The Titans’ Sixer: Maybe there should be a QB controversy
After every Titans game I’ll post a six-pack of things I believe I learned about the team. Herewith “the Sixer” on the 19-11 loss to the Steelers that dropped the Titans to 1-1:
[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=Vince+Young&iid=9814249″ src=”http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9814249/pittsburgh-steelers/pittsburgh-steelers.jpg?size=500&imageId=9814249″ width=”234″ height=”302″ /]1. The coaches can say there’s no quarterback controversy until they’re Titan blue in the face, but you don’t pull a QB who’s an unquestioned starter with a quarter to play and your team trailing only 13-3. Don’t get me wrong. The decision to pull Vince Young in favor of Kerry Collins was the right one, albeit that it came too late in my opinion. I’m left to wonder if anyone brought up the notion at halftime but was too worried about the potential damage to Young’s fragile psyche to pull the trigger. Jeff Fisher said Young will start next week against the Giants. The question is: Will he finish?
2. The defense deserved a much better fate. It didn’t give up an offensive touchdown. It held Pittsburgh to four field goals and just 127 total yards, and three of those field goals came on a short field after turnovers. The Steelers mustered only seven first downs and were 2 of 15 on third down (13 percent). The Titans front seven had four sacks, was stout against the run and kept the team within striking distance.
3. Something is wrong with the running game. There, I said it. Chris Johnson had 16 carries on Sunday, and 10 of them (62.5 percent) went for 1 yard or less. I’d settle for him being a little less of a home-run threat if it meant more singles and doubles. There’s just no way CJ and this offensive line should produce such a high percentage of lousy carries. CJ also deserves to be called out for his lack of effort on Vince Young’s third-quarter fumble. It certainly appeared as though Johnson had a chance to get on the ball, but he didn’t even make an attempt.
4. The Titans have to take better care of the ball. Yes, that’s a “Captain Obvious” statement, but seven turnovers? Elementary-school teams don’t turn it over that much. The Titans fumbled seven times and lost four of them. You’d think the game was played in Pittsburgh in January. It wasn’t. It was played on a perfectly sunny September day in Nashville, and the Titans treated the ball like they’d been asked to hold Paris Hilton’s carry-on at LAX. It’s the kind of thing that snowballs, too. Do you think the Giants will make an extra effort to get a ball loose early next week?
5. Mike Heimerdinger needs to open up the playbook more on first down. The Titans threw four times on first down in the first half. The results? Three completions for 39 yards and Troy Polamalu’s interception in the end zone. Yes, the last result is a bad one, but the Titans were in the red zone in large part because of a 13-yard reception by FB Ahmard Hall on first down to start that particular drive.
6. The offseason moves on defense still look great. For the second consecutive game free-agent pickups Jason Babin and Will Witherspoon each had a sack, and first-round pick Derrick Morgan had half a sack to go with one in Week One. That’s 5.5 sacks from the new faces on defense in the first two weeks.