Smash-mouth football powers Titans to victory
Smash-mouth football is alive and well in Nashville. Utilizing a powerful combination of a stout running attack and a physical performance from the defense, the Tennessee Titans continued their march towards a playoff birth by defeating the Oakland Raiders 13-9.
The strength of the Titans offense continues to be the running game. Led by a second consecutive 100 yard plus showing from LenDale White, the Titans running game was able to impose its will against a helpless Raider run defense, accumulating an impressive 192 yards on the afternoon. Rookie Chris Henry also contributed to the Titans ground success, averaging 12 yards per carry in a limited amount of opportunities, including a scintillating 24 yard touchdown run that accounted for the Titans only touchdown of the day.
Good football teams consist of players who are able to step in for injured teammates and emerge as viable contributors. Chris Browns most recent injury has provided Henry with the opportunity to step up and emerge as a speedy complement to the more powerful running style of LenDale White. We should all be excited about Henrys potential in the offense for the remainder of the season and beyond.
The Tennessee Titan defense is quickly emerging as one of the leagues most dominating units. After giving up three Sebastian Janikowski field goals in the first half, the physical Titan defense shut out the Raiders in the second half of the contest. The Titans tenacious defense harassed Raider starting quarterback Daunte Culpepper all afternoon, forcing him to lose a fumble while sacking him five times. Lamont Jordan was held to a putrid 16 yard performance on 12 carries by the Titans #1 ranked run defense.
Standout individual performances from the defense included David Thorntons twelve tackles, Travis Laboys two sack performance and the dominating play and presence of Fat Albert Haynesworth, who during a contract season, is probably earning himself millions in next years free agent market.
As a result of yesterdays victory, the Titans are currently tied with Jacksonville for 2nd place in the fiercely competitive AFC South division. Collectively, the teams in perhaps the NFLs strongest division have combined for a 20-9 overall record, with the undefeated and defending world champion Indianapolis Colts leading the way with a 7-0 mark.
Jeff Fishers smash-mouth brand of football will need to continue to be effective if the Titans expect to attain their goal of reaching the postseason.