Quick React: Jaguars 16 Titans 14

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 11: Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars is tackled by Shaun Smith #93 and William Hayes #95 of the Tennessee Titans during the season opener game at EverBank Field on September 11, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

I hope to have some more in depth analysis up later this week.  For now, here are my kneejerk reactions after just completing the game on NFL Rewind.

  • The lack of urgency on the second to last drive was disturbing.  The image that will stick in my head from this game is Hasselbeck's fluttering pass on the final play, but he isn't put in that situation if we show some semblance of clock management on those final plays in the red zone.  From the time that we entered the red zone, to the final pass play to Britt that resulted in a touchdown, the offense had run through a full two minutes.   There's no excuse here.
  • The offense was anemic and that starts with the offensive line.  For a team now run by the former O-line coach, you'd expect a better product.  When he elected to stick with the existing personnel, I took him at his word that we'd be fine, accepting that he was an expert on the subject.  Well, now after only one game this season, I'm in full blown panic mode.  Our head coach's "strength" is arguably the weakest link.  
  • It's no secret that I think Jake Locker will be well served sitting and learning under Hasselbeck.  But, Matt might want to take a few pointers from Jake as well.  Specifically, he's got to stop throwing off his back foot.  At least five throws, including the final one, were thrown off the back foot when there was an opportunity to either step into the throw, or side step the rush and re-evaluate.  
  • The last throw excepted, the Titans won the turnover battle yesterday.  For all the issues at the point of attack, protecting the ball kept the team in the game up until the end.  Few statistics are as highly correlated with winning as turnover ratio.  The majority of the time the team that wins in turnovers will win the game as well.
  • Chris Johnson's hold out showed yesterday.  Yes, the offensive line was horrid.  Yes, the playcalling was vanilla.  Still, CJ looked lost on plays pre-snap, on one occasion having to be repositioned by Hasselbeck.  It's easy to throw this all on the offensive line, but at least consider that the coaching staff was likely limited in the variety of plays that they could call for Johnson.  Oh, and in case you're wondering, we currently rank last in the league in rushing yardage heading into the Monday Night games.
  • As Jimmy pointed out earlier today, Kenny Britt is a silver lining in this game.  He showed his potential as a top 10 receiver in this league.  With so much of this offense out of sync, it's a pleasant surprise to see Kenny coming on strong in week 1, something that was missing in his first two seasons.
  • The defense got gashed up the middle for a good portion of this game.  It's hard to be too critical, though, considering that we're missing two key players up front, and we still only ended giving up 16 points.  Our defense wasn't a highlight this game, but they weren't the problem either.  Second half adjustments looked solid, and the defense remained strong despite a total lack of consistency from the offense.  I also like some of the disguised blitzes that Gray brought.  This whole team is a work in progress, but at least the defense showed some creative flashes schematically; something that cannot be said about the offense.
Final reaction:  Nauseating
This team needs an adjustment, and quickly.  If they continue to play like they did on Sunday, the Titans will be one of the worst teams in the NFL.  Seriously, if we can't beat a McCown led Jags team, how can anyone predict a win against any team on this schedule with a straight face?  And, that loss came with a positive (equal with last INT) turnover ratio.  Mix in a few turnovers, and games could get ugly for this team fast.
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