Once again, the Tennessee Titans were on the receiving end of yet another defeat at the hands of the San Diego Chargers.
Despite injuries to key players Vince Young and Kenny Britt and a bend-but-don't-break defense that broke far too often this afternoon, a valiant Titan comeback came up a bit short in today's 33-25 loss to the Chargers.
Additional thoughts on yet another Titan loss to the Chargers...after the jump.
Welcome to 2009, Chuck Cecil
In 2010, up until today's contest, the Tennessee Titans' defense had been one of the team's brightest spots. Contrary to their mostly sub-par performance in 2009, this year's rendition of the D has been a unit that's been successful due to a combination of two important factors: getting plenty of pressure on opposing quarterbacks with a no-name defensive line and forcing turnovers on a constant basis.
Unfortunately for Chuck Cecil's troops, this afternoon, they consistently failed in both of the areas that have contributed to the team's success up to this point.
Philip Rivers and his Dan Marino-like quick release prevented the Titans from getting his uniform dirty, as evidenced by the San Diego signal-caller being sacked only once. While he was upright, he managed to serve as a constant thorn in the Titans' side as he torched their defense for 305 yards and 2 touchdown tosses.
Taking a page out of the 2009 Titans' defensive playbook, the D allowed the San Diego offense as a whole to accumulate 456 total yards.
Of course, the Titans' aren't going to face too many offenses that have the explosive capabilities of San Diego's but it's still nonetheless a bit unsettling considering the team still hasn't played two exceptional offenses in their own right: fellow AFC South competitors Indianapolis and Houston, whom the Titans will have to face a combined four times before the end of the season.
Leg injuries and their role in today's defeat
In addition to their woes on defense, the Titans' were also undone by a pair of injuries to two of their key players on the opposite side of the football.
Brimming with confidence after last week's sparkling effort against the Eagles, Kenny Britt's afternoon ended prematurely due to a hamstring injury suffered on a deep incompletion.
Without the presence of Britt, QB Vince Young played exceptionally as he was able to spread the ball around to the Titans' other receiving threats. On the afternoon, Vince was a solid 10/21 for 253 yards and two scores.
Unfortunately, like Britt, VY also had to leave the game early due to a leg injury he suffered late in the game.
Fortunately for the Titans, the timing for their key injuries couldn't have been better, considering that next week's opponent is the anything-but-formidable bye week.
Hopefully, both Britt and Young will be ready to go in a couple of weeks.
Final random thoughts
-Kenny Britt's injury may have been a blessing in disguise for the rest of the Titans' receiving options.
Lavelle Hawkins had perhaps his best game as a pro, snagging 4 grabs for 56 yards. Nate Washington replaced Britt's role as the primary deep threat by catching 4 passes for 117 and a score, including a 71-yard bomb from VY. Rookie Damian Williams continued to make plays in the offense, with 2 catches for 43 yards.
Even Jared Cook got into the action, tantalizing us with his big-play potential with a 36-yard grab.
With or without Britt, the Titans have guys who can make plays when given the opportunity.
Hopefully, Mike Heimerdinger will keep this in mind as the season moves forward.
-I saw shades of Marcus Allen's unforgettable Super Bowl XVIII scamper when witnessing Chris Johnson's impressive, reverse-the-field 29-yard touchdown scamper. Unfortunately for CJ, that was the bright spot of his day, as he struggled to a 15-carry, 59-yard effort.
-A defensive holding penalty that nullified a Michael Griffin interception killed the Titans a few plays later, when the guy held by Griffin, all-world TE Antonio Gates, got loose for a 48-yard touchdown.
I'm probably recapping a Titan victory instead of a loss if that interception hadn't been wiped away.
-Not a bad effort by the game manager a.k.a. Kerry Collins in relief of an injured Vince Young. While his stat line was anything but spectacular (8/15, 52 yards), he had the Titans' in a position to potentially tie the game at the end. Unfortunately, Chris Johnson's drop served as the proverbial nail in the coffin for the Titans' chances of securing the W.
-Just because it's the Titans' bye week doesn't mean we'll be on vacation as well at Total Titans. Be sure to stick around as we continue to bring you opinionated, original content/analysis pertaining to your favorite football team over the next two weeks.
Any thoughts regarding today's Titans' defeat? Feel free to provide your commentary below.