Greater Expectations


The Monday Night Football match-up was supposed to pit Maurice Jones-Drew against Chris Johnson, David Garrard versus Vince Young, in an AFC South clash that was supposed to be a close game.  This game ended, despite the shameless plugging of ESPN, without any of these expectations being met.  Here is the Titan Sized tirade from Week 6’s deconstruction of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

MJD vs. CJ2K

Maurice Jones-Drew (17 rushes, 57 yards; 2 receptions, 8 yards)

The Titan defensive front dominated the Jaguars.  All.  Night.  Long.  When MJD did find a hole, he was frequently gang-tackled by the swarming Titan defense.  A year ago, MJD had rushing scores of 79 and 80 yards against virtually the same Titan defense.  This year, 11 yards was his longest rush of the evening.

Chris Johnson (26 rushes, 111 yards, TD; 2 receptions, 20 yards)

The Jaguars did a similar job of bottling up CJ2K most of the night, but it came at a high cost.  While the Jaguars stacked 8 and 9 defenders into the box the Titan passing offense battered a secondary that should have never been expected to hold.  CJ’s biggest play in real life (a 35 yard TD run late), impacted the fantasy world for better, and for worse.

David Garrard (Concussion) vs. Vince Young (Sprained Knee)

David Garrard (7 for 12, 49 yards, INT) – Trent Edwards (14 for 24, 140 yards, 2 INT)

Garrard became the latest victim of the Titan pass rush, throwing an early interception and suffering a concussion late in the 2nd quarter.  Edwards fared little better, getting sacked twice and throwing 2 interceptions of his own.  Edwards late efficiency inspired no confidence from Jags coach Jack Del Rio, who seemed content to call rushing plays throughout the Jags final drive of significance.

Vince Young (3 for 5, 61 yards, TD) – Kerry Collins (11-16, 110 yards, TD)

Young torched the cheating Jag defense on his first and only completed drive of the evening.  Kenny Britt, Damian Williams, and Bo Scaife proved to be too much for a Jag secondary forced to play man coverage.  Collins picked up where VY left off, dropping passes all over the field to his wide open receivers.  VY could have returned to the game, but with Collins efficiency and the Titan’s growing lead, there was little point in risking further injury.

Titans (4-2) vs. Jaguars (3-3)

These two teams may only be separated in the standings by a game, but they could not be heading in opposite directions any faster.  The Titan defensive front is the most dominant force in football right now, and with VY growing into his role as game manager, the Titans will be a tough team to beat moving forward.

The Jaguars may have beaten the Indianapolis Colts, but there is little reason to not believe that it will be their only division win for the rest of the year.  Del Rio’s play calling at the end of the game seems the attitude of a defeated man, leading a defeated team, whose fans hardily booed the home team at halftime on their way to the exits.

The Titans will again have the eyes of the NFL watching next week, as the darling Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) visit LP Field. Look for the Titans to exceed expectations… again.