Perfection sustained: Titans edge Packers 19-16

The Tennessee Titans continued their winning ways in nail-biting fashion, defeating the scrappy Green Bay Packers 19-16 in overtime.

After missing a 47-yarder that would have won the game in regulation, the usually reliable Rob Bironas reverted back to his automatic ways with a 41-yarder that pushed the Titans to 8-0 at the season’s halfway mark.

My thoughts on today’s thrilling victory, after the jump.

Game balls

Smash and Dash a.k.a. LenDale White and Chris Johnson each deserve some recognition as a result of their solid performances.

White ended the day with 77 yards on 8 carries while averaging a Chris Johnson-like 9.6 yards per scamper. As the case with his 80-yard TD run against the Chiefs, White’s motor was again on display with a 54-yarder in the 2nd quarter.

Undoubtedly, White’s offseason meniscus surgery has paid off handsomely.

Johnson didn’t break a long one, but he contributed with 161 total yards. For perhaps the first time this season, CJ displayed his exceptional pass-catching ability by snagging 6 passes for 72 yards.

The rookie is a fun player to watch, and it will continue to be exciting to see the many ways that his unique skill-set will be utilized in the Titan offense.

Continuing the theme of dispersing the game balls to multiple recipients, Jacob Ford and Chris Hope played well today. On an afternoon where the usually stout Titan defense gave up a lot of yards, Ford and Hope stepped up with solid performances.

Filling in for an injured Jevon Kearse, Ford ended the day with two sacks while also forcing a fumble. Despite seeing limited opportunities, Ford has provided a nice pass rush off of the bench and has overcome last year’s Achilles injury to become a factor on the Titan defensive line.

Speaking of overcoming injuries, Hope continued his solid year with five tackles, a sack and an interception against the Packers. Chris is a leader on the defense and his presence alone has been a big part of the Titans’ success on the defensive side of the ball in 2008.

For special teams, I’ll go with Rob Bironas. Despite his miss that would have secured the victory in regulation, he redeemed himself with his overtime-winner.  

They’ve seen better days 

The Titan cornerbacks had their hands full dealing with Green Bay’s Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. Driver caught 7 passes for 136 yards and a score while Jennings chipped in with 3 catches for 79 yards.

The Packers did a good job of taking advantage of the gambling tendencies of the Titan corners. Cortland Finnegan, in particular, loves to play aggressively by trying to jump balls but that strategy didn’t pay off to well in his efforts to defend Jennings. 

Thankfully, Finny did redeem himself by breaking up a long pass intended for Jennings near the end of the game.  

With the exception of a couple of plays, the Packers did a great job of containing Albert Haynesworth. Of course, he spent most of the afternoon vying against former University of teammate and current Green Bay center Scott Wells, so perhaps familiarity played a role in Albert’s rather ordinary performance.

Kerry Collins struggled at times, but I’ll give him credit for rallying the team on drives at the end of regulation and the beginning of overtime. Despite his inconsistencies, Collins put the team in a position to win twice. 

Final thoughts

1. What is wrong with Justin Gage?

He had no catches while also dropping a few balls aimed in his direction.

2. Speaking of wide receivers, Brandon Jones may be finally realizing his potential.

We’ve been waiting a long time for this to happen. Jones snagged a couple of beautiful catches while also making something out of nothing on a reverse that had huge loss written all over it.

Brandon has established himself as the team’s #1 WR, IMO.  

3. Had a few injury scares today.

Keith Bulluck left the game with an apparent rib injury but contrary to initial reports by the Fox announcing team, Keith returned to the ballgame.

Eugene Amano left with what appeared to be a leg injury but also returned. 

Talk about irony: Jevon Kearse hurt himself on the controversial horse-collar tackle that’s been outlawed due to causing injuries.

Hopefully, Jevon’s ailment isn’t too serious.

4. Bo Scaife had a solid afternoon, catching 4 balls for 26 yards. He’s been a pleasant surprise in 2008.

5. Giving respect where respect is due: Aaron Rodgers is a gamer.

I know that Green Bay caught a lot of flack for allowing Brett Favre to leave for “greener” pastures, but in Rodgers, they have a guy who should be a solid signal-caller for years to come.

What are your thoughts on today’s exciting Titan victory?   

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