Liveblog: Titans-Redskins Preseason Game 1

Good evening, everybody. As we heard toward gametime, I suggest checking out Andrew’s preview of tonight’s game, particularly the note to have the roster in front of you. Tonight’s game will feature plenty of players on both sides you haven’t heard much, if anything, from, and some of them will certainly stand out. Tonight’s game is being broadcast nationally on NFL Network, where the PBP team will be Spero Dedes and Marshall Faulk, with ace reporter Adam Schefter also chiming in. NFL Network also just announced that Vince Young has been suspended for tonight’s game, so he will not be playing. That means more of the Titans’ QB deal between Kerry Collins and Tim Rattay.
From a Titans perspective, I’ll also be looking at how the running back and WR battle shakes out, and how the secondary performs. We’ll also see how much Jon Vaughn kicks, to see if he’s a game-worthy competitor to Rob Bironas’s roster spot. I’ll be back at the top of the hour to follow all of the action.
7:09 P.M. (Pregame): And the year gets off to an extraordinarily auspicious start, as Elliot Yamin apparently doesn’t realize the first line of the Star-Spangled Banner is “O say can you see,” rather than “O say did you see.” FYI, Redskins star RB Clinton Portis is also out for tonight’s game.
7:15 P.M. (Pregame): The full list of scratches is out. The other Titans out are Reynaldo Hill, Andre Woolfolk, Nathaniel Adibi, Mike Otto, Benji Olson, Jonathan Orr, David Givens, and Travis LaBoy. The Titans also waived G Cody Douglas, and placed DT Antonio Johnson on IR after his season-ending ACL injury.
7:18 P.M. (1Q): And we’re off. Bironas’s kick goes 3 yards deep, and Lowry and Fuller make the stop short of the 20. The Redskins open with two straight running plays that don’t pick up much yardage (Haynesworth with good penetration on the 2nd down play). Odom jumps on 3rd down, but Campbell hits Moss for just 8 to hit the sticks. A bad mental mistake for Odom.
7:25 P.M. (1Q 10:58): Nick Harper’s limitations become clear, as Randle El outruns him on a crossing pattern and gets 20 yards before Hope is able to bring the ex-Steeler down. The Redskins’ drive doesn’t last much longer, though, as Vinny Fuller comes off the weak side, hits Campbell from the blindside, and forces a fumble that’s recovered by Sean Conover. Titans ball at the Redskins 45 for their first possession of the game.
7:27 P.M. (1Q 9:30): Two short Chris Brown runs, then Collins hits Scaife over the middle for 13 yards. Collins immediately justifies my skepticism in him by having a pass deflected and nearly intercepted, followed by a David Carr-esque deep drop and a 2 yard pass to a running back.
7:30 P.M. (1Q 7:45): Collins drops the snap on 3rd down. Unlike Philip Rivers this year, he can’t run forward and pick up 9 yards. Instead, he loses 9 yards and takes the Titans out of field goal range. Hey, Mawae, try not hitting him in the hands with the snap next time. At least Hentrich’s punt is good, and the knuckler is downed at the 5.
7:34 P.M. (1Q 6:30): Tony Brown has a good stunt again on 3rd down and gets to Campbell, forcing a fumble the Redskins are able to recover. Finnegan then has a great return on the punt, getting 37 yards after a punt of 52. Again, the Titans start in Redskins territory, this time at the 27.
7:37 P.M. (1Q 5:22): Short run by Brown, Collins throw away under pressure, Collins short-armed throw under pressure. At least Bironas hits the FG from 41. TEN 3 WAS 0.
7:42 P.M. (1Q 4:07): The Titans stout run D continues, but Campbell hits Moss on 3rd down for 39 yards. Just a straight go route down the field, and Moss is faster than Finnegan. Great play. Campbell goes into the end zone on the next play, but his pass for Randle El (defended by Thompson) is out of bounds.
7:45 P.M.(1Q 2:01): The Redskins stall out, and Scott Suisham misses from 47. Titans take over at their own 37, still up 3-0.
7:50 P.M. (end 1Q): Two short runs by Chris Brown (seeing a pattern here?), but Collins hits Brandon Jones on an in 12 yards downfield. Titans will start the second quarter 1&10 at the Redskins 46.
