I’m going to watch a replay of a Titans game for the first time this year. This was a regular feature of Titansblog last year and may only be posted when the Titans make NFL Replay. I want to see the fully operational Titans offense and the, well, work in progress that is the defense.
“I can honestly say that in 30 years being around the NFL I’ve never seen anything close to what we experienced in this game.” Mike Munchak
Like I tweeted yesterday, I want to see the plays other than the big ones. I want to see the continued evolution of the offense with Jake Locker. I want to see Chris Johnson do something that doesn’t suck. Let’s do this.
No game is more stupefying than this one. I kept a Titans replay, the annual 30-minute highlight film for the previous season, for the 2006 Titans for years before the wife ordered it demolished from our DVR. This game replay will be the next version of that fine film.
Whoever drafted Mikel Leshoure as their RB4 and held onto him for two weeks were rewarded for their patience. At the very last minute I took Leshoure out of my starting fantasy lineup for . . . wait for it . . . Chris Johnson.
All preseason, Tommie Campbell was slated to be the nickel corner. Ryan Mouton, who I thought wasn’t going to make the roster, took that role. He starts the game with a holding call on a play in which the receiver caught the ball. That’s a lose lose.
I miss Colin McCarthy. Akeem Ayers looks like the playmaker now, with a pass breakup that leads to the first Lions field goal.
Titans start with five wide and a throw to Britt. Exactly. Speed up the offense and throw, throw, throw. Rolling Locker to his left? Crafty.
Locker takes his eyes off the ball on a shotgun snap and fumbles.
50-yard kicks are commonplace now. Hanson makes it 6-0.
Will Alan Lowry pull out the Home Run Throwback again in 2025?
Chris Johnson gets his first touch almost ten minutes in. He breaks a tackle (gasp) on his second run. He ran into an offensive lineman first.
Locker’s first incompletion comes with two minutes to go in the first quarter. Might have been pass interference on Britt. Britt’s going to be huge in the offense.
A Munchak challenge reverses a Calvin Johnson catch, setting up the glorious Home Run Throwback II, the best sequel since Empire Strikes Back. Yes, that’s the first Titans lead in two weeks.
Tommie Campbell has two special teams touches, two touchdowns. He scored a touchdown last year on a kickoff reverse, and that was the only kickoff TD for the team all year. His speed and size doesn’t translate to defense, apparently, as he was burned by Braylon Edwards in a preseason game and hasn’t done much since.
I heard rumors about the amazing unblocked toss plays to Chris Johnson and thought them to be legends like the Loch Ness Monster and Mitt Romney. Nope, Chris Johnson gets the toss and gets immediately crushed like the offensive line is pissed off at him. Upon further review that was Nate Washington’s half-assed block on DeAndre Levy.
The Lions secondary tackles like the Titans’ secondary. Cook catches a deep ball and shrugs off the tackles like my cats were trying to bring him down. My cats always go for the legs. And that pocket was clean for Locker. He had all day. Congrats to #21 for dragging Cook down after he crossed the end zone.
Stafford takes a huge hit after forgetting how to slide because honestly, how often does he scramble?
Mike Martin makes a key tackle on Leshoure to stuff a third and 2 rush. Martin’s good people. The Lions kick a field goal and it’s 17-9.
Where did they hide the inaccurate Locker? I haven’t seen him yet. I don’t see a ton of college spread-like 0-step drops but they were doing some of that. Get the ball and fire = negate the pass rush. Two plays later he takes off and runs for 31 yards. Chris Johnson hasn’t topped that number in a game all year. I think he’s faster than Vince Young, as two Lions misjudged their angles and missed him.
Stephen Tulloch is earning the C on his jersey, whiffing on Locker and getting a penalty for shoving Leroy Harris after Harris tried to cut him downfield.
The offense looks disjointed after Locker’s run with a low throw, a QB draw that loses five yards and an overdue Chris Johnson drop. Kendall Wright didn’t let his blocks develop on a third-down screen and fell down before he could get going. Field goal time.
20-9 at the half. Who predicted that?
I traded Calvin Johnson away this week in a fantasy league. I expected him to destroy the Titans but he was relatively quiet in the first half. That’s going to change.
Kenny Britt catches a pass and bounces off a defender. Very nice.
This is the first time all year that I’ve seen Chris Johnson use his speed and get outside. He had a few good runs. The team’s moving away from the run, which was mentioned a few dozen times in the offseason.
Bironas hurt his ankle at some point. He misses a 41-yard field goal that he usually nails. He looks like the Missouri kicker. He made 20 field goals in a row before that.
