After committing a host of mistakes at home against the defense-oriented Pittsburgh Steelers last week, the Tennessee Titans traveled to New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ to rumble with a mistake-prone New York Giants squad. I use the word ‘rumble’ because from the overly aggressive play displayed by the likes of Cortland Finnegan and other Titans defenders during the first quarter, you would think they were auditioning for a Broadway matinee of ‘West Side Story’ – sans switchblades.
But what might have been construed as ‘physically negative’ on the TV screen proved to be ‘mentally positive’ on the field for the visitors. From that point on, it seemed that the New York Giants had been rattled – The Titans were in their heads, and NY logged enough turnovers on the stat sheets to prove it.
Speaking of stats, at first glance, you would think that the Titans were slain by the Giants. For instance, the Titans finished the day with 271 yards or total offense vs. the 471 yards compiled by New York. The Giants ran 20% more offensive plays in the contest. The Titans averaged 3.9 yards per rush where the Giants averaged 5.4. Eli Manning threw for 386 yards compared to Vince Young’s 118. Such numbers usually spell ‘victory’ in the Land of the Giants.
But it was the costly mistakes committed by the Giants that set the tone and the outcome of this event. Manning threw two 1st Qtr. interceptions, one when the team was down to the Titans 2 yard line, which Jason McCourty caught in the end zone for a touchback.
New York RB Amhad Bradshaw had a fumble to his credit plus was guilty of a chop block in the Giants end zone which resulted in a safety. Topping off the gaffes were 2 missed field goals by Lawrence Tynes.
With all that was going wrong for the Giants, it’s was difficult to tell what was going right for the Titans. As mentioned, VY threw for 118 yards. He did throw a 13-yard TD strike to Kenny Britt at the 7:55 mark of the 3rd Qtr. No interceptions might be Young’s best stat of the day.
The running game was a huge part of the Titans offensive strategy as Chris Johnson rushed 37 times in the game for 125 yards and 2 TDs. He now has 301 yards on the season and needs 2199 yards to reach his 2500 yard goal. CJ will need to average 157 yards per game for the remainder of the season to get there.
After the game, I found myself wondering: “Did the Titans earn this victory or was it served to them on a ‘giant blue’ platter?”
Week 4 finds the Titans at home against the (1-2) Denver Broncos, who’s quarterback Kyle Orton threw for 476 yards today.
What did we learn from this game?
Chris Johnson has become Tennessee’s franchise player – the designation no longer applies to Vince Young.