7:56 P.M. (2Q 11:30): The Titans are aggressive early, going for it 4&2 from the 20. White, with his second carry, went right side and picked up 8 yards, the Titans’ longest rush of the game.
7:59 P.M. (2Q 9:43): Oof, that’s not the way to finish drives. Two short runs by White, and Collins’ short pass on 3&7 is deflected. Vaughn comes out to kick from 27 from the right hash, and his kick doesn’t hook far enough to the middle until just after it passes the upright. Not the way to win a job in this league. Titans still up 3-0.
8:03 P.M. (2Q 8:20): 3&out for the Redskins, after Campbell’s pass for Mike Espy goes too far on 3rd down. Finnegan out to return the punt again, but the Redskins are on him immediately and the Titans will start from their own 19.
8:07 P.M. (2Q 6:30): The Titans follow the Redskins’ 3&out with one of their own. We had our most interesting Titans’ play of the game on first down, as they shifted from standard formation to an empty backfield and a backpass to Scaife. Officially, Scaife got about 7 yards rushing before being brought down. Good coverage on the punt, and a hold means the Redskins will start the drive inside the 15.
8:13 P.M. (2Q 3:45): The Redskins convert 3&short on a QB sneak, then Campbell hits Espy on an in, catching Griffin cheating towards out of bounds. Randle El “drops” the ball on the next play–two feet, possession, fumble, but called incomplete. Fisher tries to challenge, but ref Tony Corrente says it’s non-reviewable.
8:17 P.M. (2Q 2:21): Eric King has a nice play to prevent a completion on 3rd down to former Titan Jason McAddley, and the Redskins punt. Finnegan catches it at the 9 and runs all the way across the field to pick up 9 yards. The ball comes out, but thankfully it goes out of bounds before the Redskins can pounce on it.
8:26 P.M. (2Q 1:35): Short run, short run, short pass, punt. Ugh. Redskins at their own 39 to start the 2-minute drill.
8:29 P.M. (2Q :32): Redskins 3&out. Chris Davis back to receive the punt, which goes into the end zone. Collins starts out well, hitting Jones for 9, Roby for 5, and White for 10. A little slow for a real drive, but I’m not going to complain too much in the first half of the first preseason game.
8:36 P.M. (Halftime): Alas, it’s 3&out after my last update. Hentrich punts away, the Redskins run a play, commit a penalty, run another play, and the half’s over. Jeff Fisher: “We’re playing [pause] okay for the first preseason game.” He also likes the tackling, or at least better than expected. I’ll be back in a couple minutes with some first-half stats and overall comments.
8:42 P.M. (Halftime): Kerry Collins 10-17, 79 yards, 0/0. Chris Brown 9 rushes, 19 yards. LenDale White 6 rushes, 12 yards. Brandon Jones 3 catches, 34 yards. Bo Scaife 4 catches, 27 yards. Note: when your two leading rushes are averaging combined slightly over 2 yards, and your quarterback isn’t even averaging 5 yards per attempt or 8 yards per completion, your offense is being much more offensive than productive. The main culprit probably has been the offensive line-the RBs haven’t done much individually, but nor have they had much space to work with. The game overall reminds me of the Titans’ Week 3 loss last year to the Dolphins. Collins hasn’t been quite as bad as he was that game, but he wasn’t asked to do much tonight either. The defense overall has looked good, particularly the run defense. Then again, the Redskins look exactly like they did last preseason, when they lost all 4 games and were outscored 108-27.
8:50 P.M. (3Q 15:00): And we’re back. Suisham’s kick goes straight out of bounds, so no return. Rattay in at QB, Henry in at RB, as the Titans start from the 40.
8:56 P.M. (3Q 12:08): The Titans have their best offensive play of the game! It’s a 4 yard pass to Henry, plus 15 for a tackle by the face mask. That’s RB Chris Henry. Henry looks good, running hard and showing some speed to get 8 yards up the middle and then the first down. The Titans stall out, though, thanks to Rattay mishandling a bad snap from 4th round pick C LeRoy Harris, and UDFA Glenn Pakulak punts the ball into the end zone from 39 yards out.
