NASHVILLE - SEPTEMBER 12: Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans runs into the end zone for a 76-yard touchdown in the first half of the NFL season opener against the Oakland Raiders at LP Field on September 12 2010 in Nashville Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
We are getting closer to the end of the lockout. I don't have any idea when it will be, but we get closer each minute that passes assuming a deal is going to get done at some point in the future, but that doesn't really help us any right now with things to discuss. So to fill the time between now and free agency, I am going to be re-watching all of the games from the 2010 season and posting some thoughts.
This morning I watched the first half of the season opener against the Oakland Raiders. It made me remember just how exciting the opening weekend of the NFL season is.
The Titans were very impressive in this game against a Raider team that actually ended up being pretty good. You wouldn't have guessed Oakland would win more than 3-4 games just based off this one.
I had forgotten that our boy Alterraun Verner forced a fumble on the opening kickoff. The Raiders recovered the ball, but it was just a glimpse of the playmaking ability that we would see from ATV in his rookie campaign.
Jason Jones busted through the line to break up a screen pass on the first play from scrimmage. Jones has a ridiculously high ceiling, and we haven't seen the best he has to offer yet. I think this staff will move him to DE, and that will allow him to stay healthy because he won't be getting banged around each much.
How awesome was it when the Titans ran the option on their first offensive play? I really thought we were in for a season with a lot of new wrinkles from Mike Heimerdinger for Vince Young. I was foolish.
The first drive also ended with VY being careless with the football and losing a fumble.
Will Witherspoon picked up a sack on a blitz on the ensuing drive. I don't remember Witherspoon blitzing very much throughout the season. That is something I will be keeping an eye on as I watch the rest of these games.
On that same drive there was the crap call against Derrick Morgan for hitting Jason Campbell low. It is a stupid rule that needs to be changed.
That drive would have ended on a missed field goal by Sebastian Janikowski but the Titans jumped and gave him another chance that he made.
Speaking of plays that made it look like the Titans would be opening up the offense for the 2010 season, the play-action bootleg pass to Nate Washington for a 56-yard touchdown was a thing of beauty.
Chuck Cecil was dialing up a lot of blitzes in this game. He sent Michael Griffin on a blitz that freed up Jacob Ford to get to Campbell untouched and force a fumble. (This was the play that was initially ruled a TD after Griff picked up the fumble but was called back after the challenge because he rolled into an offensive lineman's leg while he was on the ground).
There was a play late in the first quarter where Vince and Washington weren't on the same page. Bo Scaife was open in the end zone on the same play.
There was a play in the second quarter where the Titans ran a read option with Javon Ringer in at running back. VY kept the ball and was tackled for no gain. It seemed like an odd time to run that play because CJ wasn't in the game.
The Titans ran another beautiful option play on 3rd and 1 that was good for 5 and the first down. Ringer came in and took an inside hand off for a 15-yard score. I think Ringer was on the field for more plays in this game than any other, again, giving us the false sense that some things were going to be different in 2010.
Then there was the 76-yard touchdown for CJ on a draw play. It is quite a luxury for the draw not to be a throw away play in the two minute offense.
If the Titans could have only played the entire season like they did this half.