Thanks to a “bend-and-break “pass defense that allowed three Miami quarterbacks to combine for over 300 yards passing, the debut of Randy Moss in a Tennessee Titans’ uniform was overshadowed by the team’s disappointing 29-17 loss to the Dolphins.
Moss only caught one pass on the afternoon; a 26-yarder late in the game. Meanwhile, the Dolphin receiving threats, regardless of who was throwing them the football, were busy making life miserable for the Titans’ pass defense as indicated by their cumulative 323-yard effort.
Up next, additional thoughts on today’s Titans’ loss.
Bend-but-don’t-break pass defense fractured once again
While recapping the most recent Titans’ loss; a defeat at the hands of the San Diego Chargers, I alluded to the Titans’ bend-but-don’t-break pass defense being torched by Philip Rivers. It’s understandable to allow the likes of Rivers to get the best of you, especially considering the record-setting-pace he’s performing at this season.
However, there’s no excuses for allowing the Dolphins’ QB rotation of two Chads (Henne, Pennington) and a Tyler (Thigpen) to combine for over 300 yards passing the football.
Continuing the theme, Antonio Gates often makes a lot of opposing secondaries look foolish, as he did against the Titans two weeks ago. At the opposite end of the spectrum, containing Anthony Fasano shouldn’t be that difficult but unfortunately, Chuck Cecil’s troops failed to get that memo as Fasano did his best Gates’ impression by snagging 5 grabs for 107 yards and a score against a hapless Titans’ pass defense.
In spite of their ability to force turnovers and to consistently generate a solid pass-rush via the efforts of their front-four, the Titans continue to be a very generous unit when it comes to passing yards allowed. Regardless of whether it’s the likes of Rivers or Miami’s unheralded trio of signal-callers, opposing quarterbacks are putting up solid stats against the Titans’ pass defense on a seemingly weekly basis.
With the likes of Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub (twice each) lurking on the schedule, allowing a ton of passing yardage is a problem that the Titans better fix pretty quickly if their aspirations of winning the AFC South are going to be realized.
The Randy Moss effect
As I mentioned earlier, Moss only notched one catch for 26 yards on the afternoon, but his presence was felt at different junctures of the game.
A pass-inteference penalty led to a Chris Johnson score in the first half. On that same CJ TD-run, watching the replay provided a glimpse of what having Moss on the field is going to do for #28, who instead of having to go head-to-head with a safety at or near the line of scrimmage, didn’t have to worry about him until near the goaline, due to the attention that #84 merits near the end-zone.
Look…despite his talents, it’s going to take some time for Moss and the Titan offense to become acquainted with one another. I’d call it a work-in-progress at this point, with Moss likely becoming a bigger factor as the season progresses.
Final random thoughts
-Not a great afternoon for the Titans’ quarterbacks, to say the least.
Prior to leaving the contest due to a calf-injury, Kerry Collins was extremely ineffective, completing 9 of his 20 passing attempts for a putrid 51 yards. Vince Young didn’t do a lot better, going 9/18 for 92 yards, with a TD and INT.
-Whether it was because of some rest due to the bye week or the anticipation of playing with Randy Moss, CJ looked a lot quicker today as he rushed for 117 yards on only 17 rushing attempts.
Needless to say, I’m expecting big things from #28 as we head down the stretch run of the 2010 season.
-Is it me, or did Justin Gage and Bo Scaife get way too many opportunities to catch the football today?
With Gage just returning from injury and Bo Scaife, well, being Bo Scaife (Mr. Safety Valve) I was hoping for the Titans to take a few more chances in the direction of more explosive targets, such as the newest Tennessee Titan (Moss) and speedster Nate Washington.
Hopefully, we’ll see less of Gage and Scaife and more of the likes of Moss, Washington and dare I say it…(Jared Cook) targetted for more passes moving forward.
-I have a confession to make…When Ringer was struggling to four yards on only six carries in relief of CJ, I couldn’t help but think about the what-if scenario of LeGarrette Blount getting those carries instead, especially in light of Blount’s recent success in Tampa.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Ringer and reiterating what I said in a recent article, I understand the team’s decision to let Blount go…but it’s only natural to wish he was serving as the smash to CJ’s dash in the Titans’ rushing attack.
Any thoughts/opinions regarding today’s Titans’ loss? You know the procedure…feel free to vent/provide your valuable insights below.