Well Titans fans as promised here is my second installment of Coaches Take on the Tape. For those of you that are new to the site, each week I will break down the previous week’s game and provide key players or moments that lead to a Titans victory or loss and also give a preview as to what to expect for the upcoming match.
Broncos (2-2) at Titans (2-2)
Sunday October 3rd, 2010
To start this is a game that was completely won and lost by the Titans on both sides of the ball. The Titans controlled this game on Defense for most of the game but also allowed themselves to be beaten with costly mistakes, actually 111 yards of penalties to be exact. Tennessee’s Defense came into Sunday’s game ranked 8th in the NFL and were tied for 3rd with the Packers with 10 sacks going into the game against Denver. A highly disruptive Titans Defensive line left the game with 6 sacks and held the Broncos to only 19 yards total rushing and had 1 interception. Tennessee completely lost this game on offense however, having 3 back to back drives that lead to no points on the scoreboard allowing the Broncos to find their Offensive rhythm and score first, dropped passes and long third down conversions. The Titans offense is flat right now and I don’t know who is to blame, offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger or general team execution. The Titans defense once again spent more time on the field then our offense making it difficult to stay in the game in 4th quarter scenarios where the opposing team is trying to rally the “troops”.
It was apparent from the start that Tennessee’s defense had come to play ball once again, but what normally when you shut down an opposing team’s run offense is that you answer by shutting down their pass offense as well. Basically, you make a team one dimensional and can predict passing situations more accurately. This however was not the case, giving up over 300 yards of passing offense and 2 touchdowns. Kyle Orton seemed to find his stride with receivers Demarius Thomas, Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal who seemingly seemed to control the flow of the game all on their own. Even though the defensive effort of the Titans front four was able to sack Orton 6 times and force an interception, lack of offense to turn that situations into points ultimately lead to a Titans loss. Here are the following key players of last weeks matchup on both sides of the ball.
Alterraun Verner- This young UCLA product is a rookie that has proved since day 1 that he was worth of a 4th round pick in this years NFL draft. Against the Denver Donkeys errrr I mean Broncos, Verner recorded 11 tackles and 3 passes defensed and currently has 21 tackles for the season with 4 passes defensed. This coming week Alterraun will get the nod to start at right Cornerback with Jason McCourty nursing a broken forearm. I would expect that Verner will be matched up on fellow rookie, rising star and Wide Receiver Dez Bryant. Both players are ball hawks who continuously seem to make big plays in key situations for their respective teams, I am no longer predicting interceptions out of respect that I might be jinxing by guys on defense. On a side note, Alterraun Verner posts a weekly blog that can be found here
Will Witherspoon- Once again the savvy free agent vet walked away with another stellar performance. Although Will didn’t record a sack against the Donkeys (oh if your wondering why I am addressing them as the Donkeys its because any punk kids such as McDaniels and Orton want to cry and call people cheap then I will give them a reason to do so) he did however have 6 combined tackles and a pass deflection that lead to a Michael Griffin interception.
Stephen Tulloch- Titans fans have always known the potential that Tully has had and with the departure of Keith Bulluck is finally making his mark as the teams newly appointed defensive captain and field general. Tulloch left Sunday’s game with his second back to back game with over 10 tackles with 12 combined. His leadership earned him the captain title which is voted on by teammates and also the honor of wearing the green dot helmet which allows the defensive coordinator to communicate the play to the field. With Tulloch leading the way we could very well see the Titans solidify its first ever legitimate Linebacking corps.
To be quite honest I only have one offensive player to highlight this week and it is Vince Young, even though his numbers were mediocre against the Broncos, his consistent play continues to shine (even though noone else in the league notices). If he can walk out of Sunday’s match against the Cowboys with more touchdowns then interceptions (hopefully 0 int’s) then I would expect for the VY talk to start up again.
I know that is is sad that no other offensive players could be highlighted, I do not highlight players because they made one catch or one big play. I highlight players that show consistency, as anyone who watches football knows, consistency is what separates a good player from a great player. Hopefully, the Titans offensive woes will be cut out like an infectious cancer this Sunday against Dallas.