Oct 21, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Nate Washington (85) makes the winning touchdown catch over the top of Buffalo Bills defensive back Justin Rogers (26) during the fourth quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Titans beat the Bills 35-34. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE
The Tennessee Titans are on their first winning streak of the season. Hurray for them. Sorry, that didn’t come across as excited as it should have. I’ll try again: WIN ALL THE GAMES!!!
Better? Good. (If you said no, then I have nothing else to offer you. That was the absolute best I could do on this short of notice.) The Titans have now won two games in a row and three total in 2012. They have needed last minute heroics in all three of their wins, and have only won those games by a combined 7 points. Let that sink in for a second.
Has it sunk in? If not, try again. The Tennessee Titans have won their three games by 7 points. Not 7 points a game. 7 points total. I’m not trying to kill the good vibes or anything, but that is way too precarious for me. (On the flip side, the team has lost their four games by a combined score of 44 to 140. That’s a 96 point differential. In other words: Historically bad.)
While I’m sure most Titans’ fans are very excited to see their team winning, it would be nice to see the team put together a complete game for once. They have been able to get one or two parts working in a game, they have yet to put it all together at one time: Offense, defense, and special teams. Do that, and this team will be competitive all year.
Winner: Chris Johnson
How could he not be on this list? CJ was exactly what Titans’ fans have been asking for these past few years. He was fast. He was elusive. He was CJ2K. Clearly, the Offensive Line had a lot to do with his success in this game, but CJ deserves a ton of the credit as well. If Jamie “TD Thief” Harper hadn’t been used at the goal line, CJ could have finished the game with over 200 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns. Not too shabby.
Loser: Jamie “Dirty Rotten Stealer” Harper
How can he be on this list? Shouldn’t he be a Winner – he did score two TD’s after all? Yes, he did score two TD’s, but he did very little to earn those TD’s. He is a big back that doesn’t run strong. He is a big back that doesn’t run hard. He doesn’t create contact…he seems to avoid it. He thinks he has quick and nimble feet, but he looks slow and indecisive to me. I think the team would be better off leaving CJ in or giving Reynaud more looks.
Winner: The 4th Quarter Defensive Stop
This defense does not deserve much appreciation for their performance against the Bills, but I do feel they need a little praise for their final stop. The offense had done their job all day, and the defense had let the team down, time and time again. But with their backs against the wall, and every Titans’ fan confident that they were going to give up a game winning field goal, the defense stepped up big time. You can’t ask for more than that…..wait a second….you can ask for much more than that…
Loser: Jerry Gray and his merry band of underachievers.
The Titans were the 8th best scoring defense in 2011. What happened? Was Cortland Finnegan that important to this defense? Has everyone else regressed? Is Michael Griffin’s incompetence contagious? I don’t have the time or the desire to fully explore any of those questions, so I’ll just leave it at this: Jerry Gray is not putting his players in the best position to succeed, and many of the players are not playing up to their potential. The Titans need Gray, Griffin, and the rest of the defense to step up, or there are quite a few people that will be looking for work after this season.
Winner: Nate Washington
Virtually invisible in the first half? Check.
Best player on the field in the second half? Check.
I can’t believe this is the same guy who used to drop passes on a consistent basis his first few years on the team. Nate Washington has come up big every time the team needs him since the start of the 2011 season. Great player. Even better leader.
Mulligan of the week: Special Teams
This unit has been the lone bright spot all year, so I am going to overlook their poor play against Buffalo. Coach Alan Lowry has done a fantastic job with his crew and I won’t knock them for one bad afternoon. I just hope it is not a sign of things to come.
So, that’s it for Week 7. Come back next week where I will discuss the wonders and healing power of the ancient art of Dorodango. And we will have some stuff about the Titans and the Colts.