Offense: Chris Johnson and LenDale White and the entire offensive line
Don’t really know what to say here that hasn’t already been said. A Titans record 332 yards on the ground (“Smash” – 17-149, 3 TDs and “Slash” – 18 carries for 168 and a TD for 317 total, plus the 15 gained by FB Ahmard Hall and third string RB Quinton Ganther) is impressive no matter the competition. Both had runs of over 60 yards (White-80 and CJ-66) and hit huge holes opened up by the offensive line running hard downfield. It is truly amazing in this day and age to see a team amass such yardage on the ground with more and more offenses turning to that West Coast spread style that so many teams employ now. Hard-nosed, controlling the line of scrimmage football has always been Jeff Fisher’s style, but never has he been able to do it so well. And that all starts with the personnel. Gone are the days of Bruce Matthews, Benji Olsen and Jon Runyan on the line. This O-line is led by Kevin Mawae, Michael Roos and David Stewart. And in the case of Roos and Stewart (who both just signed long term deals) they will be the anchors of this line for some time to come. Again, enthusiasm should be a bit tempered given the opponent, but it was an impressive effort nonetheless.
Honorable Mention: Umm, uh, didn’t we name everyone in the last part?
Defense: Keith Bulluck
Well, well, well, the leader of the D finally gets his first Titan Sized game ball. Totaling a team high eight tackles, Bulluck was all over the field making plays on Sunday. He also was credited with half a sack, combining with DE David Ball who was playing in place of the injured Kyle Vanden Bosch. He may not be the same Keith Bulluck of three or four years ago, but he can still cover the field with the best of them. At this point in his career, he knows that he is not the best defender on the field, but he is still one of the smartest, and his ability to know what his strengths still are is something that you just don’t see these days in such a star-driven league. He could play another three to four years and be as effective as most linebackers in the NFL on his football smarts alone. He is without a doubt, the emotional leader of not only the defense, but of the entire team. And we all know that “Mr. Monday Night” will pay the us a visit next week against Indy. So congrats Keith, you deserve it. Now come up here and accept your award. We all know you’ve got something to say.
Honorable Mention: Albert Haynesworth was a beast yet again (just ask Brodie Croyle), adding another sack to bring his season total to six (good for sixth best in the NFL and tops among defensive tackles). He is the best player on the Titans defense and he proves it week in and week out. He sheds offensive linemen with more ease that anyone in football and is a complete nightmare for opposing coordinators. He is making a very serious case for Defensive Player of the Year consideration, and if he keeps this up, will be the highest paid free agent next off-season. Let’s just hope the Titans decide to pay the man, cause he’s worth every single penny.