Titans vs. Ravens
Let's look at some of the numbers for this game:
- Matt Hasselbeck: 30 com - 42 att - 358 yds - 1 TD and 1 INT
- Chris Johnson: 24 att - 53 yds
- Kenny Britt: 9 rec - 135 yds - 1 TD
- Joe Flacco: 15 com - 32 att - 197 yds - 1 TD and 2 INT
- Ray Rice: 13 att - 53 yds; 5 rec - 53 yds - 1 TD
The numbers obviously show that CJ is not 100% in the grove yet, but also show that Matt Hasselbeck has hit a nice stride by throwing the ball to Kenny Britt. Also, it shows that the offense is willing to go with what the defense is giving them. A huge complaint from the last few seasons is that the coaching staff had a plan and stuck with it no matter what. Now that the coaching staff has changed (and apparently more flexible), we can more quickly adjust to situational play.
Something that the numbers doesn't fully show is the defenses ability to shut down both running and receiving. Granted that the Ravens aren't the most prolific team in the passing game, but still it was nice to see the defense step up in this game. I have to give a big thumbs up to the move of Cortland Finnegan to nickelback on 3rd down passing situations. He is a beast across the middle of the field, and more than once dislodged or redirected the ball. Huge kudos also to Karl Klug. He was someone that I had serious doubts about, but he shows me that he is truly serious about excelling in the NFL.
As far as the rest of the game, I had some serious heart problems when I saw Bironas miss that first FGattempt. This was well within his range, and I felt like he still hadn't hit regular season form. However, he came back later to make up for his misstep. Also, the new kickoff rules has seriously inhibited the return game. SinceMariani is such a threat, no one is even allowing him the chance for a return.
Titans vs. Broncos
This game will be the real crucible for what we can expect out of the Titans this season. We will find out if the Jaguars game was an anomaly or the Ravens game. The Titans defense will get added pressure from the Broncos passing game. Last year Kyle Orton made the Titans defense look silly, but this year under new Defensive Coordinator Jerry Gray, the Titans are only allowing 172 yards a game (3rd in the NFL). The Broncos rushing game is not the quality of the Ravens, but with Knowshon Moreno and Willis McGehee they can certainly be a threat. The Titans rushing defense, although only 14th in the league against the run, was much improved over week 1, and have shown that they can shut down the best of what the league has to offer.
Look for the Broncos to challange the Titans with quick screen passes transitioning into the deep ball throughout the game.
Look for the Titans to try to get CJ on track against the Broncos 28th ranked run defense, but don't discount the Hasselbeck-to-Britt hookup.
Also, I know we have been calling for Jared Cook to have a breakout game, but he has yet to fully deliver. Withthe huge catch he had against the Ravens, I think Hasselbeck will show more confidence in his ability and will look to get him the ball more often.
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