Titans 21, Bills 18

Hall of Fame Game: Buffalo Bills v Tennessee Titanshttp://cdn.pis.picapp.com/IamProd/PicAppPIS/JavaScript/PisV4.jsMy football withdrawal ended last night as I watched the Titans play well in a meaningless game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. Tennessee, decked in its throwback Houston Oilers uniform, performed well on offense, defense and special teams.

Who would have predicted that most of the buzz would be generated by punter A.J. Trapasso? He made the highlight reel by executing what USA Today is calling “the greatest fake punt ever.” It doesn’t matter that the play wasn’t saved for a regular season game, since Trapasso will probably be cut in favor of 16-year veteran Craig Hentrich. and I doubt Hentrich can run like Trapasso.

The skinny is that defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson is fighting for a roster spot. After last night’s standout performance, it would be a mistake for Tennessee to let him go, and I think “Vick” should be allowed to compete for a starting job. Perhaps the Titans should move Jason Jones to defensive end and start Vickerson at tackle.

Except for the running game, the first team offense looked good. Buffalo’s defensive line is anchored by Marcus Stroud, formerly of the Jaguars. Stroud ranks with former Titan Albert Haynesworth among the league’s best defensive tackes, so I have no worries about Tennessee’s running game.

Nate Washington was a great offseason pickup. Washington is the real deal. He, along with the Titans’ defensive performance, greatly increased my optimism about the 2009 season. Maybe they won’t miss Haynesworth that much after all.

Vince Young‘s journey to the NFL Hall of Fame got off to a rocky start after his first pass was intercepted. Receiver Lavelle Hawkins insists he ran the wrong route. I suppose we’ll take the Hawk’s word for it. Young bounced back late in the second quarter with a nice touchdown pass to Paul Williams, who made a great effort to keep his feet in the end zone. VY did nothing to unseat Kerry Collins as the Titans starter at quarterback, but perhaps he helped silence his critics… for a week.

Patrick Ramsey performed well… against the third team. Count me among the minority who doesn’t think he has a chance at becoming the Titans’ backup quarterback. Ramsey is fighting for a roster spot. The Titans often keep two quarterbacks on its active roster, and there’s no chance Tennessee will release VY in favor of Ramsey… this season.

Michael Griffin had a nice interception to end the Bills’ first offensive drive. Griffin hopes to earn a spot on the Pro Bowl roster, so look for big things from the third-year safety.

Chris Henry played like a desperate man on offense and special teams. His days as a Titan are likely over with the presence of rookie running back Javon Ringer. Maybe another team will give Henry a chance to fulfill his promise and display his considerable physical talents after a disappointing stint in Nashville.

Next up: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Nashville on August 15.


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