Tennessee Titans: Defense and Kenny Britt Step Up to Beat Ravens

Daniel BarnesCorrespondent IIISeptember 18, 2011

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 18:   Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens and Cortland Finnegan #31 of the Tennessee Titans put their hands to the face mask at the LP Field on September 18, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Titans looked like a completely different team against the Ravens this week in their 26-13 win.

They were more disciplined, more consistent and they clicked better as a unit on both offense and defense.

Matt Hasselbeck had a big game, completing 30 passes in 42 attempts for 358 yards and a touchdown. His only interception was on a pass that got tipped.

Kenny Britt also had a big game and his nine receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown don't show just how clutch he was for the Titans. He made lots of difficult catches and barely missed a few more.

The offensive line improved their pass blocking as well. Hasselbeck was not sacked and only hit twice. He had all day to throw the ball and that hurt the Ravens more than anything else.

As good as the offensive unit was, the story of the game was the defense. The Ravens offense took three drives to get their first first down.

Ray Rice was limited 43 yards on 13 carries and his only touchdown came from a pass. Dave Ball was a big part of Rice's troubles; the veteran defensive end had two tackles for loss and four total tackles. He also hit Flacco twice and registered a sack.

The Titans pass defense was just as good. Flacco ran for his life for most of the game and completed less than half his passes. But even when he wasn't hurried, the Tennessee defensive backs played very well.

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 18:  Nate Washington #85 of the Tennessee Titans is tackled by Ladarius Webb #21 of the Baltimore Ravens at LP Field on September 18, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Tennessee won 26-13.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Cortland Finnegan is playing like any great player in a contract year. He nearly intercepted Flacco on the opening drive and broke up three passes. He was also the player that tipped the ball into Jason McCourty's hands.

Both McCourty and Alterraun Verner snagged one interception.

And yet again, Karl Klug delivered. I'm starting to like this guy more and more as the season progresses. He had a sack and two tackles, but he was a constant threat to Flacco every time he was in.

The return of both Derrick Morgan and Jason Jones from injury seems to have made all the difference for the Titans. Morgan registered a sack, a tackle for loss, and two quarterback hits. If he can stay healthy the rest of the season, the Titans can definitely stop worrying about the edge rush.

Jones only had one tackle, but like Klug, he was a constant bother to Flacco.

Despite all that looked good for the Titans, it wasn't all good. Chris Johnson was a curious non-factor. Despite having 24 carries, he only racked up 53 rushing yards.

The only rushing touchdown of the game came from Javon Ringer, who was also back from injury.

If Chris Johnson doesn't step up his game, the Titans may find that they've burned $30 million on a backup running back.

Despite this one sour note, a win is a win and the Ravens are a pretty good squad to have a win over. The outlook for the rest of the season certainly looks better than it did a week ago.