Reflections on Titans at Bills

There were plenty of things for Titans fans to like in Friday night’s victory over the Buffalo Bills. Vince Young and the offense seemed to find a good rhythm and the defense looked pretty good, especially against the run. They only allowed 26 yards rushing in the first half.
As expected, LenDale White started at running back and Michael Griffin got the nod at right corner in place of Cortland Finnegan. There were two other changes in the starting lineup I didn’t expect. Kevin Mawae and Chris Hope got the night off and were replaced by Eugene Amano and Donnie Nickey.
Leroy Harris will still be the backup center and Amano will move to guard, so I don’t read much into that. The decision to put Nickey instead of Bryan Scott at strong safety further strengthens my belief Nickey will make the roster again. Scott is very much on the bubble and I seriously doubt if he makes it, unless he does a whole lot in practice this week.
Ben Troupe is another guy who was held out. He’s fallen behind Bo Scaife on the depth chart and I wonder if his condition is worse than we’ve been led to believe. It’s a shame, because he’s an extremely talented and gifted athlete.
On to the game and my thoughts on it as I noted them at the time.
White looked good to me. He planted and cut well, and had a 17-yard run as part of his 51-yard rushing effort in the first half. He also added 23 yards on three pass receptions and if he can keep this up, he will lay a strong claim to the starting job, which wouldn’t upset me at all. I’d like to see that so Chris Brown can be the third down back.
Who else besides me got a chuckle out of Young faking first-round draft pick Paul Posluszny out of his jock for a touchdown? Welcome to the NFL.
Buffalo fans can point to Lee Evans beating Michael Griffin deep for a score, so I guess that makes it even. Another scoreboard would read Veterans 2, Rookies 0.
Roydell Williams had a good first half and led the team with four catches. I wonder if he’s stepping up his game this year. He’s certainly looking better than he did last year.
Jeff Fisher and Alan Lowry had to be sick watching the Bills punt return for a touchdown, even if it was called back. Titans fans were spoiled a little last year by the good coverage teams, who were a big improvement upon the 2005 unit.
I liked the Titans second scoring drive in the first half. LenDale had a few runs and Vince connected on some crisp passes, making it look easy. His mechanics didn’t appear any better, but the results were.
Chris Brown and Kerry Collins did a little of the same that White and Young did. They both worked behind the second line in the second half.
We got to see some competition for roster spots in the second half and one guy who stood out was Biren Ealy. If the Titans were trying to hide him, they didn’t do a good job, because everyone in the league will know about him when they see the films. He’s played his way into the discussion for a roster spot in the very crowded receiving group.
Justin Gage also made a statement with a good route for a TD from Collins, who looked good himself. He was on target and threw some good balls, some ropes and a few with a little touch on them.
Tim Rattay didn’t do anything to make me think he’s set as the third QB and I’m still wondering if the Titans keep two or three.
In the next few days I will post my predictions for the roster, or almost all of it. A few of those spots won’t be decided until the 11th hour and they’ll probably be temporary. The next day those guys will be released as the Titans sign a few pickups from other teams. Rosters will be cut down to 75 players Tuesday and to 53 players Saturday, September 1.

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