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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Titans vs. Redskins Game Review

Tennessee let another game slip from their grasp, losing this time in OT 19-16 to the Washington Redskins. In a game that was built up as "Haynesworth Homecoming", this one was hotly contested from the beginning and the pressure may have gotten the best of Vince Young and the Titan faithful. The fans at LP field didn't seem to happy about the questionable play-calling, in particular not getting Randy Moss involved. The raucous crowd begin to boo the Titans and Young seemed to take exception. Young reportedly waved his hands at the booing fans as too egg them on apparently in the late first half. Young (12/15 for 165 yards) was having a decent game before slamming his hand a helmet as he completed a 37-yard pass to Nate Washington. He would stay in the game for the next play and before going to the sidelines and having his thumb taped. Trainers tried to re-taped Young's hand as he tossed passes to Randy Moss but Young couldn't return. This is interesting in itself because earlier this week there were reported rumors circling the Titans locker involving Young's toughness and commitment. It was even reported that some teammates preferred Kerry Collins to start when he returned. This make for the 3rd time in last four games played Young has been knocked out the game.

Coach Jeff Fisher now says that Young may have a season ending torn flexor tendon in his right thumb. The injury will would require season ending surgery. Fisher would go on to say that no matter injury, rookie Rusty Smith would be the Titans QB going forward. This latest situation with Young seems eerily similar to the infamous Jaguars game meltdown that Young had. Both times Young was injured and both times he handled the situation in undermining ways. Its disappointing for Young and the Titans because he had been playing his best football in a Titans uniform this year.

As for the game, with Young going down yet again and Collins still sidelined with an injured calf from last weeks game, The Titans had no choice but to insert the rookie Smith. Smith would drive the Titans down the field and set up a field goal that gave the Titans the lead 16-13. It would be short lived lead because the Redskins would come right back down the field on their next drive and kick a field goal themselves to tie the game 16-16. On the very first play after the Titans next drive, Redskins CB Phillip Buccannon would pick off Smith. Washington was unable to take advantage of the turnover and would punt. The Titans Chris Johnson found a lane and took it 20-yards on 2nd down of the next drive and burst for another 29- yards on the very next play to take the ball to the Redskins 45. Johnson would finish with 21 carries for 130 yards. The play took the game into the two-minute warning and the Titans were building a drive. Randy Moss would be penalized for a false start that moved the ball back to midfield. That penalty seemed to doom the at first promising drive as Smith completed a 6-yard pass to TE Jared Cook and incompleted his next pass to Nate Washington and the Titans would be forced to punt.

Donovan McNabb would give Washington a chance as he directed the Redskins down the field on some clutch throws to Chris Cooley, Keiland Williams, and Brandon Banks. Tennessee was charged with too many men on the field and that moved the ball to the Titans 35, that would set up a potential game winning 47-yard field goal attempt for the Redskins. Graham Gano would however would miss the attempt sending the game into overtime.

The Titans would win the toss and receive the ball first. Chris Johnson got the ball moving for the Titans on the first play of the drive, gashing the Washington D for a 15-yard run. Johnson would get the ball again on the next play for no gain and Rusty Smith would incomplete his next two passes forcing the Titans to punt. McNabb completed a beauty to Chris Cooley for 29-yards on the next subsequent play to get the Redskins drive started. McMabb would be sacked on the next play and then was called for a delay of game. But this is the point where the Titans begin to self inflict themselves with penalties. Titans DE Jason Babin would be called for unnecessary roughness and LB Wil Witherspoon was called for roughing the passer that went for another 15 yards. After another McNabb completion and a Titans timeout, rookie Alterraun Verner was called for a 5-yard illegal contact penalty but Tennessee would get those yards back as Washington's Will Montgomery was charged with a false start. Even after the Redskins penalty, Washington was in range for a 48-yard field goal. The Redskins, probably weary from the miss Gano had at the end of regulation, went on to run a few more plays before sending Gano back out. However this time Gano kicked it right down the middle for the game winner.

A very disappointing game to say the least for Tennessee. A number of things need to be addressed after this loss. Vince Young questionable antics makes one raise his eyebrow. We all thought VY was pass the immaturity that had plagued his career to this point.

After the game, Young walked toward the tunnel and suddenly tossed his shoulder pads and jersey into the stands.A few minutes later he walked past reporters already dressed, ignoring both questions and his old college teammate who tried to talk to him.Young tweeted nearly three hours later that he was fine and "sorry to my teammates." He then tweeted "Just want to play"

The play-calling was also suspicious in not including Randy Moss as he was only targeted 2 times resulting in no catches for him. The Titans had wy to many penalties including the embarrassing too many men on the field call. This game could cause the team to spiral out of control with all of the negatives that will come out of it. Only time time will tell how the Titans respond to a loss that had so many missed opportunities for them.

After the jumping out to a 5-2 record, the Titans now stand at 5-5 and now lost their last three. They dropped to third in the divison with Jacksonville winning and the Colts losing to the Patriots. They travel next to Houston to face the Texans in a divisional game. Lets hope the Titans can right the ship and get back to winning games, because it makes things a lot calmer in week for all of us Tennessee fans.

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