Sunday, September 12, 2010
So, was it just me or did you have a feeling by looking at today’s weather forecast that the Titans were going to chalk one up in the win column? I’m not sure what the connection is between meteorology and professional sports, but when I stepped outside this morning, I could feel a massive high pressure system forming over LP Field.
Under mostly ‘Titan Blue’ skies, the chance of any afternoon 0-6 start soon dissipated as the Tennessee Titans beat the visiting Oakland Raiders 38-13 in their 2010 season debut. If I can be so expedient as to sum up today’s performance with one word, I would throw ‘balance’ out there. The Titans could pass, catch, run, tackle, blitz (yes, blitz), sack, intercept…by far one of their best performances in recent memory.
Take Vince Young for instance: He showed poise in the pocket and managed the ball quite well in his 40th start as an NFL quarterback. His numbers for the day were13 of 17 passes for 154 yards and 2 TDs. Sounds mediocre to you? Think again! VY logged a 142.8 passing rating with those stats (the highest passing rating of his career). Young’s contribution to this week’s highlight reel includes a play action fake rollout pass, hooking up with Nate Washington for a 56-yard TD at the 1:38 mark of the 1st Qtr. Young’s other touchdown was a 1-yard toss to fellow Longhorn Bo Scaife early in the 4th Qtr.
Then there was Chris Johnson. After a slow start in the first 1.5 quarters of play, CJ started to gradually build up steam, culminating with a 76-yard scamper to pay dirt late in the first half. Johnson finished the day with 142 yards rushing on 27 carries and 2 TDs. For those of you who are closely following CJ’s trek to 2500, he was off 5 yards from the 147 ypg average needed to reach his mark. He now needs just 2358 yards to complete the journey. Good luck, CJ!
As a team, the Titans rolled up 345 yards of total offense – 205 of those being on the ground.
On the other side of the ball, the Titan ‘D’ that coins itself the ‘no-names’ is making quite a name for itself just 4 Qtrs. into the season. They kept pressure on QB Jason Campbell and the rest of the Raiders offense ’til the final horn. All offseason additions along the defensive front and linebacker corps (Babin, Witherspoon and Morgan) registered a sack. The team had a total of 4 sacks for the afternoon.
Campbell ended up completing 22 of 37 passes for 180 yards and a TD but threw an interception late in the 3rd Qtr to Chris Hope at the Oakland 35 yard line. Hope returned it 32 yards down to the Oakland 3, setting up a Titan TD in the opening minutes of the 4th Qtr.
Oakland RB Michael Bush is nursing an injury, so former Arkansas Razorback Darren McFadden carried the load for the Raiders, leading the team not only in rushing (95 yards on 18 carries) but in receiving as well (6 catches for 55 yards and a TD).
So what’s next for the Titans? The schedule suddenly becomes turbulent as they find themselves hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers next week. They also pack their bags and travel to New York (Giants) and Dallas in upcoming weeks. But if the Titans shine as bright in the next 3 weeks as the Sun did on LP Field this afternoon, I’m prepared to give you a 15-Week extended forecast that will turn even Al Roker’s barometer ‘blue’!
WHAT DID WE LEARN FROM THIS GAME?
Titans Defensive Coordinator Chuck Cecil now knows that ‘Blitz’ is not a cheap beer.