9:00 P.M. (3Q 11:10): Redskins 3&out. Chris Davis catches the punt (always key) and sidesteps the first tackler, but then follow-up wave gets him after only a 3 yard return. The Titans’ second drive of the second half will start from their own 31.
9:04 P.M. (3Q 10:13): Titans 3&out. Henry has a good run for about 5, but Rattay has to throw one pass away, and absolutely AIRMAILED a throw for an open Paul Williams about 15 yards downfield. Worse, Williams then got nailed by DB Omar Stoutmire. Harris’s snap on 3rd down, with Rattay in the shotgun, was down at the knees again. That’s not a good sign.
9:15 P.M. (3Q 6:05): The Redskins have some success offensively, until Sean Conover is able to get around the corner on 3rd down and sack Mark Brunell. Chris Davis snags the punt at the 19, but Spencer Toone gets flagged for holding and Rattay starts his 3rd drive from inside the 10.
9:21 P.M. (3Q 3:44): I was very critical of the Chris Henry draft pick at the time it happened, but he’s looked very good tonight, showing some elusiveness and not being afraid to lower his shoulder and run with some power. Rattay just converted a 3rd down pass to Roby, and Harris’s shotgun snap was much better.
9:24 P.M. (3Q 3:10): Just what you don’t want to see in a preseason game: an injury. Redskins DE Jamaal Green hit Henry head on. He’s able to walk off on his own power, so thankfully it’s just a stinger. It’ll hurt, but beats the alternative.
9:29 P.M. (3Q :17): Spencer Toone’s struggles on the punt unit continue. He can’t get downfield quite fast enough to down Pakulak’s punt before it bounds into the end zone. That’s okay, though, because he was downfield ineligibly in the first place. With the acquisition of Gardner and Fowler, the bottom of the LB depth chart looks crowded between Toone, Nande, Woods, and Allred, and Toone hasn’t helped himself out with his miscues tonight.
9:33 P.M. (4Q 14:45): It’s Michael Griffin’s turn to screw up, as the Redskins throw a quick slant to Berman. Griffin gets beat inside, grabs Berman’s face mask, and Berman still makes the catch. With 8 yards on the grab, that’s a 23 yard play.
9:35 P.M. (4Q 13:20): Jesse Mahelona gets the sack on 3rd down. Chris Davis retreats back to the 7 to snag the punt, but gets a good return. Alas, #39 (Dontrelle Moore or Brandon Sharpe) gets called for holding, so the Titans will start from inside their own 5.
9:43 P.M. (4Q 9:19): Rattay is able to string some nice throws together, but the 3rd down attempt fails when Williams runs a flag and Rattay throws the post on a Redskins blitz. Vaughn hits on take #2 from the left hash, this attempt from 39 yards, and the Titans lead 6-0.
9:52 P.M. (4Q 6:10): Ulrich Winkler with the sack on 3rd down as Brunell tries to scramble away. Chris Davis catches the punt, and gets about 5 on the return. When Jermaine McElveen, Ulrich Winkler, and Quartez Vickerson are all in the game, you’re probably in the 4th quarter of the first preseason game.
10:01 P.M. (4Q 2:00): Derrick Blaylock has a nice cutback run after the Titans (Winkler?) overpursue, and QB Todd Collins his TE Edwards down the seam over Colin Allred for a big gain. Mahelona’s offsides, and the Redskins are threatening with 1&5 from the 11 with 2 minutes to play.
10:05 P.M. (4Q 1:14): Marcus Mason plungs in from the 1 yard line, and Scott Suisham his the extra point. WAS 7-TEN 6, and the Titans may get a chance to return their first kick of the year.
10:07 P.M. (4Q :44): Dontrelle Moore receives the kick at the goalline and takes it out to the 22. I’m going to guess we won’t see him returning kicks in the regular season. A short pass to Gage, then another bad shotgun snap by Harris that Rattay can’t handle. Loper grab it either, and nobody else can until Byron Westbrook, Brian’s younger brother, snags it in the end zone. WAS 14-TEN 6.
10:16 P.M. (4Q End): Rattay can’t give the miracle comeback in the last minute, and the game mercifully ends. WAS 14 – TEN 6 F. I’ll have a new post up shortly with some overall comments on the game.

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