I hit some of the high points in my quick recap immediately after the game, but now that we're about eight hours later and I've started to decompress a bit from the experience of the game itself, it's time to cover a bit more than those high points.
I've been very critical of the Titans' belief in the run game and their attempt to tell themselves they can run the ball, both in what I've written this season and what I wrote in the offseason about how ineffective their run-oriented formations and plays were. They came out throwing this game, with passes on their first five plays, and mostly kept it up. For the game, they had 42 Locker attempts and 15 handoffs to a back (14 of those to CJ, the other to Reynaud) despite leading for most of the game and never trailing by more than 7 points. It wasn't the zero rushes I asked for, but I can live with five handoffs in the first half.
Of course, if the Titans' offense wasn't much more efficient, Locker wouldn't have had the chance to throw the ball that many times. Jake Locker was virtually night-and-day different from the first two weeks in getting the ball out quickly and in a rhythm, and the passing game worked. He was far from perfect, appearing to misfire on a couple bubble screens that should be automatic, but overall finished a very good 29 for 42 for 378 yards and two touchdowns. Only five of Locker's passes are listed in the Gamebook as "deep" throws, which typically means 16 or more yards downfield. The rhythm passing game meant a very good Lions defensive line didn't record a single sack and was only credited with one quarterback hit.no comments