Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns: Hits and Misses

In their penultimate preseason game, the Tennessee Titans came up short as they were defeated by the Cleveland Browns 23-17 last night.

After struggling against the Cowboys on national television last week, the Titans bounced back with a much better all-around effort in what was billed as the team’s dress rehearsal for the regular season that, believe it or not, is a little more than a week away.

Here are a few of the positives and negatives that I took away from Saturday’s contest.


Hits

-In limited opportunities, “Smash and Dash” took a step in the right direction by having their best collective performance of the preseason. CJ and LenDale combined for 47 yards on 11 carries, which is a drastic improvement over what they accomplished up to this point.

-Speaking of first-teamers, Kerry Collins had a pretty good night as well. With his 11/14, 102 yard/ 1TD showing, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that KC is ready to roll as the regular season approaches.

-Somewhat overlooked by the exploits of free agent newcomer Nate Washington and rookie Kenny Britt, Justin Gage is quietly lurking in their shadows. Last night, Gage snagged 6 balls for 57 yards and a score.

I’m anticipating a big year from Justin in 2009.

-I know it’s been said a million times but another time isn’t going to hurt anyone: Jared Cook is going to be a pretty solid player in this league.

-It’s only a matter of time before Michael Griffin is considered as one of the premier safeties in football. He’s a stud, to say the least.

-He may not make the roster, but it’s a joy to watch Quinton Ganther on the field. Whether  it’s in Tennessee or elsewhere, “Q” will be playing somewhere on Sundays this fall.

Hit/Miss

-Vince Young continued his preseason rollercoaster ride with an up-and-down performance last night. Statistically, his 17/24, 174-yard performance doesn’t look too shabby on paper. However, his night also consisted of some pretty major mistakes.

Misses

-The highly anticipated debut of returner Mark Jones was spoiled by a fumble that led to a Cleveland score in the third quarter.

Billed as a guy who rarely puts the ball on the ground, IMO, Mark’s chances of sticking around beyond cut-day are starting to look bleak.

-Hopefully, Jared Cook’s ankle injury isn’t that bad. The thought of him missing some time is an unfortunate one to say the least.

Get better soon, Jared.

-I’m a bit disappointed that we haven’t seen much of RB Rafael Little. However, that could easily be a result of Fisher’s desire to keep his talents hidden in order for the team to stash him on the practice squad this year.

-I doubt if he’s on the bubble, but Lavelle Hawkins is doing little to make one think that he’s going to be a factor in 2009. It’s a shame, considering his talent and all of the positive things we heard about his development during the offseason.

-It’s only preseason, but I bet that Coach Fisher is still upset about Rob Bironas having his 27-yard field goal blocked in the 2nd quarter. The team can’t afford those type of mishaps during the regular season.

What are your thoughts and impressions regarding the Titans’ performance last night?    

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