Sep 30, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) runs the ball against the Houston Texans in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the Titans 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PREWIRE
This game was difficult to watch. You all know that. Losing to the Texans is especially painful. The offense, as a whole, never really got into rhythm. The defense, while looking good at times, still gave up too many big plays. There were a few bright spots, but overall, it was another very disappointing loss for the Tennessee Titans. While the first quarter of the season is finished, and the Titans are 1-3, I still haven’t given up hope. I am confident that this team has the talent to get things turned around; it’s just going to need a few guys to step up, a few guys to get healthy, and a bit of luck.
Handing out the Winner and Loser honors for this week was not easy. For one, there weren’t many players that deserved to be called a Winner. Secondly, I’m tired of how easy it is to find Losers every single week. That’s just not fun. However, I press on for you, the fans. Even if the players aren’t going to give their best, you had better believe I will bring it each and every week.
Winner: Chris Johnson.
It feels really good to include him this week. For the first time all season, the Offensive Line opened up holes for Johnson, and he didn’t hesitate to run through those holes. That’s how it’s supposed to work, right? True, there weren’t any huge runs, but I actually see that as a good thing. CJ picked up his yards with consistency and decisiveness. I hope everyone involved in the success of the run game against Houston plays at that level the rest of the season.
Loser: Matt Hasselbeck.
I hate to do this. I really do. I love Hasselbeck. You won’t find many classier players anywhere in the league. He is a leader and a great teammate, and has had a very good career. But, he was awful on Sunday against the Texans. There is no way around it. He was terrible, and he looked slow and rusty. If he is going to be starting the next few games for an injured Jake Locker, then he has to play better or the Titans will be staring up at 1-5.
Winner: The Run Defense.
They held a great running team to under 100 total rushing yards. As bad as this defense looked against the run in earlier games, the last few weeks they have started to figure a few things out. They were sound in their assignments and they were in the Texans’ backfield often. Now that we know they are capable of playing this well, we have a right to see it every week.
Loser: Everyone who blamed the defense for this loss.
I lost track of how many sports talk hosts and callers tried to pin this loss on the defense. I never call in to radio shows, but I was tempted this week due to all the stupidity I was hearing. The defense was not great. But they were not the reason the Titans lost. The defense limited Houston to 200 yards passing and less than 100 yards rushing. They did what they had to do against a very good offense. This game was lost because the offense couldn’t score (except when it scored for the Texans), and it couldn’t stay on the field long enough to give the defense a rest.
Winner: Whoever covered Andre Johnson.
3 receptions for 56 yards. I think that says it all. He was not a factor except for the first drive.
Loser: Leroy Harris.
Here is what the ever loquacious and erudite Harris said about J.J. Watt after the game:
"He’s not anything special,…I locked him down most of the game, except those two plays."
This is one of those times that a person says something that is factually correct, but still makes no sense. Yes, Watt didn’t get any pressure on the QB besides those two plays. Yes, Harris was responsible for keeping Watt away from the QB for much of the game, and he held up pretty well. But, and this is a really big deal, he still gave up two sacks to Watt. 2 sacks…in one game…to one player. If Harris were to play at that level for the whole season, he would give up 32 sacks on the year – that is 4 more than the entire Tennessee Titans defense had last season. So, by Harris’ logic, only giving up two gigantic, drive killing sacks a game, he has done his job. I don’t think he understand his job very well.
Who did I miss? Who do you think deserves a spot on this list?