE: Maurice Jones-Drew is the Jaguars most explosive player on offense, yet NO ONE covered him on his 9 yard run for a TD in the 1st Qtr.
Is he not the first guy to take into consideration when defending the Jacksonville Jaguars?
How about Houston? Remember Andre Johnson’s big TD reception? There wasn’t a defensive back within 15 yards of that man.
Is he not the first guy to take into consideration when defending the Houston Texans?
How about mistackles? I counted two by Keith Bullock…is that how Pro Bowl Linebackers play against the run?
Some of you might play the injury card this week because Cortland Finnigan and Vincent Fuller did not play…Hogwash! The Jaguars were missing BOTH of their starting offensive tackles, but how many points had the Jags accumulated by halftime? If you guessed 27 points, you were correct. Shouldn’t Kyle Vander Bosch, Jevon Kearse and others have big days against 2nd string tackles? The Jags were even short two other tackles which minimized rotation. How many bull rushes did you count? I remember 1 sack that pushed a Josh Scobee field goal attempt back – that’s all that comes to mind.
Now lets look at the offense:
Kerry Collins has had better days. He completed 29 of 48 passes for 284 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT. He also ran 10 yards for another TD.
After Collins’ 2nd INT, with the Jags building on a 30-3 lead with over 5 minutes left in the 3rd Qtr , many thought that Collins was finished for the day. Not the case. Jeff Fisher’s threshold for yanking Collins must stand at 3 or more interceptions, so Vince Young fans might have to stomach Collins for the rest of the season. Too bad the Titans can’t embrace the ‘change of pace’ philosophy that many NFL teams utilize (i.e. Wildcat formation).
A few series of VY’s legs could have made up for a few series of KC’s arm.
The running game was mediocre at best. Chris Johnson was held under 100 yards but averaged over 5 yards per carry. LenDale White rushed for only 2 yards on 2 carries (which says a little about field position during the contest).
The bottom line on the running game is: Kerry Collins had more rushing TDs than Johnson and White combined – ‘nough said!
What did we learn from this game?
Let me be brief in Week 4:
The Titans are having problems with every aspect of the game while Peyton Manning is packing his bags for a trip to Music City…and I can assure you this trip is for business – not pleasure!