Titans Post Mortem: Momentum Stolen

All right, let’s get this over with.

Zach Law and his trusty Game Rewind’s going to tell it like it is, Titans/Steelers style.

Pictures of old Titans/Steelers games, including LenDale White stomping on the Turrible Towel (before a Titan win, suck on that curse), always good to warm up.

Mike Munchak had 150 people at the game. Bet they were mostly Steeler fans. Munchak’s high school named the street after him. Snarky comment alert: Not a lot of Nobel winners coming out of his high school, apparently.

Titans take the kickoff. Do kickers get stronger when they play the Titans? Mariani’s not getting anything to return.

Nice opening run by Chris Johnson. He had a nice opening run in the 2009 opener as well and his total yardage sucked that day as well. If he got the hole that Jahvid Best had on Monday night against the Bears, I think someone would have caught him from behind. He gives me that feeling.

Steelers don’t have an interception yet this year, says Dan Dierdorf. Hasselbeck throws the next ball right at Timmons. Shocking. Cook didn’t even look back. These guys practice together, don’t they?

Note: Daniel Graham was in the game for 19 snaps. Three penalties. Can we work on the discipline a bit during the bye week? That’s what undertalented teams do if they want to keep winning.

I don’t get the offsetting 5/15 penalties just giving credit to the 15-yarder, but in the case when it’s in favor of my team, I like it.

That Ryan Clark cheap shot on Javon Ringer: That’s why fans call your team dirty, Steeler fans.

First and goal at the three, and the Titans abandon the run. They have almost no ability to run for the rest of the game. While the throw to Mike Otto on first down caught the Steelers by surprise, it didn’t work. Timmons did a good job to jump and force the high throw.

OK, so the Titans ran on second down. Do the Titans average 1 yard a carry on second downs after an incomplete pass? Chris Johnson needed to cut inside.

Yeah, that’s Daniel Graham’s second penalty. Block in the back on that outside run from CJ.

False start leads to second and goal at the 18. Greg Gumbel talks Dave Stewart up after his false start. Announcers should use their cued up positive statements about a team’s o-line only after said o-line makes a play.

Titans get an extra set of downs on an illegal contact penalty. Hass threw the ball out of the end zone because Hawkins was triple-covered.

First and goal at the seven.  Nate Washington caught the ball and it popped out when he hit the ground. It must have been Troy Polamalu’s lustrous locks that did it. Later in the game they show Hasselbeck’s fist pump the moment before he realized that it was incomplete as a Titan highlight. That’s how the day went.

Second and goal: The guy Ahmad Hall was blocking gets the sack, while he was blocking him. Yeah, Quinn Johnson was that forgettable.

Screen pass on third down: Polamalu makes a play, because Chris Johnson had blockers. Neither Jared Cook nor Jake Scott could get in Polamalu’s way. Seven plays of “and goal”, three points.

I’m not watching anymore. I know how this plays out. It was over at 14-3. The Titans don’t have the quick-strike offense to come back. Heck, they were down 13-0 to the Jaguars, and that was with Kenny Britt, and they couldn’t come back. The Steelers have the mojo over the Titans now.

What happened? The defense was the second half of 2010 defense, the one that couldn’t get a stop or a turnover. The Steeler o-line was decimated and the Titans sacked Roethlisberger once.

I randomly scrolled forward to a third and goal play. Roethlisberger throws the slant to Ward, who jumps over Michael Griffin for the touchdown. Once it was 28-3, the Titans were able to move the ball again.

Last year’s Titans/Steelers game showed that the Titans wouldn’t be able to compete with the elite teams. This year’s Steelers edition is not elite. There’s not a lot of leeway here. The run blocking has to improve. The receivers need to learn where to line up, the routes to run and when Hasselbeck hits them in the numbers, to catch the ball. The defense needs to stop being the highlight reel for Jonathan Dwyer’s career.

Luckily, it was one game. Double luckily, Matt Schaub couldn’t complete that last-second pass for the Texans. The Titans have three games at home coming off the bye. It’s wild that by their eighth game of the season that they’ll be done with the NFC North. They play the Texans, the Colts, and the Bengals. At worst, they need to go 2-1 on this home streak. 3-0 would be great, but let’s not go crazy. The Texans are a 10-6 team at best. Can the Titans equal that record? Based on Sunday, not so much.

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