Titans’ Sixer: Rolling Moss gathers almost no receptions
The Titans’ “Sixer,” a six-pack of things I believe I learned about the team, is back after a bye week. Herewith “the Sixer” on the 29-17 debacle in Miami that dropped the Titans to 5-4:
1. If this is why the Titans claimed Randy Moss they shouldn’t have claimed Randy Moss. Four targets? One catch? Really?!? It was difficult to tell how much his presence related to Chris Johnson posting 117 yards and averaging a whopping 6.9 per carry. That’s kind of what we’ve been waiting on from CJ. But I hope Bud Adams isn’t paying Moss $3 million for eight games just to be a decoy. Throw him the damn ball. CBS analyst Dan Fouts kept saying Moss was open. He even went so far as to say he couldn’t believe Vince Young ignored him on one third-quarter throw when he apparely was lonely and waiting.
2. The secondary is becoming a primary concern. Since Week 3 against the Giants the Titans have yielded 311.6 passing yards per game. That’s HORRENDOUS. Somehow the Titans are 4-3 in those seven games, so we all mostly brushed off the big yardage totals. But when a QB who just got benched (Chad Henne) and an emergency QB (Tyler Thigpen) combine to pass for more than 300 yards, it’s time to get seriously worried. Throw in the fact you haven’t had either meeting with Peyton Manning or the pass-happy Texans and Andre Johnson just yet and this team has some things that need to get fixed fast.
3. It’s fair to be worried about the QB position. Young has played well all season, but it just feels like this high ankle thing is gonna drag on for a while. Kerry Collins came in with a bad middle finger on his throwing hand and left with a calf injury. Before the calf injury his passes were well off target, perhaps because of the torn tendon in the finger. Compound it with the calf injury and who knows how much time he’ll miss. I think Rusty Smith has a ton of potential, but if you believe you’re a playoff team you don’t hand the keys to a rookie you took in the sixth round out of Florida Atlantic.
4. QB pressure in need of pulse check. The defensive line, with the help of some timely blitzes, had terrorized opposing quarterbacks through the first five games. The Titans had 22 sacks after the first handful of games, their fastest start since 1979. They have only five sacks in the past four games. Yes, teams are learning to get rid of the ball quickly against this defense. Yes, the Dolphins are one of the best in the league at protecting the quarterback. But you can see the result of not getting pressure; the secondary is getting riddled by guys named Tyler Thigpen. Guess who’s No. 1 in fewest sacks allowed? The Colts, whom the Titans still have to face twice.
5. The coaching staff wasn’t sharp against the Dolphins. Jeff Fisher sounded almost relaxed earlier in the week when he heard Henne wasn’t starting. His candor about the Dolphins switch almost shocked me. It didn’t take long to see why he didn’t want to see Henne. And how does Anthony Fasano have a career day against you? Oh, right, because a lot of QBs and receivers are having career days against you at the moment.
6. Making the playoffs almost assuredly will take winning the division, and winning the division almost assuredly will take a sweep of the Colts. With the loss Sunday the Titans fell a game behind the Colts in the AFC South. If you read Nos. 2-4, how do you feel about this team busting out the broom on Manning & Co.? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Editor’s note: For some god-forsaken reason I can no longer use Pic App photos on the blog. Or if I can I’m not sure how. If you have any suggestions as to how to use Pic App or for another place to get free images, please post in the comments. Thanks.