I guess that old proverb was right: all good things do come to an end.
For the first time this season, the Tennessee Titans experienced the agony of defeat in today’s 34-13 loss to Brett Favre and the New York Jets.
New York set the tone from the beginning, as they marched down the field on an impressive first drive that saw Brett Favre complete all six of his passes.
My take on today’s defeat is below.
Before we get into rewarding game balls, I’d like to take the time to applaud the Titans for their wonderful start in 2008. Winning your first 10 games is no small feat, so kudos go out to Jeff Fisher for a great season thus far.
The Titans may have lost today’s battle, but there’s a lot of football left to be played in the war for AFC supremacy.
By default, today’s offensive game ball goes out to Kerry Collins. I hate to reward mediocrity, but I’ll give Kerry some credit (and a Jets’ prevent defense) for bouncing back in the 2nd half from his dismal 7/21, 54 yard first-half performance.
Kerry’s final stats don’t appear too bad on paper: 21/39 for 243 yards and a touchdown pass. However, for those of us who watched the games, we know that today was not one of Collins’ better performances.
On defense, I’ll recognize Kyle Vanden Bosch for his solid return from a lingering groin injury. Having KVB back in the lineup was a welcome sight for the Titans, and he finished the afternoon with 2 solo tackles, 4 assisted stops and a half-sack.
A healthy KVB is crucial to the Titan defense as they head down the stretch.
Rob Bironas gets this week’s special teams’ game ball. He made both of his field goal attempts, including a 49-yarder.
The less-than opportunistic Titans
The inability of the Titans to capitalize off of Jets’ miscues hurt them when the game was still competitive.
Jevon Kearse read a shovel pass to Leon Washington perfectly, and his hit forced Washington to cough up the ball to the Titans. Also in the first half, Cortland Finnegan stepped up with a nice interception that gave Tennessee some good field position.
The net result of the Titans’ first-half turnovers: 2 turnovers, 0 points.
Dink and Dunk doomed the Titans
The Jets did a great job of executing their short-passing game. Favre was on the money for the majority of the afternoon as he spread his throws out to several Jet receivers. Cotchery, Coles and rookie TE Dustin Keller combined to catch 19 of Brett’s 25 completions, with the majority of those grabs coming on quick-hitting passes.
As I mentioned in my keys to victory post, Brett did a great job of executing a game plan that he is all-too familiar with.
Jones/Washington duo goes wild
A worn-out Titan defense that spent a whopping 40 minutes on the field, was gutted by the Jet rushing attack. The Jets ran for 192 yards, with sixty-one of them coming on one play: a back-breaking Leon Washington TD scamper in the 4th quarter.
The return of the dropped passes
Kerry Collins’ numbers would have been significantly better if the Titan receivers had simply held onto the football. The passing attack was often thwarted by untimely drops such as Bo Scaife’s inability to hold on to a reception that would have prolonged a promising drive in the first half.
After a few stellar performances in recent weeks by the wide receivers, today’s game was indeed a step in the wrong direction.
1. If I’m not mistaken, today was the 2008 debut of the Titans’ alternate/dark blue jerseys. Maybe I’m a little superstitious, but I cringed upon seeing the Titans wear their alternate uniforms after all of the success they’ve had with the lighter shade of blue this year.
You know what they say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
2. Cortland Finnegan better make the Pro Bowl this year. He’s having a helluva season.
3. Tuff Harris stepped up with a nice special teams’ tackle in the first half.
His toughness was on full display as he planted an unsuspecting Leon Washington on a punt return.
4. It was great to see Quinton Ganther get some playing time at the end of the game.
I hope that 2008′s preseason superstar continues to see a little PT as the Titans prepare for the postseason.
5. After a nighmarish performance a few weeks ago against the Bears, Ahmard “Sarge” Hall caught a touchdown pass today against the Jets.
Good to see Sarge get into the endzone.
What are your thoughts on the Titans’ first loss of the season?