Titans Win, Chris Johnson Explodes for Best Game of 2013
By Sean Maczko
Nov 3, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) scores on a 14 yard run as St. Louis Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) defends during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. Tennessee defeated St. Louis 28-21. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
On Nov. 3, the Tennessee Titans entered an emotionally charged game vs the St. Louis Rams after a week of rest on the bye week. The Titans faced off against their former head coach Jeff Fisher, who was the longest tenured head coach in Titans/Oilers history, as the two sides battled since the 2011 break up. The Titans played in a closely contested game and made some critical plays in the 4th quarter to close out the victory 28-21.
Entering this game there was chatter between the two teams. Both teams were eager to face off. Not only did the Titans have Fisher in common with the Rams, but the Titans let CB Cortland Finnegan and TE Jared Cook walk away at the end of their contracts where they ended back up with Fisher in St. Louis. Lets not forget Super Bowl XXXIV where the Titans faced the Rams and the historically haunting “one yard” short catch by Kevin Dyson.
Now that we got the back story covered, on with Week 9’s victory and Chris Johnson‘s coming out party of 2013.
The Titans got off to a fast start, something we haven’t seen this season. Tennessee capped off their opening game drive with a five-yard run by Shonn Greene, who was in the headlines this week getting touted to have more carries. The Titans then conceded two consecutive touchdowns to young, up and coming RB Zac Stacy. Stacy had touchdown runs of three and nine yards in the second and third quarter, respectively.
After halftime, the Titans capped off another drive with a rushing TD, but this time it was on a QB Draw by our ultra athletic, young gun quarterback Jake Locker. Locker dropped back in the pocket, read through his progressions, saw nothing, tucked and ran in for the score—capping it off with the proverbial spike.
The Titans let this one get close—too close. In the 4th quarter the Titans let the Rams even up the scoreboard at 21-21 with a touchdown from Kellen Clemens to former Titans TE Jared Cook for 10 yards. Ultimately, the Titans had the final score of the game with an amazing 19-yard run by Johnson. This capped off his 23-carry, 150 yards and two—TD outburst. The Rams had a final opportunity to tie the game but turned the ball over on downs due to a great defensive effort.
I was extremely pleased with CJ’s outburst. It is the performance I had been waiting for all season long. He showed his world-class speed along with great vision. He ran angry, fought for extra yards and didn’t lay down after first contact. I was also pleased by how they used Greene, who finished with nine carries 38 yards and a TD. I don’t feel that the Titans should cut into the play-making ability that CJ can bring to the table, but he was more effective when he gave up some carries to LenDale White earlier in his career. Greene can easily play that role as he is all around better than White.
Now, while I am very happy after the Titans’ win, I am not going to stand from the mountain tops and pound my chest. Lets face it, this is a game we all feel that we should have won. This game still showed that we have some flaws we need to patch up. We have a much improved defense but we have got to tighten up our run defense. The Titans are allowing 117 yards per game. Today the Titans surrendered 127 to RB Zac Stacy.
Last, but not least, I would like to applaud the Titans special team efforts today. This was the first week WR now KR/PR Damian Williams took the reigns, and he did a great job. He gave the offense great field position and, most importantly, protected the ball.
Overall, I am very pleased by today’s game and performance. Now that this game is officially in the books, I look forward to Week 10’s match up versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, where I will have front row tickets.
Until next time folks, Titan Up!