Chris Johnson carried the ball 32 times. The defense bent a lot but didn’t break. Vince Young took care of the football. Special teams were solid.
The New York Giants folded at home, and the Titans took advantage and won their first road game of the season.
Story of the Game: A Giant Implosion
If the New York Giants were a disciplined team, they would be celebrating a victory today. Instead, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is searching for a way to keep his talented team from unraveling.
Eli Manning shredded the Titans secondary by throwing for 386 yards. Unfortunately, Manning was among the Giants who at times lacked discipline. He threw an inexcusable left-handed interception in the red zone to Jason McCourty and finished the game with no touchdown passes and two interceptions.
Giants left tackle Kareem McKenzie lost his composure in the fourth quarter. He committed two unnecessary roughness penalties and was pulled from the game by Coughlin.
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw was among the bright spots for the Giants, but he, like Manning, committed a turnover in the red zone. Bradshaw also gave the Titans a safety by chop-blocking Tony Brown in the Giants end zone.
The Other Story of the Game: 125 the Hard Way
Chris Johnson’s longest run was for 42 yards. In other words, Johnson had an average day.
CJ’s day was not spectacular by his standards, but he served admirably as the Titans’ offensive workhorse. He ran hard, broke tackles, carried the ball 32 times and scored one touchdown.
Was Johnson overworked? Sure, but he helped Coach Fisher employ his strategy of reducing offensive risk and controlling the clock.
Chris Johnson carried the ball 32 times, so Vince Young was not the focal point of the Titans offense.
Offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger called four passing plays in the first half. Four. Young completed three of the four passes for 32 yards.
With 3:05 remaining in the second quarter, the Titans faced a third down and 6 at their own 24 yard line. The Titans led 10-3. Heimerdinger called a draw play. CJ lost two yards.
The Titans scored their only touchdown on the next drive. CJ was not running well enough to justify calling so few passing plays.
Heimerdinger and Fisher kept VY under wraps until the third quarter. Young responded by leading the Titans on a touchdown drive. Kenny Britt caught a touchdown pass which gave the Titans a 19-10 lead.
Call the Redskins
The Titans secondary was exposed against one of the NFL’s better quarterbacks. Dave Ball and Will Witherspoon each recorded a sack, but Tennessee cannot expect to regularly give up 300 yards passing and hope the opposing team helps them by committing turnovers and penalties.
Redskin’s defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is apparently trying to talk himself out of Washington. He is not having a positive impact on the Redskins team this season. Perhaps there’s still time for general manager Mike Reinfeldt to make a deal and bring the disruptive Haynesworth back to Tennessee.
Not-so-great Scott: Right guard Jake Scott was whistled three times for penalties.
Michael Griffin is still having a Pro Bowl-caliber season. He had 11tackles and forced Bradford’s fumble.
Alterraun “Always Around The Ball” Verner recovered Bradshaw’s fumble and made four tackles.
Sen’Derrick Marks made a heads-up play by intercepting a deflected Manning pass in the first quarter. Marks also made two tackles.
Next Week: Denver Broncos
The Broncos fought hard today against the Indianapolis Colts, but you can’t beat perfection (aka Peyton Manning) with a less-than-perfect game.
Denver is a flawed team, and I expect Chris Johnson to have a very big day.