Offense: Offensive Line (David Stewart, Jake Scott, Kevin Mawae, Eugene Amano, Michael Roos)
This group should probably get the game ball each week, as they have opened up huge holes for RB’s “Twitch” Johnson and LenDale White, and have given QB Kerry Collins ample to find receivers all season long. They did so yet again on MNF against the Colts, although the box score won’t quite reflect that: CJ (19 carries for 77 yards) and LenDale (10 carries for 13 yards) combined for only 88 yards on the ground, but they did score 3 touchdowns when it counted the most, and Collins was as efficient at moving the ball when we needed to make first downs. This can all be attributed to an offensive front that has still only given up two sacks all season and none since week 2 of the NFL season. FB Ahmard Hall was also terrific in pass blocking, but pitched in with a nice two-point conversion catch to tie the game at 14, and would have had a touchdown in the 4th quarter if Collins hadn’t under thrown him in the end zone. He’s our 2008 Lorenzo Neal and if any of you remember how important Neal was for our offense in 1999 and 2000, then you realize how good Hall can be to our gameplan. If the offensive line can continue to move the line of scrimmage and keep Kerry Collins upright, the sky is the limit for this Titans team.
Honorable Mention: The Tennessee tight ends, who probably have the best hands amongst the receivers. Alge Crumpler looks like he is finally getting comfortable in Heimerdinger’s offense and Bo Scaife was solid as usual. With legendary Titans’ TE Frank Wycheck being inducted into the “Ring of Honor”, it was nice to see these two put up solid efforts on Monday night. They will need to continue to be this steady as they are Kerry Collins most reliable options downfield.
Defense: Secondary (Nick Harper, Chris Hope, Michael Griffin, Cortland Finnegan)
Yet again, another group get’s the “Titan Up” game ball this week. Our secondary has played great all year, but Monday night they had their best game yet. Yes, they gave up two passing touchdowns, after only allowing one all year; but they went into the game with the plan to shut down Reggie Wayne and company, and not get beat deep. We covered this already in the game notes, but we just have to reiterate how proud we are of them. If we had to pick one player to give a game ball to though, it would be Chris Hope, who had his first multiple interception game of his career, and who has been solid all year, often helping out on run defense.
Honorable Mention: Cortland Finnegan
We wanted to single him out as well, because he may not have his name called much the rest of the year. And that’s a good thing. Cortland is becoming noticed league-wide as a shutdown corner, the type of player who takes plays out of an offensive coordinator’s gameplan. You are taking a game-changing risk every time you throw a deep ball against him. The scary part is: he’s still improving.
ALL TIME GAME BALLS:
The Titans welcomed back formers greats Steve McNair, Eddie George, and Frank Wycheck. It was weird to see them on the field without a uniform on (and carrying a little extra weight!), but it just made an already great night even more special.