The Titans’ Sixer: CJ casts a long, scary shadow
After every Titans game I’ll post a six-pack of things I believe I learned about the team. Herewith “the Sixer” on the opening 38-13 rout of the Raiders:
[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=Chris+Johnson&iid=9748445″ src=”http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9748445/nfl-oakland-raiders/nfl-oakland-raiders.jpg?size=500&imageId=9748445″ width=”234″ height=”321″ /]1. The threat of Chris Johnson is almost as good as Chris Johnson. Vince Young threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington off a play-action fake to CJ, and the Raiders secondary bit on it harder than a pit bull on a lamb shank. There wasn’t a safety within 15 yards of Washington.
2. Johnson is impossible to stop for four quarters. I don’t believe the running game was in top form and CJ still posted 142 yards on 27 carries. His first 12 carries netted just 36 yards, and six of those went for 1 yard or less. But it’s the 13th carry that broke the Raiders, a 76-yard touchdown jaunt.”It didn’t feel as good as the numbers (39 rushes, 205 yards) came out,” G Jake Scott said. “I don’t know if we were as efficient as we should be. We had a lot of 1-, 2-yard runs that we need to get ironed out.” But Scott also said if the line covers the opposition on just one play and gives Johnson the smallest seam all that’s left is a vapor trail.
3. The defensive line is as good as I’ve been saying and as deep as I’ve been saying. Three different linemen (Jason Babin, Derrick Morgan and Jacob Ford) had sacks of Jason Campbell. The d-line batted down three passes. Campbell probably could tell you what DT Jason Jones ate for breakfast because Jones was in his face all day. LB Stephen Tulloch told me after the game the d-line was so good it didn’t leave any plays for anyone else to make. Albert who?!?
4. This team wins unlike any team in the league I can think of. It never uses four wide receivers. It barely even throws to them (although Washington did put up three receptions for 88 yards). On obvious passing downs it uses three receivers, a tight end and keeps Johnson in the backfield. The Raiders couldn’t stop the Titans, but will Tennessee need to open it up more against tougher defenses?
5. If S Michael Griffin plays the rest of the season like he did against the Raiders he’ll put a sub-par 2009 behind him and be the Pro Bowler he was in 2008. Griffin made a terrific play to knock away a would-be touchdown pass, recovered a fumble and led the team in tackles with 12. He was everywhere.
6. The Titans have paid a lot of lip service to being better in special teams than they were in 2009, and they were against the Raiders. Now maybe that’s only because it was the Raiders, but there wasn’t so much as even a threat of a decent return by Oakland and all it’s alleged team speed.