Titan Sized Report: Titanic Turnovers
The Tennessee Titans learned a valuable lesson on Sunday. Not everyone they play this year will be the Oakland Raiders. Here’s a quick review of the Tennessee Titan’s Week 2 performance on both sides of the ball and special teams.
Between the 6 turnovers and 46 rushing yards, this was by far the worst offensive showing by the Titans at LP Field. Ever. The most important match-up was Vince Young vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense. VY was not up to the task on Sunday, throwing 2 interceptions and fumbling late in the 3rd quarter, leading to his benching.
Chris Johnson’s fumble at the end of the first half was inexcusable, as was Eugene Amano’s holding penalty. The Titans need better leadership and better ball control. On offense, VY is responsible for both and benching him was the right move. Leadership is seized, not anointed. I expect a different VY in NY on Sunday. And apparently so does Jeff Fisher. If the gamble pays off and spurs VY, Fisher will finally have his franchise QB.
Defense – ( A- )
If you were not excited about this young Titan defense after the preseason, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon. Their effort was nothing short of valiant as they battled a smash mouth offense for more than 33 minutes. The Steelers had 0 passing first downs and only surpassed 100 yards rushing because they were choking the game clock with their ill-gotten lead.
This defensive line is as scary as any in the NFL, collecting 4 more sacks (from 5 different Titans this week). The secondary allowed only one pass over 10 yards the whole game and multiple times climbed out of holes the Titan offense or special teams dug for them. Were it not for the effort from this unit this game could have easily been much, much worse. I expect more dominant performances from this side of the ball.
Special Teams – ( C- )
The only thing worse than giving up an opening kickoff touchdown return, is fumbling the ensuing return. Marc Mariani is a rookie and that mistake is expected. Once. He did have an atoning punt return and demonstrated great decision-making for the rest of his returns. I was especially pleased to see him fool the Pittsburgh coverage unit multiple times inside of our 20 yard line.
The onside kick was a great call and well-executed. The only shame is that it was wasted on this junker of a losing effort.
Overall – ( D )
This showing is not the work of a playoff team or really a competitive team. At the end of the day, a loss is a loss and rarely will result in a passing grade.
Which is great news. With each passing week, it is clear that this team has the potential to not only make the playoffs but escape the first round. If the Titans eliminate turnovers, this is going to be a tough team to beat.