Home > Uncategorized > Titans’ Sixer: Rolling Moss gathers almost no receptions

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.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Daniel
    November 15, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Might be a little early to start worrying about the Moss signing. The guy was only in practice for, what, a week? It’ll take some time to develop chemistry. That said, it better not take too long, because Moss stops playing hard when he doesn’t get targets.

  2. Erika
    November 15, 2010 at 8:53 am

    don’t agree with you at all. he’s been with the Titans ONE WEEK. give the team and MOSS a break. he did have an impact b/c he was double teamed. nobody else on the offense is double teamed except Moss so it left more room for CJ. you’ll be eating your words. don’t forget, they also threw the ball awful yesterday.

    • November 15, 2010 at 9:40 am

      Erika, you don’t have to agree with me, but understand what I’m saying. Nowhere did I say that I’m down on Moss. I’m not. At all. There were at least three occasions I could see after watching the game again on DVR where Moss was very, very open and didn’t even get a nod in his general direction. I think every effort should have been made to involve him early and often and that simly wasn’t the case. Yes, he was double-teamed frequently, but he also faced some man coverage. Throw him a bubble screen, a slant. Plant the seed.

  3. El Diablo Rojo
    November 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Interesting take on the current status of the Titans:
    1. Randy Moss. He was reasonably effective for a receiver learning his third offense of the year and in his first game week with a new team. The other Titans receivers, however, took a big step back. Nate Washington and Justin Gage combined to catch 6 balls on 18 targets (3 of 9 apiece), and Bo Scaife had two big drops. With Washington used primarily as a deep threat, a lower catch percentage is to be expected, but Gage (an underneath receiver) played cover-your-eyes-awful. There’s no rational universe in which Gage starts over rookie Damian Williams.
    2. The secondary. While the secondary has lost focus and given up the occasional big completion (see Riley Cooper’s catch in the Eagles game), most of the big plays in the past few weeks have started at the underneath level and gained yardage due to missed tackles. For example, Anthony Fasano caught several short passes that turned into long gainers after getting past the linebackers in the short zones in the middle of the field. Will Witherspoon, who had primary coverage on at least two of those plays, simply lacks the footspeed to keep up with elite tight ends like Witten and Gates (and receivers coming out of bunch or stack formations, like Maclin in the Eagles game). Tackling is a concern, but it’s tough to fault the secondary too much when they have to come back to ball from downfield to tackle a pass catcher running free. Which leads us to…
    5. Coaching. This is, to me, the primary cause for concern. I’ve long believed that Fisher is in the upper echelon of NFL head coaches, but between this season and the last, I’m beginning to think that his stubbornness is costing the Titans wins. Starting Gage over Damian Williams is the same kind of blind loyalty to ineffective veterans as last year’s inexcusable Collins over Young debacle. In addition, Fisher makes tactical mistakes that cost games, like last year’s failure to field a reliable punt and kickoff return man… or this past week’s failure to prepare for the the wildcat offense. Ricky Williams had two long runs of (I think) 14 and 27 yards, caused by the failure of the right defensive end to stay at home and play backside run contain (instead crashing in and taking himself out of the play). This is an inexcusable coaching mistake, and the buck stops at the top.

    • November 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      Red Lord of Darkness, I agree with you about the receiving corps. Until Britt emerged (before the Moss acquisition) there was no one who frightened opposing defenses in the least. I like Williams, too, but let’s give Gage the benefit of the doubt. He was in his first game back since early October, and there definitely was some rust. … The secondary, for whatever reason, seems to always get a pass around here. But the passing numbers of opposing QBs are staggering. And it’s not all because LBs are having trouble with TEs.

  4. El Diablo Rojo
    November 15, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I agree that the passing numbers are staggering, but that’s one of the problems with NFL defensive statistics: yardage doesn’t matter (just ask the 3-6 Broncos, or Dan Marino). I rarely see the Titans secondary giving up uncontested completions or allowing receivers to run free, instead it’s underneath or crossing patterns where the pass-catcher crosses from one player’s coverage to another’s.

    Gage isn’t a bad player, or a bad person; but he is who he is: a mediocre NFL player. He’s exceeded 400 receiving yards in a season twice (750 in ’07 and 651 in ’08), and has a grand total of 15 touchdowns in 8 NFL seasons. I say give the third rounder who seems to be developing a chance.

  5. Jordan
    November 15, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I feel like Moss will get his chance. Perhaps Young and Collins just weren’t comfortable with the receiver. I know he’s a good receiver and should impact any offensive positively, but he and the QB have to get their routes down nearly perfectly. I say next week Moss breaks out.

  6. Daniel
    November 22, 2010 at 2:32 am

    After the Redskins game I think it’s time to officially say Randy Moss is no longer a good receiver in the NFL. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard experts tell me Moss draws double teams and frees up the field for the running game and the other receivers. I must have heard it 100 times this season. Well that’s fantastic and I’m sure he does. But you know what? Andre Johnson draws just as many double teams as Moss, and he has 56 catches and 813 yards this. Reggie Wayne sees double coverage all the time, but he’s managed 71 and 865. Same thing with Calvin Johnson, Roddy White, Greg Jennings, Miles Austin and plenty others. Moss’s stats? 23 receptions for 339, including two games without a reception, and two games with only one. Yeah, yeah, you can tell me he’s had to learn a whole new playbook for his new teams this year, but guess what? He was on a new team because he sucked with his old one. Moss has been ripped on for his off the field behavior, but his on-field production is just as disappointing. Let’s stop giving him a pass. He’s officially washed up.

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