By: Travis Hounshell
This week was expected to be a very offensively productive game for both teams. Last week the Broncos went up against Payton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. Manning was able to go 27 of 43 for 325 yards and no interceptions against the Denver defense which has played poor all season long. Payton Manning’s younger brother Eli went up against the Titans last week and put up big passing yards (34/48 for 386yds) but the Titans defense was able to grab 2 INTS last week. So during this week most analysts had the Broncos shredding the Titans secondary.
The Titans were unable to prove the analyst wrong as Orton completed 35/50 passes for 341 yards and 2 TD’s. The Broncos relied on Orton’s arm most of the game as they only had 19 yards rushing. The Titans however were able to get pressure on Orton as he was sacked for a season high 6 times and threw 1 INT, but it was not enough to overcome other errors in the game.
During the 4th Quarter KR/WR Marc Mariani (who had a huge 98 yards kick return for a TD in the 3rd quarter) was trying to field a kick when he was hit by David Bruton and as the ball rolled to the Titans 17 yard line and Denver’s Cassius Vaughn recovered.
After holding Denver to just a field goal, it gave the Titans one last shot as they took the ball back with 0:28 left in the 4th quarter, although the Titans we unable to move the ball forward and ran out of time as Vince Young’s 3rd straight incompletion fell to the ground. Bringing the Titans to a 2-2 record and only more questions from fans regarding the Titans play calling.
The Titans had started the 1st half off solid, the defense had sacked Orton 3 times in the 1st quarter and out gained the Broncos, 115 yards to the Broncos 15 yards.
But it was the second half where the Titans failed to produce as the Broncos held them to just 46 yards on offense in the second half with three first downs.
A lot of people will question why turn to the running game when Vince Young was playing so well, why not allow Vince Young to take control of the game and go for the “killing blow” instead of trying to eat the clock. When you have a running back like Chris Johnson I feel you have to give him the chance to win you the game, Johnson is our franchise player, not Young. Johnson has proved that he is the elite offensive weapon, Vince has yet to do that. I am not saying that the decision the coaches made was the right one but it was not a horrible one. The Titans are known to run the ball, they have ran the ball 124 times compared to the 96 passing attempts.
Young however has started to elevate his game and teams will start to notice that. With their record now at 2-2 and a very difficult schedule ahead of them they will have to bring all aspects of their game together to try to make a run into the post-season.
The Titans have a difficult game coming up but I feel they will kick it up a notch this week against as they travel to Texas to face the 1-2 Dallas Cowboys.