A Perfect 10-0! Titans rally to defeat Jags 24-14

Similar to an old Dickens’ novel, today’s Titans-Jags game was a tale of two halves.

After falling behind 14-3 at intermission, the resilient Tennessee Titans shut out Jacksonville 21-0 in the second half during their convincing 24-14 victory.

More thoughts on the Titans reaching the 10-0 mark, after the jump. 

Game balls

Folks, we have co-recipients for this week’s offensive game balls.

Kerry Collins continued his stellar play with a lights out performance in the second half. After starting the game completing only 4 of his 10 passes, KC connected on 9 of his 13 second half throws for 144 yards and 3 touchdown passes.

Two of his three TD tosses went to our next recipient of an offensive game ball:  

After a few inconsistent outings, Justin Gage stepped up today with a 4-catch, 147-yard effort. Gage got behind the defense all game long as Collins attempted several long-distance throws in his direction.

Gage, who was labeled as the Titans #1 WR after parlaying a solid 2007 into a contract extension, finally played like the team’s most effective WR.

Albert Haynesworth was in the face of David Garrard all-day long. Big Al accumulated seven tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. I know I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again:

PLEASE SIGN THIS GUY UP FOR A LONGTERM DEAL!

As for special teams, I’m going to do something a little different this week.

Chris Carr had a thirty-six yard kickoff return, but his biggest contributions came on the defensive side of the football. Forced to log emergency duty at CB as a result of injuries to starter Nick Harper and his backup, Eric King, Carr made perhaps the defensive play of the game in the 4th quarter with his athletic, ballet-like interception.

Carr was initially giving a lot of cushion to the Jaguar receivers, but he settled down in the second half by breaking up a few passes and stepping up with his aforementioned INT.

Kudos to the DL backups

Despite lacking the presence of KVB for yet another game, a few backup defensive linemen made Kyle’s absence a lot more tolerable.

David Ball and Jacob Ford each picked up a sack on the afternoon. Kevin Vickerson didn’t earn a membership to this week’s sack club, but he did chip in with a deflection of a David Garrard pass.

Defensive line coach Jim Washburn is earning his money this year. 

Travis LaBoy/Antwan Odom, who?

Just a few gripes

Penalties were a thorn in the Titans’ side, especially in the first half. For the game, Tennessee was penalized a whopping 10 times, including the obligatory occurrence of Tony Brown jumping offsides.

The flags may not have hurt them today, but against better competition in January (and February?), better discipline should be exercised.

The Titans were miserable at converting third-downs. On the afternoon, they only moved the chains once on twelve 3rd down opportunities.

Sorry to be an echo, but once again, the Titans can’t afford to let this happen against better opponents down the road.

One more gripe: the tackling was atrocious in the 1st half. Bad angles and overpursuing were recurring themes early in the game.  

Final thoughts

1. It was a pleasure to see former starter/current backup QB Vince Young greet Kerry Collins with a warm smile after a touchdown pass.

Way to be a team player, Vince.

2. For only the second game this season(first time, against the Ravens) the Smash and Dash duo failed to reach the endzone.  

Despite their inability to score, their presence was felt against the Jags in their combined 116-yard rushing effort.  

3. Brandon Jones continued his stellar play with a touchdown catch.

Now if we could only figure out the type of touchdown-celebration he was trying to execute that prompted an excessive-celebration flag from the zebras.

4. One of my favorite moments of the game was the collision between the diminutive Maurice Jones-Drew and the fiesty Cortland Finnegan on a second half running play.

Despite their short statures, both Drew and Finnegan pack powerful punches.

5. 10-0, baby!!!  

What are your thoughts on the Titans’ tenth consecutive victory?  

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