It was the worst way to start off the season. Nobody likes to lose to the Jaguars in the season opener, but we did. After a first quarter of getting literally pounded, I found myself searching for the silver lining on everything. We had a much better second half and that just gave me even more to be happy about, even though we came up just short. Here are the up’s and down’s of what I saw from the Titans yesterday.
I was feeling completely destroyed after watching the Jaguars first scoring drive on the Titans. MJD was running over defenders left and right and plowed his way, untouched, into the endzone to cap of the drive. What happened to the defense that showed up during preseason. Fortunately the defense slowly found themselves pulling it back together through the second quarter and I felt a little better. We were still easily in the game, being down by only 10 points. Halftime passed and on the ensuing Titans possession, the Titans found the spark they needed. Hasselbeck was doing everything he could to stretch the play and tossed up the ball just before getting hit. Britt snagged the floater and was just barely missed by Dawan Landry, who looked to be going for a huge interception instead of the hit. The miss by Landry cleared the way for an 80 yard touchdown. Britt had another beautiful touchdown later in the game as well.
The game was sealed when the Titans were pushing the ball down the field with less than 40 seconds left on the clock and no time outs. They were making good progress and just trying to get in the range for a field goal, which would have won the game, when Hasselbeck threw up a big one to Kenny Britt that ended up being picked off by none other than Dawan Landry. It was a disappointing end to an exciting drive that had given all Titans fans the hope of an epic comeback.
Now here is what you should take away from that game:
Hasselbeck has a lot of faith in Kenny Britt. We should expect him to try and squeeze in a lot of throws Kenny’s way. On that note, they are still working on getting in sync with each other, as you could see by a couple of the overthrown balls yesterday , one of which was picked to end the game.
We have some solid young defensive players. The first drive made us look absolutely miserable but we seemed to pull together after that. Jason McCourty had a great sack/force fumble when he was sent in to blitz and was giving us some good, tight coverage. Klug and Casey both seemed to make a nice impact on the d-line. Ayers was all over the place. He should be a very exciting player to watch this season. On special team, Campbell was working his butt off. He made almost all the tackles. I was very impressed with his work out there. These young guys should only get better as the season continues.
The offense is still a work in progress. It wasn’t until Britt’s huge touchdown that we started showing any sort of consistency. Before that we could barely get a first down. The line was not playing up to par and hopefully that’s not a sign of things to come. Chris Johnson wasn’t able to find any space to run and are tight ends didn’t see much receiving work at all. There was also a disappointing lack of screens for our team. How do you not call a screen when you’re dying and you have the fastest running back in the league? I’d expect to see them sometime soon. I know they’re in the playbook. Hopefully another weeks practice will help work out some of these kinks.
The defense is much better than that game made them look. The biggest thing to remember about our defense yesterday is that it was missing both starting defensive ends. It would have been a whole other ball game if they had been able to play. There was also the fact that the offense made about two first downs in the whole first half, which meant our defense was on the field almost the entire time and only gave up ten points. We also have a defense working in a new system. The defense should grow even better as a whole as the season goes by. Don’t fret.
Why are we still getting burned on screens? All last year we got destroyed by screens. Yesterday we were once again beat outside the head with screens. Luke McCown looked good, not because he is good, but because about the only passes he really completed were screens. I hope Gray sees that on the film and addresses it. I had to watch it all last year and if I have to do it again, I might just die.
The Jaguars are not who we made them look like. Yes the defense did give up an easy 7 points, but they did fairly well besides that, especially when you add in the fact they were on the field almost the entire game. McCown had very few actual down field passes and I expect to see the Jaguars have some rough struggles ahead of them. Their defense definitely showed improvement, but their offense is not as good as we made it look yesterday. Their run game sputtered out pretty hard after the first half. We had some great goal line stands against them. I still think we are the better team and I expect us to show it the next time the two teams meet.
Our offense is to blame for this loss. That’s all there is to it. If you can’t get something going on offense, you can’t win. We did get something going yesterday, but it wasn’t till the second half and that was too late. The offense has to be more effective in the start of future games if we actually want to win some games. Hopefully we see some improvement in that area this next week.
Don’t set your hopes too high this next week. We face off against the Ravens at home, who just finished destroying the Steelers. We’re in line for one heck of a tough game. I hope everyone shows up to play this next week.