The Tennessee Titans have been blown out in 4 of their 5 games this year. The Vikings rolled through this defense without hesitation and it seemed as though Tennessee was completely unprepared for anything and everything.
The week leading up to this game I hoped that Jerry Gray game planned for at least two things specifically, the lead draw with Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin playing like Percy Harvin. We all know how effective Adrian Peterson is, but the lead draw is deadly because of the threat of Percy in the flats. The Titans played decent defense against the run in the first half, Casey and Martin were all over the place. Once Ponder started getting harvin the ball everything went down the drain. The defense seemed confused, slow, and completely unprepared for some of the most basic plays in the history of football.
Percy Harvin is one of the most dynamic players in the NFL. I know this not only from watching, but from first-hand experience. I grew up with Harvin. As a child in middle school him and I went to rival middle schools and matched up with each other in basketball each year. We both played guard and we both defended each other. The dude was an all state track athlete, but he didn’t truly shine until high school where he became a Virginia high school football legend. At Landstown High School Percy’s step father was a friend of my Dad’s, so I was at every single game of his watching greatness in the making. The newspapers would describe Harvin’s play in a different way than any player I had ever seen. Instead of writing about catches and rushes, Harvin was explained by touches. For example, (and this happened every week it seemed like) “Percy Harvin touched the ball 11 times and scored 7 touchdowns.” It was unreal. I followed him throughout his time with the Florida Gators and finally he made it to the NFL. Moral of the story, the Titans don’t have anyone that can cover the guy. He is too shifty for McCourty and too fast for Verner. They were in for a long day as soon as he took the field.
The Good: There really wasn’t much to brag about defensively in this game. The titans made a couple interceptions, but they didn’t mean anything. One by Robert Johnson was tipped by ATV, but there were only 15 seconds left in the first half. The other, by Jordan Babineaux, was at the start of the second half and lead to -1 yards on offense. Depressing, I know. One positive note was those were Ponder’s first interceptions of the season. Zach brown, rookie linebacker from UNC, has taken the starting weak side backer role from Will Witherspoon. This is pretty interesting considering Witherspoon has the most experience of anyone on the Titans defense. Brown has played well and continues to show growth and maturity. This linebacking corps is the youngest in the NFL and they have shown flashes of greatness. Akeem Ayers has made immense strides from last year proving he was worth the second round pick.
The Bad: If you watched the game, than just throw in everything to this section. The lead draw killed the Titans front seven. Percy Harvin dominated with elite short area quickness as well as vertical speed. It was painful to watch as the Titans defense seemed out matched in each and every way. A lot of this is credited to an offense that couldn’t sustain a drive let alone get a couple first downs. I am not sure the exact stat, but I would bet the Titans defense has played the most snaps of any unit in the NFL. Defensive pressure was abysmal and missed tackles made me sick. They have a lot of work to do.
My Grade: D