Home > Uncategorized > The Titans’ Sixer: The running game is MIA

The Titans’ Sixer: The running game is MIA

After every Titans game I’ll post a six-pack of things I believe I learned about the team. Herewith “the Sixer” on the 26-20 home loss to the Broncos that dropped the Titans to 2-2:

1. Either Chris Johnson or the offensive line isn’t right. The Broncos have a decent run defense, but they are NOT the Steelers. Still, Johnson mustered only 53 yards on 19 carries with a long run of 8 yards. That’s totally unacceptable. The Titans need to stop making excuses and admit they’re concerned. “We’ll get the run game going,” Jeff Fisher said. “We need to get some things done up front so we can create some other opportunities for ourselves.” Fisher had said leading up to this game that he might get backup RB Javon Ringer more carries. Ringer carried twice for 50 yards, including a 54-yarder on his first carry.

2. The Broncos outcoached the Titans at halftime. Offensively the Broncos stopped trying to throw downfield as much and carved up the Titans using screen passes and shorter routes. Kyle Orton threw for 187 yards in the second half. “They realized they didn’t have time (to pass),” said DE Jason Babin, who had 1.5 sacks and six tackles. “We were getting after it. They had to get rid of it quick. It’s logical. It nullifies the rush.” On defense, the Broncos spied on Vince Young after leaving him uncovered on several play-action bootlegs in the first half. The result for the Titans was only 35 second-half passing yards vs. 138 in the first half.

3. The MVP unit remains the defensive line. It produced five sacks, 2.5 by Dave Ball, 1.5 by Jason Babin and one by Tony Brown. It held the Broncos to 19 rushing yards. It begs the question: Why don’t more teams rotate d-linemen with the frequency the Titans do? It seems like a simple idea; few teams make it work like assistant coach Jim Washburn does here.

4. The special teams were wobbly for the first time this season. Marc Mariani’s electrifying 98-yard kickoff return notwithstanding, the Titans allowed Broncos rookie Demaryius Thomas to average 36 yards on four kickoff returns, including a 65-yarder. And the muffed kickoff recovered by the Broncos with less than 2 minutes to play never should have happened. Mariani took the rap, but I’m not convinced it was his to take. Somebody has to fair catch that kickoff. That’s a monumental gaffe.

5. Officials have just about legislated hitting the quarterback completely out of football. There’s no way DT Sen’Derrick Marks should have been penalized for his first-half hit on Kyle Orton. If players can get fined for hits that are illegal, officials should get fined for blowing calls this badly.

6. Chuck Cecil is in fine shape for a 45-year-old guy, but he’s gonna be a whole lot lighter … in the wallet. Expect the NFL to levy a monster fine on the Titans’ defensive coordinator for his one-fingered salute to the officiating Sunday.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 3, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    1. It’s the O line, I think, and it’s also Johnson not wanting to expend too much energy in a fruitless effort. The O line is, this year, what our defense was last year. Unexplainably worse.
    2. Yep
    3. Agreed, but even with the rotation, they were on the field for too long.
    4. Good point on the muff, Mariani shouldn’t have even have had to think about fielding that.
    5. I doubt refs make enough to fine, but publicly posting the “down grade” they get would be nice.
    6. We need more birds in the game, I think. It is football, after all. The poo-pooing by the sportswriters tomorrow is going to be sickening.

    • October 4, 2010 at 12:00 am

      Rustmeister, I like the point-by-point commentary to go along with the Sixer. Very industrious of you. As far as No. 6 goes, I neither condoned nor poo-poohed Cecil’s one-fingered salute. I will give him this much credit: He didn’t try to hide his feelings from anyone. That bird flew wide out in the open.

  2. October 4, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    And here I thought Atlanta had the “Dirty Birds”. =)

  3. Jordan
    October 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Why not give Ringer more carries? He’s not gonna do worse than Johnson has the past few games, and he would throw in some variety for defenses. Opposing teams couldn’t focus their defenses solely around Johnson, which may benefit the Titans. Give the Spartan his chance.

  4. jose reyes
    October 5, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Bring back Kevin Mawae! We need his leadership back on the o-Line…

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