Titan Up: Game Balls Week 13 – The Thanksgiving Edition


If football is to the holidays, what Grandma is to apple pie, then the first of the Thanksgiving Day games was a beautiful culmination of all of the above for Titans fans. The Tennessee Titans second nationally televised came on my favorite day of the year against the lowly Detroit Lions serving as the first of the Turkey Day games. Detroit has been a staple in these games since 1934, but once the main feast of the holiday slate of games, the turkeys or hams if you will, have now become the cranberry sauce or the the weird Jello pie concoction-thingy that goes wholly untouched. It was supposed to be the first time in the history of the NFL that and 0-11 team met an 11-0 team, but the Jets had to go off and ruin that last week. Well, that just seemed to make the Titans hungry, and so on Thanksgiving Day at Ford Field, the Tennessee Titans feasted.

What we are thankful for on Offense: The Arby’s RB’s

Sorry, LenDale got a hold of the keyboard again.

“We’ll go when I’m finished handing out the game balls. And don’t give me that face.”

Finally, after a three game hiatus, the Titans got back to what they do best: running the football. On the afternoon, the Titans ran the ball 46 times for 292 yards. “Smash & Dash” accounted for 231 of those yards (“Twitch” with 16 carries for 125 yards and two touchdowns, and LenDale with 23 for 106 and two touches as well). Even third-stringer Quinton Ganther got in on the action with 3 rushes for 23 yards (a 7.7 ypc average) and WR Brandon Jones with a nice end-around reverse that picked up 28 yards on the first play from scrimmage. Most impressive yet may be that this year’s Titans team now owns two of the top three rushing outputs in franchise history (week 7 against the Chiefs was the other). Yes, it was the Lions, but it was still good to see Fisher and ‘Dinger get back to their roots and trusting the guys that know how to move the ball best.

Honorable Mention: Vince Young

It was just nice to see you back on the field VY. I hope we don’t see you much more this season (unless it’s in the same blowout fashion – just being honest), but it was a nice reminder that there is still hope for you yet. I still believe that you are the future at the quarterback position, but I’m also realistic enough to understand that this is Kerry’s team, both now, and probably (at least) next season. We still love you, but your super-stardom will have to wait. Be patient though Vince, for you’re time will come and your number will be called. And you better be ready…

What we are thankful for on Defense: Dave “Butter” Ball (Turkey)

I thought about that one for a while, and it’s the best I could come up with in an attempt to stick with the holiday theme (albeit a poor one). It was nice to see DE Kyle Vanden Bosch back on the field on Thursday, it really was. He even had a couple of tackles and posted a sack. But Dave Ball is the starting right defensive end on this football team. Ball filled up the stat sheet (two tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, a pick and one defensive touchdown) well before I filled up my belly (two rolls, some green bean and squash casserole, mashed potatoes, turkey and ham… and I don’t even like ham). His unlikely pick six in the first quarter seemed to really put the game away before it even had a chance to be one. Sorry game.

Groin injuries tend to be ones that hang around longer than they really should. Such seems to be the case with KVB. As long as Ball continues to fill in as well as he has this year though, the Titans coaches and medical staff will make sure that KVB is 100% before he really lets er’ rip again. No matter how much that scary dude threatens them. And you know he does…

Honorable Mention: Kyle Vanden Bosch

“We know Kyle, you played well. We said you played a nice game, especially in limited time. No seriously, I swear. Didn’t you see what we said about you? No, we were just kidding about that whole Dave Ball being the starter thing. Exactly, that’s the joke. It’s Dave Ball…”

Help. He’s staring straight at us. Please. Go. Get. Help…

This was a game that the Titans needed badly right now. It’s one of those ego boosters. A nice easy rebound after a tough loss. We should be able to handle Cleveland next week, but they aren’t nearly as bad as the Lions. In fact, no one since the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been this bad. And I fully expect these Lions to mach their feat, as there is not a win to look forward to on their schedule (IMHO). 11-1 is still 11-1 though, so we’ll take it. Now is where we start to focus in on the much larger task at hand; secure the division, get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and stay both fresh and healthy for the long haul. Now, things are starting to get serious…

“Alright LenDale, I think we’re ready to go, so get the rest of the fellas. Screw Arby’s, we’re all going out for some din din at the Outback, and Titan Sized is fitting the bill.”