Titans Talk: What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Beatdown

The Titans have never defeated the Chargers. Most of the time, it’s been a painful experience. Who can forget the 6-0 halftime lead that became a 17-6 final score in the 2007 playoffs? What about Chris Johnson’s crazy run that kept his 100-yard streak alive and made the final score 42-17 Chargers?

Today could be different. Or it could be exactly the same. It’s dumb to think that one NFL team could have a psychological edge over the other. The Titans aren’t great on the West Coast. They are particularly befuddled in San Diego.

Before we get to my questions, here are the questions I asked of Jerome Watson of RocktheBolt.com.

Here are the questions that I will ask myself about today’s game.

Are the Titans going to be able to field a complete offensive team today?
This is not a ridiculous question. Nate Washington left last Sunday’s game with a “leg contusion” which was curious since I saw him standing next to the coach with a towel over his head. I bet his helmet was confiscated by T-Rac. Kenny Britt’s coming off a suspension and three offseason knee injuries. He’s not going to play more than half of the snaps. That leaves rookie Kendall Wright, Damian Williams, and Lavelle Hawkins. There are no other active wideouts on the roster. Practice squadder Michael Preston was not called up. Darius Reynaud will play a lot. Jared Cook should lead the team in receiving again.

Chris Johnson: What happened?

Chris Johnson’s twitter feed is a nonstop explosion of bluster. His play on the field shows a much more tentative player. The offensive line sucks but this isn’t a Division II school playing Alabama. There are holes to exploit.

The offensive line: Is there hope?
Leroy Harris was replaced by Kevin Matthews because he was fatigued, the coaches say, not because he’s not a very good NFL player. The team signed Deuce Lutui this week but I doubt he will start. The saying about there being many bold pilots and many old pilots but not many old, bold pilots might apply to 35-year-old guards like Steve Hutchinson. The name recognition does not block Vince Wilfork. I dunno.

Is Locker OK?

He’s starting. He’ll make a couple of spectacular plays and hopefully his really dumb interception gets thrown to Quentin Jammer, who couldn’t intercept the ball before he broke his hand.

And what about that supposed better Jerry Gray defense?
The Colin McCarthy injury stings, and it’s not getting a lot of play because the Titans aren’t worth the attention. Without him, the defense lacks playmakers. With the Chargers “featuring” an undrafted rookie at left tackle, maybe Kamerion Wimbley gets more pressure today. It’s going to be necessary because the defense should do everything it can to minimize Michael Griffin in the box or in coverage.

How drunk will you be by kickoff?

It’s a rare 4 p.m. start here in Atlanta. I will have consumed at least two onion burgers, a pint of spinach-artichoke dip, and a six-pack of Fat Tire. I will be happy no matter what. Napping through the second half is an option.

There’s a good chance I’ll be like this after the game:

I’m hoping for this.

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