My, how times have changed: Titans lose again
What a difference a couple of weeks make. It was only two weeks ago when the Titans were 6-2 and emerging as one of the leagues top teams. The teams great start was directly attributed to the strong play of their defense and a running game that was amongst the leagues best. Albert Haynesworth had emerged as a force in each game as he gobbled up quarterbacks and running backs on a consistent basis while wreaking havoc on the defensive line.
Unfortunately, last nights loss to Denver marked the Titans second consecutive defeat. Haynesworths presence was missed yet again as the Broncos churned out 166 yards on the ground, which coincidentally, was the same amount of rushing yards that the Titans allowed to the Jags a week before.
The running game suffered from its second consecutive inept showing, with LenDale White accounting for only 42 yards against the Broncos 31st ranked defense against the run. Combined with his output against the Jaguars the week before, White has only rushed for 54 yards on 21 carries in the last two games, averaging a meager 2.6 yards per carry. As the featured back in the Titans offense, White will need to step up as the end of the season approaches.
One of the bright spots from last nights loss was the re-emergence of Vince Young as a reliable threat in this offense. Young passed for a season-high 305 yards, despite throwing two interceptions. In addition to throwing the football, Young also led the team in rushing with 74 yards on 11 carries while displaying the type of running ability that was evident in last seasons rookie of the year performance.
Despite several dropped passes by his receivers, Youngs ability to consistently make plays kept the Titans in the ball game. If the team is going to make a run at the postseason, Young will need to continue to make a positive impact by throwing and running the football.
At 6-4, the Titans are still very much alive in the AFC playoff race. Five of the Titans next six opponents (Cincy, Houston, San Diego, Kansas City and the Jets), are teams that currently dont have a winning record, so the remaining schedule appears to be a favorable one.
However, regardless of how easy the schedule may be for the remainder of the season, the Titans will need to revert back to the consistent brand of football that was evident during their 6-2 start if they are going to attain their goal of reaching the postseason.