Thanks to a putrid offensive performance, the Tennessee Titans were shut out by the Houston Texans 20-0. Rusty Smith was overwhelmed in his first NFL start, throwing three interceptions while only leading the offense to 162 yards on the entire afternoon. Chris Johnson's certainly seen better days, as he was held to a measly 5 yards on 7 carries.
Additional thoughts on today's Titans' loss...after the jump.
Momma said there'd be days like this
Stating the obvious, the Tennessee Titans were never in sync on the offensive side of the football today.
Reiterating what I said early last week, Rusty Smith has a gunslinger's mentality but unfortunately, he's anything but a marksman at this point in his career. Rusty had three of his passes intercepted (all by Texans' defender Glover Quin) and for the afternoon, completed 17 of his 31 passing attempts for only 138 yards.
Rusty has a nice arm and appears to have some down the road potential but in terms of the present, he's obviously not ready to lead a team to success on the NFL level. When Kerry Collins is ready to go (which could be as early as next week) Rusty should once again resume his clipboard-holding responsibilities.
The team's offensive woes can also be summed up by Chris Johnson's 7-carry, 5-yard performance. Considering it was Smith's first NFL start, CJ had to have a solid game in order to take some of the pressure off of the Titans' rookie signal-caller. Unfortunately, CJ was never able to get on track and as the game slipped away, his opportunities to run the football were limited due to the team's decision to pass the football in their attempt to overcome what was at the end of the day, an insurmountable deficit.
Of course, I expect the offense to run a bit smoother once Kerry Collins returns to the lineup but by no means am I expecting KC to emerge as a savior.
This isn't 2008, folks.
A few thoughts on the performance of the guys on the other side of the football
Considering the defense's propensity for allowing opposing signal-callers to pile up a ton of yardage, I'm going to extend "props" to Chuck Cecil's troops for holding Matt Schaub to only 178 yards passing. All-world WR Andre Johnson (more on him later, for his non-football actions) caught nine passes but for only 56 yards.
Unfortunately for the Titans, it was their run defense that suffered tremendously this afternoon.
Led by undrafted sensation Arian Foster's 143 yards, the Texans' running game dominated the Titans to the tune of 188 total yards.
At the end of the day, whether it's the team's previous struggles defending the pass or today's problems stopping the run, I think we can all agree that after a promising start to the season, the defense as a whole is not playing great football and once 2010 ends, there's probably going to be a lot of conversation regarding making some changes on that side of the football next offseason.
Final random musings
I have to start off with a few words about the Andre Johnson/Cortland Finnegan altercation. In a nutshell, it was a classic example of two prideful football players allowing their emotions to get the best of them. Of course, it doesn't help that Finny has a knack for getting under the skin of the receivers who are defended by him.
Of course, things got a bit ugly once both of their helmets were removed from the equation, with Finny being the recipient of a few Johnson blows to the facial area.
I don't mind the guys mixing it up with their helmets off but it's no place in the game for throwing punches to the face.
I'm expecting both Johnson and Finny to be awaiting word from the league this week regarding fines for their actions today and I wouldn't be shocked if Johnson was suspended at least a game for his fists of fury aimed in the direction of Finny's head.
Ok...back to the game....
One of today's positives was the increased involvement of Jared Cook in the passing game. At the end of the day, his stat sheet consisted of four grabs for 40 yards.
With the season dangerously close to being over for all intents and purposes, it's paramount for the Titans to finally see what they have in the enigma they call Jared Cook. With his athleticism, there's no excuses for finding ways for him to catch the football especially if the team is headed towards a second consecutive non-playoff year.
Speaking of getting younger guys some playing time, I'd also like to see more from Javon Ringer, who had four carries for 27 yards for the game.
Nice to see Randy Moss catch three passes on the afternoon. Hopefully, he'll find the end zone in upcoming weeks.
I'll throw some kudos in the direction of DE William Hayes, who had a sack and a forced fumble on the afternoon.
I'm done, folks. Any thoughts regarding today's Titans loss to the Texans? You know the routine...feel free to leave your remarks below.