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Monday, October 24, 2011

Music City Meltdown for Titans


You can call this one the Music City Meltdown. This was suppose to be a game that would shape the race for the AFC South crown as the Titans and the Texans had rose to the top of division without Indianapolis and Peyton Manning in the way this year. Instead it turned into an epic blowout that announced that Houston is the top the team in the division until further notice. Tennessee was so thoroughly dominated in their 41-7 loss to the Texans that its hopeless at this point to put any argument to who is the best team in the AFC South. This one got ugly before you could really sit back and relax as Houston jumped out to a 20-0 lead at halftime on the overwhelmed Titans.




Tennessee seemed helpless to stop the Houston offense as they marched up and down the field to the tune of 518 yards of total offense (3rd most in Houston history). Arian Foster was a force as he racked up 115 yards on the ground and added another 119 yards receiving and 3 TDs in all. He had his way all game as he just bull rushed the Titans defensive line and linebackers. In my preview article of this game (http://sportaholic2112.blogspot.com/2011/10/sportaholic-tennessee-titans-vs-houston.html ) I stated that it would be a long game if the Titanse couldn’t contain the former University of Tennessee product and I was right on the money with that prediction. He became the first player in Houston history to rush for over 100 yards and receive for over 100 yards in the same game. Foster’s 234 total yards was actually more than what the Titans finished with as a team at 148 yards. Matt Schaub had a relative easy day as he could just sit back and rely on Foster and Ben Tate in the run game and then pick apart the Titans secondary with play action fakes. It was just a clinic as Schaub was efficiently (18/23 296 yards 2 TD passes 147.7 QB rating) able to find numerous holes in the back end of the Titans D. The tight ends of Owen Daniels and Joel Dressen just undressed the middle field openings and the two combined for 6 catches 102 yards and 1 TD. Foster’s 78-yard TD catch seemed to open the flood gates as the crowd was taken out the game from that point. The Titans defense was annihilated on the ground as they gave up two 100 yards games to Foster and the aforementioned Ben Tate who finished with 104 yards on 15 carries good for 6.9 yards per carry.



Another shocking development from this game was the play of the Titans offense, which had looked so potent before the bye. Matt Hasselbeck completed less than 50 percent of his passes going 14/30 for a lowly 104 yards and 2 Ints. He seemed flustered and could never get into a rhythm as the Texans sacked him twice and seemed to mix coverage enough to confuse the vet. He had one of his Ints returned for a 38-yard TD by Bruce McCain of the Texans. Chris Johnson looked dismal yet again as he only finished with 18 yards on 10 carries for 1.8 yards per carry average. Counter that effort with Javon Ringer’s as he finished with 31 yards on just 3 carries. It’s getting harder each week to defend Johnson as most have figured he would eventually turn it around. As I watched the game unfold there were a couple of plays where it seemed that CJ just didn’t want to kick it into high gear as we are so accustomed to. One play in particular was at the beginning of the game when Hasselbeck found an open Johnson sneaking out of the backfield. Johnson caught the ball in open space and seemed to skip for a second and then try and to put the after burners on only to be caught for a 17-yard gain. That one really puzzled me as in years past no one would even lay a hand on Johnson in the open field. He either doesn’t have the burst he used to or he is just flat out not giving the effort he use to. The fans must have noticed as well as he was showered with boos throughout the game. “It’s just a situation I got to continue to say I can’t do nothing but keep working hard, running hard and doing what I can do for this team,” Johnson said.





The Titans coaching staff deserves some of the blame as well. I didn’t see any halftime adjustments from the team. Houston came out and executed its same game plan and the Titans just let them do it. Coach Munchak and DC Jerry Gray have to do a better job at adjusting to what team are doing or at least try something different to see what works.. The fact that Houston was able to roll up 222 yards on the ground is just astonishing. “Obviously, we’re not happy with the product we put on the field (Sunday),” Munchak said. “It’s on all of us, coaches, players, that’s not us. That can’t be us and we’ve got to improve The Titans coming into this game were ranked in the top 10 of rushing defenses. The fact that Houston out gained the Titans 518 to 148 in total yards is also jaw dropping. This was a very disheartening loss anyway you look at it for the Titans They gave up their chance to take the division by the throat and allowed Houston to flex their muscles on their home field. You could tell by all of the boos that the LP faithful were in an uproar over the lackluster performance. Even Houston's kicker was able to lay a big hit on Marc Mariaini on a kick return for goodness sakes.



Tennessee may get a breather next week as they welcome the winless Indianapolis Colts to LP field next week. The Colts also had a day to forget as the New Orleans Saints dropped 62 points on them. The Titans have to find a way to get back into rhythm after this disappointing performance and hopefully the Colts are just the remedy they need. The Titans fall to 3-3 and into 2nd place in the division. The season is still early so they all the reason to turn it around. Hopefully this doesn’t become a repeat of last year’s 1-7 effort after the bye when they were 5-3. To prevent that meltdown from happening again they have to start with a W next week against the Colts.

2 comments:

  1. Titans got steam rolled ... Ouch!

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  2. Tell me about it Jim. I thought they would come out and actually at least put up a fight but this one was really dissapointing. People are calling for Chris Johnson's head down here.

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