One amazing catch. No where's the rest? Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-US Presswire

Tennessee Titans : The Silver Lining Week 13


 

So the Tennessee Titans lost to the Houston Texans 24-10.  At one point with half the fourth quarter to go, they were 4 yards from making it a 7 point game.  I know, if’s and maybe’s etc, but many teams have suffered a worse fate at the hands of the Texans this year.  They are Superbowl favorites after all.  Honestly, with 6 sacks, 6 turnovers, and playing one of the best teams in the league, a 14 point loss is a big step up from the complete blowouts we faced in the beginning of the year.

The Titans Defense

This was the best defensive effort by the Titans this year, even better than the Miami game.  The result wasn’t the same, but the caliber of team the were playing was multiple folds better.

The Titans defense held the vaunted Texans offense to 4 out of 17 third down conversions, and forced the Texans to punt 10 times!  Brett Kern only punted 6 times.  This is an offense that is probably one of the most well rounded in the league and can beat you any number of ways.  As many times as the offense turned the ball over (6), and put the defense back on the field, they did a wonderful job getting the ball back for the offense, so they could turn the ball back over again. (see how this works)

Tim Shaw actually filled in decently for McCarthy in the base package which I was expecting to be a disaster.  Even though the announcers tried calling him every other linebacker on the team,  Zach Brown continues to improve and probably had his best game yet.  3 of his 5 tackles were at the line of scrimmage for negligible gain and he was hitting the running lanes hard.  A far cry from the knock on his him on draft day that he shied from contact or played soft.  Even when he didn’t make the play, he was around the ball which is what you want to see out of your surprising 2nd round pick.

The most amazing stat I can find on the day was the scoring drives.   Michael Griffin had his signature whiff on the opening drive of the Texans, which led to a 54 yard strike by a receiver no one had heard of until that play.  After that the remaining 17 points given up by the defense came on 11 plays for 27 yards.  That’s right, 27 yards!  When the Texans had to do more than just fall forward to score Jerry Gray’s defense did very very well.

Jake Locker

This kid has H-E-A-R-T!!!

And yes he has talent as well.  Locker was pressing and getting frustrated early in the game, and had a very forgettable first half.   But he never quit. He played his a** off and showed every bit of piss of vinegar this team needs.  As much talent as we think the Titans have, they need a leader just like Locker, who works hard and never gives up.

I love the way that Locker spoke face to face with Texans DT Smith after the last play of the game,and told him “I just want you to know that (hit on Velascoe) was a dirty play”.  Seriously?!?!  That’s a guy that a team will rally around.  He got hit hard time after time, and never shied away from contact.  In the fourth quarter on a 3rd and 3, Locker actually ran forward into a defender, bloodied his lip, while completing a 49 yard rope to Nate Washington running down the right boundary.  I honestly haven’t enjoyed watching a QB play this much since #9.

Locker got little help from the players around him on Sunday.     The makeshift line had a hard time holding up against one of the leagues best pass rushes.  Most importantly the receivers dropped 6-8 crucial catches.  Combine this with fumbles and holding penalties and the Titans never had a shot, so don’t put the loss solely on his shoulders…although he probably will.

Did you see anything else good in this game?

 

 You can follow me on Twitter  @gunnelsj

Tags: Houston Texans Jake Locker Tennessee Titans