Count me among the doubters who thought the Titans would have a tough time starting out when the schedule was released. It wasn't hard to think Tennessee could easily have an 0-3 start.
Life is good at 2-1, especially considering the record is two plays away from being 3-0.
Not much else is unexpected, but the play of the d-line and secondary are pleasant surprises.
I can't recall Albert Haynesworth having two good games in a row before, but now he has three. The synergy created by Albert and Kyle Vanden Bosch has been wonderful. KVB never was able to enjoy that when he was on the left side.
Tony Brown and Antwan Odom have also both played better than expected. The d-line has shut down some pretty potent rushing attacks in the first three games. Never mind that Deuce McAllister left the game Monday night with an injury, I didn't see many holes for Reggie Bush or anyone else to run through.
The Titans defense ranks second in the league in yards per game rushing, allowing only 63. At one point early in the 2006 season, the Titans were dead last in the league in that stat.
I was also worried about potential problems in the secondary, where there are three new starters. The knock on Nick Harper was that he was a zone guy and couldn't play man. He's proved he's more than adequate at both. Cortland Finnegan, the other starting corner, was a nickelback who played in the slot last year. Would he be able to make the transition to the outside? One former first-round pick was not bad inside but proved to be a liability outside. Finnegan has made a pretty good showing so far. Free safety Calvin Lowry has so far justified the coaches' confidence in him. He'll still get burned a few times later this year; that's to be expected, but the Titans are in decent shape in the secondary.
Oh, and speaking of being ranked second in the league, kudos are due for the o-line as well, which has paved the way for Chris Brown and LenDale White, not to mention protecting Vince Young. The Titans' rushing attack is the second-best in the league, averaging 174 yards per game.
The Titans were very fortunate that Biren Ealy cleared waivers and has been signed to the practice squad. It was a gamble that paid off. Ealy no longer needs to be on the regular roster, since the Titans will now have the right of first refusal if any other team tries to sign him. In the meantime, he continues to get work and be developed in the Titans system. And a practice squad gig is not bad. It pays $80k a year, plus additional pay for time spent on the regular roster.
In the next week, before moving on to the business of looking ahead to the next opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, I'd like to use the time to discuss some Titans who need to step it up and will also share some thoughts on my favorite Titans. I need to get my Titans fix by writing about them just as much as you enjoy reading about them. Just wanted to let you know what else to expect in the next four to five days.
Speaking of Atlanta, they'll host the Texans this weekend. I haven't checked to see if that game will be available for me to see, but I'll definitely be watching that one if I can.