Hitting Calvin Johnson in stride is a scary thing. I don’t think you can throw the ball over his head. Stafford does just that on the next play. Targeting the crap out of him on that drive. Leshoure scores.
Craig Stevens might be a sneaky fantasy guy if Cook’s out for a week. Chris Johnson gets another 10-yard run.
Bironas misses another one. If he makes one of those two, this game might not have been on the NFL Network.
20-16 heading into the fourth quarter. Roughing the passer on Derrick Morgan, who has been surprisingly unsucky this year.
Still with the lead? This crazy fourth quarter starts with the one and only field goal.
Kendall Wright fumbles the ball. That’s a -2 turnover ratio that won’t survive.
Michael Griffin with a open-field tackle? Maybe Leshoure has no moves. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Griffin do that.
By the way it’s still 20-19 halfway through the fourth quarter. I’m about to see 43 points in seven minutes of game time. A touchdown every 69 seconds seems about right.
That was a hell of a nice blocked kick return, first of two times you’ll see two touchdowns scored within 20 seconds of game time. Taylor Thompson blew up his blocker and Tommie Campbell set the edge. Reynaud wasn’t close to being touched on that play.
So two touchdowns in 12 seconds and later, two in 18 seconds. The other six minutes were kind of boring.
Akeem Ayers, who makes a ton of tackles, gets a sack of Stafford to end a drive. Three-man line with Ayers lining up outside and pretty much unblocked.
Nate Washington makes the catch of the year. It’s going to be hard to top. Note that it was first and 15. When he catches the ball, it’s between the 2 and 1 of Jacob Lacey’s jersey. Not exactly on the money.
Verner stealing the ball out of Pettigrew’s hands…tell me that’s something you can scout, because I don’t think you can. Playmaker. There’s no reason a big dude like Pettigrew should lose a wresting match with a cornerback.
Did Derrick Morgan injure Stafford on the return? Shaun Hill came in and we thought the game was over, obviously.
Shaun Hill is a heck of a backup QB. Makes some really good throws.
It would have been so perfect for Verner to have the game-ending interception but a roughing the QB penalty nullifies the play. Ayers throws Hill to the ground.
That penalty added at least 10 points to Calvin Johnson’s fantasy day. Um, why did the Titans just let him do a curl in the end zone? Easy money there.
Not sure if I want to see the Titans play the worst onside kick coverage ever with Damian Williams totally whiffing on the ball.
Nate Burleson fumbled that pass. I think he dropped it on purpose after getting hit and knowing he wouldn’t get out of bounds.
Poor Ayers. Blows up Hill to continue a drive and tips the ball away from Megatron right to Titus Young Sr. Overtime.
Locker takes over in OT. First pass to Stevens for 20+.
I have no idea what Chris Johnson’s doing on that initial toss play. It’s a toss right but he goes left right into a defender. He ran that play like he had his signing bonus on the Lions. There is a defender in the hole but if Johnson runs there and jukes him he’s getting some yards. Instead it’s 2nd and 18.
The Lions help the Titans with a penalty on 3rd and 16.
On that second run, CJ was facemasked. Maybe it was that old penalty of five yards but there was contact. It’s 2nd and 18 again.
Helmet to helmet call on Craig Stevens. A big deal is made about the refs screwing up the spot, but come on, where did the ball hit the ground? Titans should have had the ball at the 17 after that play, not the 44. Oh yeah, another stellar play by Tulloch.
It’s three minutes into overtime before we see the trademark overthrow for Locker.
My parents had to have some Al Del Greco flashbacks, as he missed three kicks in that infamous playoff loss to the Ravens that included Tony Siragusa doing the Nestea plunge into Steve McNair. Bironas had missed two kicks on that side of the field.
Bironas makes the short field goal. This game is not over.
Throw it high to Calvin Johnson. Instant field goal range.
Luckily that second-down pass to Bell was a little behind him and he dropped it. Otherwise it’s third and short instead of fourth and short. Leshoure catches the ball on third down and is just short of the sticks.
Thanks again to Jim Schwartz for getting cute. The old hard count didn’t quite work out with a tired offensive line and a backup QB. The refs measuring one more time when the ball was obviously further back than before the fourth-down snap must have caused a heart attack or two in LP Field.
Final thoughts? It shouldn’t have come to this. The season would have been over had the Lions prevailed. The Texans should knock Titans fans back into reality this weekend but who knows, maybe Locker stays hot and Chris Johnson makes a couple of runs. Stranger things have happened.