Between Britt and a Hard Place


If you can stop Chris Johnson, you can stop the Tennessee Titans, right?  Not anymore.  The Philadelphia Eagles learned that sometimes you can win a battle, only to find out that you lost the war over for 225 yards ago.  Here is the Titan Sized tirade from Week 7’s 4th quarter stunner over the Philadelphia Eagles.

1st Quarter (Momentum Eagles)

Nothing to see here people.

The Titan offense sputtered without Vince Young.  Kerry Collins and the Titans managed 3 holding penalties, a turnover (interception by Quintin Mikell), and allowed a sack in 3 possessions that netted only 9 yards in 10 plays from scrimmage.  On one play in particular, Leroy Harris and Jake Scott were both flagged for holding and CJ2K could still only gain 2 yards.

The Eagle’s offense was slightly more interesting, but lacked the ability to convert a critical 3rd-and-7 on their first drive or an early Titan turnover (a vintage Kerry Collins interception on 2nd down).  With the Titan defense unable to create any pressure with their 4-down linemen, Kevin Kolb easily chipped away for yards, with the final drive of the quarter deep in Titan territory.

2nd Quarter (Momentum Eagles)

The Eagles offense stalled in the redzone, ended in a field goal, and provided yet another example of the Titan defense bending without breaking. Later in the 2nd, Riley Cooper snatched a 37-yard heave from Kolb and quickly followed with a 5-yard touchdown catch.  The Eagles finished the first half with an efficient 2-minute drill and entered halftime up 13-7 in a game that looked to be heading their way.

Collins killed another Titan drive (fumble), but Michael Griffin saved the day and staved off further damage, intercepting Kolb’s first pass following the fumble.  Then, Collins atoned with a 26-yard touchdown strike to Kenny Britt.  The momentum did not shift for the Titans here, but Mike Heimerdinger has discovered what would prove to be the winning catalyst.

3rd Quarter (Momentum Titans)

With the momentum and the score in their favor, Kolb calmly moved the ball down the field on their opening drive of the half.  However, the Titan defense again forced a field goal.  Collins promptly threw an interception (Asante Samuel) and the Titan’s day appeared to be finally coming to close.

Because Jeff Fisher likes to keep games close, Titan fans of the last 17 years know that every game will come down to a series of plays, or what I like to call the “Fisher Sequence.”

“Fisher Sequence”

Ahead 16-7 with the ball at the Titan 3-yard line on first down, the Eagles appeared poised to put the Titans away.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, Jason Jones chose this moment to remind everyone watching, that he is a Pro-Bowl defensive tackle. Slicing through the line, Jones not only tackled Kolb in mid-hand-off, but simultaneously slapped the ball from LeSean McCoy’s hands.  Alterraun Verner recovered the fumble, the Titan offense assembled a critical drive resulting in a field goal, and the momentum of the game shifted.

4th Quarter (Momentum and match Titans)

Enter Kenny Britt. With the eyes of the Eagles firmly fixed on CJ2K, Britt displayed why he was worthy of a first-round draft choice in 2009.  Collins needed only toss the ball (not particularly well, either) in Britt’s direction and watch like the rest of us.

This is the ugliest 80-yard touchdown pass I have ever seen. Kenny Britt also added a 42 yard grab and a 16-yard touchdown catch in the 4th, destroying the Eagles lead, spirits, and hopes of winning.

The Titan defense and special team units also deserve credit for creating 2 late turnovers (fumble and interception), each resulting in points, and holding the Eagle’s offense to -6 yards in their final 4 drives of the game.

FINAL: Titans 37 – Eagles 19

If stopping Chris Johnson requires 8-9 men in the box, what should teams do now?  Putting Kenny Britt in man-to-man coverage no longer seems like an option, at least not a winning one.  So how will teams choose to lose?