Last week I wrote a post titled "Everything That is Wrong with the 2009 Tennessee Titans in One Drive," and darned if we didn't see almost the exact same situation in last night's loss to the Colts. Here is the scenario:
The score was 7-6 Colts. The Titans defense had just forced the Colts offense to go three and out. A Mark Jones 15-yard return gave the Titans the ball at their own 32 yard line. The first play was a run with Chris Johnson that got stopped for -3 yards, but wait, their was a defensive holding penalty on the Colts that gave the Titans a 1st and 10 at the 37. LenDale White carried the ball on the next two plays for gains of 6 and 3 respectively. So that sets up a 3rd and 1 against an undersized defense. Instead of the obvious call, LenDale up the middle, the Titans decide to throw the ball 20 yards down the field to the sure-handed Justin Gage. Of course, the pass falls incomplete. Instead of lining up and running the ball on 4th and 1, the Titans decided to punt the ball back to Peyton Manning. He, of course, leads the Colts right down the field for a touchdown. Good thing we played the percentages there.
Why is LenDale even on the team if they aren't going to use him in that situation. I was so excited about the prospects of having Mike Heimerdinger back as the offensive coordinator. He was able to do so much with Steve McNair and Eddie George in his first tour here, but lately it seems that he has lost his mind. The whole taking the shots down the field worked with McNair throwing to Derrick Mason and even Drew Bennett. It is high time he got his mind around the fact that Kerry Collins, Gage, and Nate Washington are not of that caliber.
Last night was the perfect time to give LenDale the ball 20+ times. I understand the argument against this is that takes the Titans most dangerous weapon, Chris Johnson, off the field, but if we are being honest, CJ had a bad game last night. He was running everything side to side instead of north and south. Again, if there were ever a defense to run north and south against instead of east and west, it is the Colts defense that is undersized and built on speed. Nevermind the fact that Lendale, given 20+ carries, could wear down a defense and keep Peyton on the sideline. Win, win, win.
Heimerdinger needs to get his head out of his butt and start calling the plays to this team's strengths. If not, it is time for him to move on once again.