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Monday, November 29, 2010

Titans vs. Texans Game Review

In a week that has been filled with drama for the Titans, with the Vince Young-Jeff Fisher fiasco and Mike Hermindinger announcing he has cancer, the game turned out to be anti-climatic. Tennessee was defeated in ugly fashion as the Houston Texans handed the reeling Titans their 4th straight loss. From the start of this game it looked like it was going to be a long day for the Titans as Matt Schaub and the Texans offense raced up and down the field. It got even worse as Cortland Finnegan got into a full fist fight with all-pro wide out Andre Johnson and both were ejected from the game.

The thought going into this one was that the focus would be turned to rookie QB Rusty Smith, as he got the start for the injured Vince Young but this one quickly turned into a dissembling of a team that was once 5-2 and leading the AFC South division. The Titans looked flat and the Texans came out and handed it to them.

Now for the breakdown of the game:

The Texans were able to do as they pleased on offense as they racked up 346 yards of offense to the Titans 162. Rusty Smith was abysmal going 17/31 for 138 yards and 3 interceptions. I wish I could have some of those throws back," Smith said. "You can't get them back." Tennessee barely looked like a threat as they were shutout by the Texans. This was Houston’s first shutout since 2004. This game was supposed to feature the two leading rushers in the league with Arian Foster of the Texans and Chris Johnson of the Titans. Foster held up his end of the bargain rushing for 143 yards but the most telling stat of the game was Chris Johnson numbers, as he was held to a career low of 5 yards rushing on 7 carries. We weren't able to run the ball at all," Johnson said. "I don't know why we couldn't run it."

The Texans came into the game ranked 31st in the league and had not held an opponent to fewer than 24 points this year but were able to take it to the Titans, holding them to just 12 yards and no first downs in the first quarter. Glover Quin recorded his first career interception on the very first play of the second quarter and would go on to set Houston’s franchise record with 3 for the game. Matt Schaub went 25/35 for 178 yards in the game but didn’t need to be spectacular in this one as the Titans offense could never get rolling.

After a Neil Rackers FG kick in the third quarter, the score was 17-0 and it didn’t look like the Titans could muster a first down, much less a touchdown. The Titans finally got some momentum and were able to drive the ball to the Houston 12 after a pass interference call on Houston safety Bernard Pollard. But rookie QB Rusty Smith would throw another costly interception to Quin yet again and the Titans would never recover.

The fight that broke out between Finnegan and Johnson was the real highlight of the game. The two had a minor shoving match on one play before taking it to an all out brawl on the next. Finnegan jabbed at Johnson’s neck and face mask and Johnson responded by ripping Finnegan’s helmet off and connected twice with two punches to Finnegan’s head and neck. Finnegan would take his turn at ripping off Johnson’s helmet before the refs got involved and separated the two. "He kept doing little things and I told him: 'Just because you're frustrated, you need to stop what you're doing,"' Johnson said. "I guess he thought it was funny." It's just a buildup of things over plays," Johnson said. "I just lost my cool."

The two will surely be disciplined by the league when Commissioner Roger Goodell receives the game footage. The fight was fitting in a since as it signified the Titans season at this point. They are fighting with each other and with other teams. As I stated in one of previous game reviews, the Vince Young incident had a chance to either bring the team together or bring them down, and it looks as if the latter of the two is happening.

The Titans got lucky with both the Jaguars and Colts losing their games Sunday. Tennessee is actually just a game behind first place Jacksonville at 5-6 but they are also last in the division per their record. I also would like to know why Chris Johnson only got 7 carries when it obvious he should be the focal point of the offense with a rookie QB starting. Coach Jeff Fisher looked none too pleased with his team and for good reason. The Titans ship is sinking and fast. The Titans next game is versus the division leading Jaguars and those two always mix it up in this rivalry. Let’s hope for the best for the Titans and hope that they can display a better performance than the one we saw this Sunday.

Games notes: Randy Moss caught three passes to pass Andre Reed for eighth all-time on the career receptions list. Titans K Rob Bironas had his franchise record streak of consecutive games with a field goal snapped at 20.

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