The Tennessee Titans came up with a huge road victory as they defeated the Dallas Cowboys 34-27.
Chris Johnson took advantage of some additional running space (thanks to some downfield passing) as he ended up with 131 yards on 19 carries. Defensively, despite giving up over 400 passing yards to Tony Romo, the Titans were able to force the Cowboy signal-caller into three costly interceptions while also sacking him on six occasions.
Additional thoughts on the Titans' impressive victory...after the jump.
Bye-bye, conservative offense?
Criticized for being ultra-conversative in last week's loss to the Broncos, the Titans came out with a bombs-away passing attack against the Cowboys.
Vince Young took several shots downfield, and by doing so, allowed Chris Johnson to be the beneficiary of some extra running room due to the Cowboys having to account for the Titans' unexpected deep throw tendencies.
As tempting as it must be for offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger to keep feeding the rock to a back as skilled as Chris Johnson, the Titans are a better, more dangerous offensive team when there's some balance. Vince Young is improving in front of our eyes as he develops into a solid in-the-pocket signal caller and with speedster Nate Washington and talented youngster Kenny Britt as targets, why not force opposing defenses into having to play the pass in addition to worrying about CJ breaking a long one?
Hopefully, we'll continue to see Dinger open the playbook up for Vince while enabling the team to become more than a one-trick pony attack on offense.
Bend-but-don't break defense comes up with some big plays at the end
Despite Tony Romo accounting for 406 yards in the air and running back Felix Jones breaking the century mark in the running game, the Titans defense still did enough to help the team come up with a W.
A deep and talented defensive line, despite missing the presence of Derrick Morgan and Sen'Derrick Marks, constantly got after Romo as they took him down six times. Michael Griffith, Stephen Tulloch and Alterraun "Velcro" Verner each chipped in with crucial INTs.
Relinquishing over 500 yards looks bad statistically but at the end of the day, it's all about winning football games and despite giving up a ton of yardage, the Titan defense did their part in today's victory.
Final Random Thoughts
-Keep up the good work, Kenny Britt. He's maturing right in front of our eyes and is definitely emerging as the type of #1 target that we saw glimpses of during his rookie season.
-I can't say enough about Alterraun Verner. He's far from the biggest guy out there but he plays with tenacity while possessing instincts that can't be taught. He has a nose for the football and continues to be in the middle of big defensive plays.
Memo to Jason McCourty: Good luck getting your starting job back...because this Verner kid is for real.
-Kudos to Jim Washburn for continuing to get the most out of a unit that's lacking a true superstar. Journeymen such as Jason Babin and David Ball continue to play good football despite previously struggling to even stick around in the NFL prior to coming to Nashville.
-Marc Mariani stepped up with a huge 73-yard return that led to the Titans' game-winning touchdown in the 4th quarter.
Last week's crucial fumble aside, Mariani has done a more than adequate job serving as the team's primary returner in 2010.
-With their victory, the Titans are now in a four-way tie for AFC South supremacy with a 3-2 record.
Needless to say, next week's Monday Nighter in Jacksonville is going to be an important game to say the least.
Ok, back to today's exciting Titans' win. As always, feel free to contribute any thoughts regarding the contest below.