Monday, November 24, 2008

Titans Exposed By Jets

I had seen a few Jets games this year, and I had followed a few Titans games, and just on a hunch it looked ugly. The Titans, of course, had been fortunate to win some games this year based on the fact that the teams they had played had just a few more flaws than they did. This matchup with the Jets, as I had mentioned to Jets fans, scared me.

The "bend but don't break" defense had its special charms. You could rely on the Titans to allow yardage between the 20s and then make a play or rely on mistakes to stop drives. But when you have a guy like Brett Favre and a variety of offensive weapons at his disposal, the "bend but don't break" just found the limits of its tensile strength.

We always wonder if there's such thing as a "good loss." It's better to see what glaring flaws you have and can't get away with in the playoffs before the playoffs begin. The Jets are a potential opponent in a very down year for the AFC. The NFC has re-emerged lately, and the Giants look like the class of the league. If the Titans are to match up with any playoff opponent like the Jets (and I think the Colts will also be a player in the end), they're going to need to work on that offense a little more. I think the Jets scoring at least 24 points yesterday was inevitable, and a turnover cashed in another score for the Jets. So the Titans only hope yesterday would have been to catch those passes they dropped and do some more freaking play-action and open up the field.

It still befuddles me as to why Jeff Fisher, a smart guy, doesn't ever want to use much play-action. Granted, I haven't seen a Titans game all the way through all year, but from what I've seen, deception is still not a part of the offense.

I'll take this stinging loss if it means beating the Jets in the AFC Championship game. That would be sweet, but there's a lot to clean up until then.

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At 11/25/2008 03:03:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I was at this game ( I have tickets to the last three home games), and it was boring in its predictability. The Jets could get five yards on every play, at will, with either a quick slant or an easy run. And so there were very few stops at the goal line.

The Titans could only get two yards per play. The running game simply isn't very good right now, and two yards were typical. Two yards was the typical gain on a pass as well, when they could bother to catch the ball. So plenty of punts.

When the Titans actually did make a couple of stops late in the game, it was exciting, if only because it was different. Then, some incredibly suspect calls by the same crummy line judge (which didn't totally pass the sniff test, to be honest) killed the game. Fisher was simply out-coached. I was bored throughout.

At 11/25/2008 03:05:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Almost forgot; smart play calling and adjustments by the Jets. Early on they were letting Favre air it out a bit, and he threw the inevitable picks, he being the all time leader in interceptions. But I don't think they threw a pass longer than ten yards in the last three quarters combined. They killed by only concentrating on the next first down, and not going for the big play. It was a winning formula. Also a very boring one.


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