Tennessee Titans Week 1 Reaction
Week 1 of the NFL season is in the book and the Tennessee Titans started the season out on a positive note defeating the Kansas City Chiefs on the road 26-10.
-The Titans offense began slowly, but ended the say with a solid performance. Jake Locker passed for 266 yards and two touchdowns. The running game was effective and consistently moved the ball against a stout KC defense. Shonn Greene was the lead back with 71 yards on 15 carries. Dexter McCluster, Leon Washington, and Bishop Sankey contributed as well. The team ended as a whole ended with an impressive 162 yards on the ground. The ball was spread around regularly by Locker who completed passes to eight different receivers. Kendal Wright and Delanie Walker both caught touchdowns and Justin Hunter flashed his ability to stretch the field.
– The Titans defense looked stout after a lackluster pre-season performance. Ray Horton’s scheme worked and the players made the plays necessary to win the game. The rush defense held all-pro RB Jamal Charles to 19 yards rushing. While the passing defense picked off QB Alex Smith three times, twice by Jason McCourty, once by FS Michael Griffin. OLB Derrick Morgan played particularly well given it was his first real game at the position. Jurrell Casey was consistently disruptive on the defensive line for the Titans as well. The Titans came close to limiting the Chiefs to just a field goal, but a drive which consisted on multiple questionable calls by the referees led to a TD for the Chiefs.
-Ken Whisenhunt couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season. The team as a whole looks rejuvenated and more completive.
-The Titans offensive line has to do a better job protecting Jake Locker. He was sacked four times on the day and took multiple hits. Part of this was because Locker was holding on to the ball too long, but as a group the line needs to protect the QB better. Andy Levitre had a particularly weak performance; he is still having issues living up to the large contract the Titans signed him to last season. This isn’t necessarily bad, but Bishop Sankey’s lack of touches is puzzling. The team spent a 2nd round pick on him and he was supposed to be a pivotal part of the Titans rush attack. The fact that Leon Washington was getting carries ahead of Sankey was shocking. For now I am going to attribute it to the Titans working a rookie in slowly, but his carries are something to monitor as the season progresses.
– Starting ILB Zach Brown only lasted four plays into the regular season before his season came to an abrupt end after tearing his pectoral muscle. Brown was expected to be a playmaker for the Titans defense and his speed will be missed. Second year LB Zavier Gooden will replace him. The defense did finish the game with three sacks and a fair amount of QB pressures, but more is needed from the pass rush. ALex Smith consistently had too much time in the pocket, luckily the Titans had a good day in pass coverage and nothing came from the lack of pressure. This is an area that will have to improve for this defense to succeed throughout the entire season.
-The Titans were flagged 12 times on the day, most penalties were committed by the offensive line.
The Tennessee Titans (1-0) host the Dallas Cowboys (0-1) at LP Field for their home opener this Sunday.
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