I wrote a column last week discussing the miscues from Week Two, noting what the Tennessee Titans needed to do to improve from their showing against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The New York Giants made their own mistakes, and the Titans were able to capitalize while fixing some of their own mistakes, leading to a 29-10 victory at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
The Titans were anemic with the run last week, but the offensive line stepped it up this week and gave Chris Johnson space to find holes and run for 125 yards on 32 rushes, an average of slightly less that four yards a carry. The Titans also maximized the work of tight end Bo Scaife, giving Justin Gage, Nate Washington, and Kenny Britt the opportunities to make big plays.
Vince Young also recovered from an absolutely horrible game, showing the composure he needs in the pocket and holding onto the ball well. Throwing for 118 yards and an 13-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt, Young was 10-of-16, a 62.5 percent completion percentage, and didn't throw a single interception on his way to a 105.7 passer rating and a new perfect game. He was sacked once for an eight-yard loss.
The Giants, on the other hand, just looked out of it the whole game. Having driven all the way down to the Titans five-yard line, Michael Griffin forced Giants' running back Ahmad Bradshaw to fumble. Alterraun Verner recovered the fumble. The Giants frustration was evident, with lineman David Diehl being called for a personal foul on the play for ripping the helmet off of Titans safety Cortland Finnegan. Another penalty that nullified a big play was a 44-yard pass to Mario Manningham that was wiped out by a penalty against Bradshaw for a chop block in the end zone, which was ruled a safety.
Lawrence Tynes, the Giants kicker, was far from sharp, missing from 53 and 44 yards respectively, and quarterback Eli Manning threw for 388 yards but threw two interceptions to an alert Titans defense. The Giants outgained the Titans in total yardage 471-271, showing that the Giants' mistakes made the difference in this game.
This was also a game of penalties. Kareem McKenzie, the Giants' offensive tackle, committed two personal fouls and was ejected from the game. As mentioned before, David Diehl committed a personal foul by ripping Cortland Finnegan's helmet off, and the Giants committed 11 penalties for 86 yards, an average of about eight yards per penalty. The Titans committed eight penalties for 80 yards.
The Titans played pretty well today, being alert to capitalize on mistakes by the Giants. Vince Young didn't look sharp as a tack today, but he went out with composure and got the job done, looking much better than last week against the Steelers. The offensive line seemed more proactive today, fighting to get Chris Johnson holes against a solid defensive line headed by Justin Tuck.
The Titans also seemed more willing to work their tight end corps, getting Bo Scaife more involved and getting guys like Gage, Washington, and Britt open more. The Giants secondary looked overmatched by the tall Titans receivers (Gage 6'4", Britt 6'3", and Washington 6'1", Scaife 6'3").
The Titans looked good. Hopefully, they can keep this up next week.