Titans-Packers: Tennessee Rise to 8-0 in Overtime Thriller
Tennessee stuck with their main strategy: smash, smash, and smash with the football.
Chris Johnson showed his elusiveness, per usual, but while watching the game, I saw glimpses of LenDale White.
Johnson was running between the tackles more, taking a few hits rather than instinctively running out of bounds. He is becoming more well-rounded with each game he plays.
Along with Johnson, the defense was the only other positive.
The Titans didn't play badly; they didn't play well though, either.
They managed to blow a red-zone opportunity in the second half and got from it a 22-yard field goal. And that was it for the second half.
Green Bay didn't fair much better: Mason Crosby kicked two field goals for them, and that's what they settled for.
In the first half, Tennessee was moving the football, and we saw White run a 54 yarder that would set up Johnson's fifth rushing touchdown of the year. Both running backs combined for 166 yards.
However alarming were the number of carries each back had: Johnson got 24, while White received just eight. This is the first time Johnson has had over 20 carries in an NFL game. You can definitely tell that he is becoming the man in Tennessee.
As for the quarterbacking, it was rather forgettable, as usual. Kerry Collins completed under 50 percent of his passes for the first time this season and went 18-of-37, attempting an outrageous number of passes.
Mike Heimerdinger was just trying to mix up the plays, you could tell, but the running game was doing very well without Collins throwing.
Collins could have thrown a few interceptions in this game, most notably with Atari Bigby dropping a sure-fire interception in Green Bay's secondary, with Johnny Jolly, a Packer defensive tackle, also dropping one thrown right at him.
However, Collins' struggles weren't all his fault, as the Tennessee offensive line allowed Michael Montgomery and Ryan Pickett to sack Collins twice over the span of three plays.
Eugene Amano, who had hurt his knee on the touchdown run by Johnson, allowed Montgomery to get both sacks on Collins. After this, the offensive line stayed strong and didn't allow another sack the rest of the game, though Collins was under fire more than he usually has been.
Overall, Tennessee struggled on the offensive side of the ball. Hopefully, Heimerdinger remembers this and will fix the playbook so that his team will run more than pass next time.
On defense, however, as usual, there are no complaints. Stephen Tulloch really proved me wrong that he wasn't ready to start in the NFL, by tying a team high six tackles. He also recovered Jacob Ford's forced fumble. However, Chris Hope was the defensive star, recording five tackles, a sack, and an interception of Aaron Rodgers.
Kyle Vanden Bosch, who was battling a groin injury this week, received minimum playing time but was able to record a tackle. His replacements, Jason Jones, Dave Ball, and Ford, played very well, combining for 10 tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble. Overall, the team had 59 tackles, four sacks, an interception, one forced, and one recovered fumble.
The Tennessee defense was facing its toughest receiving corps yet, and I already told you how well Hope played.
Cortland Finnegan also played well on the team's No. 2, Greg Jennings, allowing the explosive receiver to catch just three passes for 59 yards. Finnegan also deflected several passes and recorded six tackles.
However, Nick Harper was disappointing in his coverage of the struggling Donald Driver.
Driver caught seven passes for 136 yards and a touchdown. Hope and Michael Griffin had to bail Harper out a few times with Driver, who also bailed out Harper by dropping two easy passes. Griffin and Harper each recorded six tackles, tying Finnegan and Tulloch for the team lead.
Overall, Tennessee just looked a little sloppy in today's game. Hopefully it was just the short week that hurt them, and they should come out bringing pain against the Chicago Bears.
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