Titans stunned everyone around the league with a sound defeat of the Ravens this past Sunday at LP Field. The Titans were a completely different team from the one we saw the first week. The offense was actually moving the ball, well. The defense did even better than I expected. All the cornerbacks played some extremely impressive coverage which left Flacco no room to pass the ball. He wasn’t helped any by the Titans defensive line, which kept the Ravens run game stagnant and Flacco on the move. After the Ravens beat the Steelers so handedly in the season opener, the Ravens were looked at as a heck of a dangerous team and were expected to crush the Titans. The results of their game beg the question: Because the Titans beat the Ravens, are they now serious contenders?
I think so.
But not just because of the win over the Ravens.
To be honest, the victory over the Ravens wasn’t as impressive as we’d all like to make it out to be. They had a depleted secondary that had been wiped pretty clean by injuries, which made it all that much more easier for Britt and Washington to scorch them. Both Chris Carr and Jimmy Smith were unable to help the team out due to injury. None the less, they still had Lardarius Webb and Domonique Foxworth back there.
Here is something interesting that Jonathan Hutton of Titans Radio sent to me earlier today:
Only 4 times in Ravens’ history has an opponent thrown over 40 times and the Ravens defense NOT recorded a sack. One of those times was in Nashville, at Vanderbilt, on December 6, 1998 when the Tennessee Oilers beat theBaltimore Ravens, 16-14. Steve McNair threw 44 times and was not sacked. How was the Titans’ rushing attack that day? Eddie George carried 27 times for 63 yards, numbers that sound very similar to Chris Johnson’s 24 carries for 53 yards. Johnson gained at least one yard on 21 of his 21 carries, was tackled for no gain only once and lost yardage only twice.
That’s a pretty impressive thing for the line to be able to boast. This line had a pretty big question mark on it after the week one showing in Jacksonville, but they obviously pulled it back together, which makes it possible for all of us Titans fans to breath a sigh of relief. Our line was able to hold up against one of the scariest defensive lines in the league, sporting the likes of Haloti Ngata and Terrence Cody with linebackers Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs behind them.
The defensive line was also putting in work. Derrick Morgan, Dave Ball, and rookie DT Karl Klug recorded sacks against the Ravens. They were also responsible for the Ravens inability to move the ball on the ground. Ray Rice was only able to gain 43 yards on 13 carries.
Not to leave out the secondary, the interceptions by both McCourty and Verner helped keep momentum on the Titans side. Finnegan was also playing his heart out, getting a tip on about every other ball.
Those were all signs that the Titans have made improvements since week one and found better rythme, but the main reason the Titans should be looked at as serious contenders: the offense.
Kenny Britt has finally arrived. I think it’s the number one thing on Munchak’s chart to keep Kenny Britts hamstring issues in check. With Kenny proving to be one of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL, defensive schemes against the Titans have to change. No longer do we have an inaccurate, weak quarterback tossing the ball awry. We have a pro-bowl quarterback who has found a rythm with Kenny that’ll only grow as the season goes by. Not only that, but we also have an emerging receiver corps that should benefit from the attention paid to Kenny Britt. But I’m meandering away from what truly makes us that serious contender… Britt is a huge deep threat. We’ve shown that if you don’t put all you’re effort into stopping him, we’ll just lob the ball up to him, and he’ll get it. That leads to defenses having to drop more people in the backfield and what… Giving the one and only, CJ2K, breathing room. Chris Johnson hasn’t seen that in quite some time. Defenses should soon find themselves in quite the pickle. Pick your poison. Johnson or Britt?
That my friends, is why the Titans are serious contenders and why I’m once again excited to watch some Titans football.