Few people outside of Tennessee expected the Titans to win this game 30 – 3. Absolutely nobody expected the game to come down to a showdown between Kerry Collins and Trent Edwards, but that’s what they ended up getting.
Vince Young was taken out of the game in the 1st quarter when his knee was bent awkwardly in a scramble for a loose football. Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard was removed in the 2nd quarter after experiencing concussion symptoms. Both signal callers do not expect the injuries to be long term. Young’s injury is currently being described as a sprained knee.
While losing their starting quarterback was a blow for the Titans, the team once again proved that they have 53 players who can be counted on. Collins completed 11 of 16 passes in relief, and continued the recent Titan trend of not turning the football over. Collins’ most impressive moments came when he stood in the face of the Jaguars’ blitzes and completed short passes that kept the chain and the clock moving in Tennessee’s favor.
Coach Fisher reiterated this sentiment after the game:
“Kerry did a nice job and that is why he is here. We are very, very fortunate to have two very-talented quarterbacks. One goes down then the other steps up and goes (in the game).”
Then again, for this game, the Titan’s didn’t really need any big plays from their offense. The Titan’s defence surrendered just 249 yards of total offense, and forced 4 turnovers. Seeing that all of this was done on national television, perhaps this “no-name defence” will now be recognized for their efforts.
The Titan defence leads the league in sacks with 24, and at the moment, the unit does not appear to have a specific weakness. This is because of the emergence of several key players who are contributing more than most thought they would. Defensive ends Jason Babin and Dave Ball come to mind, but no player has exemplified this more than rookie cornerback Alterraun Verner. Verner, who is quickly becoming a fan favourite in Nashville, had another key interception that he almost returned for a touchdown. The coaching staff clearly has confidence in Verner, as they have abandoned their initial plan of having Cortland Finnegan continually line up from the opposition’s best receiver. Finnegan appears to have returned to his former role of lining up exclusively on the left side of the defence. If Verner and the rest of this defence continue to make big plays, then the Titans have a realistic chance of winning the AFC South.
Next week the Titans defence will be put to the test when they return to Nashville to face the talented Philadelphia Eagles. There has been no definitive word if Young will miss the game. If Young is out for an extended period of time, then at least the Titans will have the luxury of relying not only on Collins, but on their entire team.