Yesterday's game against the San Diego Chargers was really ugly, but it wasn't without a few bright spots. My post-game recap was pretty gloomy, so now it's time for a few reasons for optimism.
- Jake Locker's mobility was evident again on a big scramble to convert third down. That play also drew a stupid personal foul penalty and sparked a scoring drive.
- The Chargers fumbled the ball three times in their own territory when it was a two score game. It's just bad luck the Titans didn't recover any of those. The game might have changed if they'd recovered one or more of them.
- While they didn't recover any of the fumbles they forced, the Titans defense did get their first turnover of the year when Alterraun Verner intercepted a pass.
- A week after they failed to record a pass defensed against Tom Brady, the Titans had three passes defensed plus that interception.
- The Titans did a very good job defensively in the first half on first and second downs, producing a lot of third-and-long situations. As bad as that game felt, the Titans and the Chargers had the same offensive success rate in the first half.
- The Titans picked up four sacks on only 37 dropbacks. That's an excellent rate, plus they hurried Rivers on a number of occasions. On a different day, against a different quarterback, maybe even Matt Stafford next week, that kind of pass rush could be enough to get a win. A couple of those sacks even came on third down.
- The Titans scored on both red zone possessions yesterday and have now scored on every red zone possession this year.
- The Titans have now scored a touchdown on every possession beginning in opposing territory this year after converting Lavelle Hawkins' long kickoff return into 7 points.
- Kendall Wright scored his first of what should be a number of NFL touchdowns.
- Brett Kern and the coverage team had a pretty darn good day. Aside from one 55-yard punt that went into the end zone, his punts went 46 with no return, 63 with a 1 yard return, 49 with no return, 54 with no return, 47 with no return, and 47 with no return. Aside from the interception, the Chargers averaged starting at their own 24. They had to drive the field to score, not just take advantage of short fields.
- No reported new injuries.
And that's the bright side of life.