Tennessee Titans: Questions Left Unanswered After Week 1
"Tell me ... about the rabbits George."
That's what Lenny the dunder-headed, unwitting killer in Of Mice and Men says whenever he needs to bring stability and calm into his migrant-worker life after, say accidentally killing the boss' daughter-in-law.
Then George recites to him their threadbare fantasy: They would get their own place and live off the fat of the land and then get some rabbits which Lenny would love the s--- out of.
George would would tell him about the Rabbits and, for Lenny, there would be order and comfort amid the chaos.
So tell me again about Chris Johnson, George. Tell me again and again and again about how him and the offensive line are fine and everything will be OK.
Cue up the latest Mike Munchak quote deflecting the blame for the team's running woes away from CJ:
"For me, no matter how it went, I probably won't evaluate it on one game. I'm not happy with where it started. You don't want to rush for 20 yards or whatever we did," he said. "But I'm not going to overdo it on one game to decide where we're at. For 11 carries, I'm not going to get into breaking down every run he made or didn't make, or whose fault it was or why it went the way it went. We kind of got away from the run game after the third quarter when the defense got the ball back." (via cbssports.com)
The Titans offensive line deserves most of the blame for this poor performance as Vince Wilfork and the Patriots front seven lived in the Titans backfield all day.
What's your biggest concern heading into Week 2?
Steve Hutchinson's presence has yet to be felt on a completely revamped interior of the unit.
Dating back to last season, offensive coordinator Chris Palmer has not been afraid of picking up the ball and throwing it when the Titans have struggled to run.
Sunday was no different.
Which leaves raging questions about whether the Titans' running woes will improve from last season. As of now, the Titans are ranked 31st in rushing offense. Sound familiar? Don't look for much improvement next week either. The Chargers just held the beast that is Darren McFadden to 32 yards on 15 carries.
Next question ...
How did the Titans pass rush fair in the weekend action? Well the Titans' big free-agent signing, Kamerion Wimbley, made the team's lone sack in the game.
It's tough to measure a team's pass rush based on one game, especially when they're playing against the quick-triggered Tom Brady—he was sacked 32 times in 2011. The unit did a good job of pressuring Brady for stretches, but eventually wore down due to Stevan Ridley and the Pats' surprising running game.
Speaking of which...this is yet another weak point in a defense that, so far, appears to still be a work in progress. Ridley rushed for 125 yards and looked like an All-Pro in the process, bowling over Titans defenders on a regular basis.
Playing a team like the perennially playoff-bound New England Patriots serves as a measuring stick for how far your team has come and how far it still needs to go.
For the Tennessee Titans there is still a ways to go, but you can take solace in the impressive performance of of second-year quarterback Jake Locker.
Locker answered questions about his accuracy by completing 23-of-32 passes for 229 yards 1 TD 1 INT. Not bad for a guy making his first career start and having no running game to back him up.
Now the questions regarding him are: can he do it again and will he be able to play next week (separated shoulder)? Should be able to get our first good look at Kenny Britt as well.
Hopefully, by his time next week, we'll have some answers.
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