Strong Defense + Running game= Titans 17-10 victory

The familiar combination of strong defense and a stout running game was the recipe for the Titans’ success in their 17-10 victory over the Jaguars.
An injury to an inconsistent Vince Young put a damper on the contest, but fortunately for the Titans, Kerry Collins stepped in and completed both of his passes on a touchdown drive that sealed the victory.
My thoughts on today’s game, after the jump.

Game Balls
The Titan defense lived up to its billing as it constantly harrassed David Garrard and pummeled the Jags’ formidable rushing attack. On the afternoon, the Titan defense held the Jags to only 33 yards rushing, sacked Garrard seven times and forced three turnovers.
Albert Haynesworth and Tony Brown each had two sacks as the Titan defensive line accounted for six of the team’s seven quarterback takedowns.
Cortland Finnegan gave yet another indication that he is ready to emerge as a standout corner in this league. He intercepted two Garrard passes and was constantly in the face of the Jaguar receivers. The guy plays with an edge and a confidence that you can’t teach.
Bo Scaife stepped up with two clutch catches on the Titans’ game-sealing drive. When the Titans were faced with a 3rd and 15 on that crucial drive, Scaife turned a short tight end screen into a 44 yard catch that saved the Titans from yet another failed third down conversion.
Scaife finished with an impressive, 6 catch-105 yard performance.
Chris Johnson was all over the field today, running for 93 yards on 15 carries while also snagging three balls for 34 yards. Johnson’s speed is a sight to behold and he figures to be an important aspect of the Titan offense this year.
The final game ball goes out to Kerry Collins, who stepped up when he was needed the most, completing both of his passes for 65 yards. If Vince is forced to miss some time due to his knee injury, I’m confident that Collins has what it takes to manage the game for a Titan team that relies upon its physical running game and strong defense.
Today’s goats
Prior to an injury, Vince was having yet another one of his trademark inconsistent passing performances. He missed on a couple of deep throws earlier in the game and threw two interceptions that appeared to be intended for Jaguar defenders.
Today was a bad day for Vince, to say the least.
I was also not enamored with the Titans’ special teams today. Rookie Brian Witherspoon almost broke several returns for the Jaguars, averaging 41 yards per kick return and 22 yards per punt return.
Special teams can often decide the outcome of a close game, so the Titans need to improve their coverage units in a hurry.
Justin McCareins had a rough day. He put a goose-egg on the board while also dropping a few passes. As a whole, the receivers only caught four of the Titans’ 14 completions.
Like Andrew, I’m still not convinced that cutting Roydell Williams was the right decision, but that’s spilt milk: what’s done is done.
Hopefully, we’ll see more out of the receivers in the coming weeks.
Final thoughts
-Defeating a division rival is always a positive, so based on that outcome alone, today was a good day for the Titans.
-The defense was simply amazing and appears to be even faster and more aggressive than last year’s unit that finished as the league’s fifth-rated D.
-Chris Johnson is as good as advertised and will be giving opposing defensive coordinators headaches all season long.
-The passing game needs to improve. In other news, the sky is blue.
-3/13 on 3rd down conversions isn’t going to cut it.
What are your thoughts on today’s performance?

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