NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Tennessee Titans calls an audible against the Baltimore Ravens at LP Field on September 18, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Tennessee won 26-13. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Again, without access to DirectTV, or regional coverage of the Titans, Monday is the first time I get to see the Titans game in it's entirety via NFL Game Rewind. Below are my initial thoughts while watching the game live...
- I love Finnegan in the slot. It fits his playing style. He's not the biggest corner you'll find, but he loves contact and isn't afraid to jam at the line of scrimmage. Finny's coverage of Boldin on the first third down is textbook.
- Ravens bring run blitz from the safety position on the Titans first offensive play. I don't know who has the responsibility, Stevens or Quinn Johnson, but the edge never gets sealed. Safety comes in untouched.
- The second run failure is on CJ. They run an outside zone play to the left side and CJ just isn't showing the vision he's known for. There are a couple of great cutback lanes that could have potentially resulted in a big gain.
- ATV's interception in the first quarter was exceptional. You couldn't draw it up any better.
- 6:00 left in the 1st and CJ still looks awful. Vision just isn't there.
- Kenny has his corner completely defeated on his deep catch in the first quarter. Baltimore plays single high safety on this play. If this ball is placed better, it goes for 6. It's still a very good play, but you can see Matt is flustered by the inaccuracy in his apology to Kenny right after the play.
- Ugh, Barrett Ruud. On the TD pass to Ray Rice, Ruud is in a position to make a play for a minimal gain. Instead, he hesitates in the hole and jukes himself out of the play. He's got to be more decisive when attacking the ball carrier.
- Jared Cook dominated Ed Reed on the deep route in the second quarter. Great catch.
- I love the quick screen to Kenny Britt in the slot. Such a breath of fresh air to see our playmakers getting moved around.
- It's great watching this chemistry develop between Hasselbeck and Britt. No surprise that Britt is now 2nd in the league in targets with 23.
- Kick coverage at the end of the first half is inexcusable.
- When he's got time, Hasselbeck shows amazing accuracy. The throw made to Nate down the middle of the field was made with pinpoint precision. Very impressed.
- I love the empty package. They break the huddle with "11" personnel, and then split Ringer and Cook out wide and keep Washington, Hawk, and Britt on the inside. Especially in the redzone, this could create some interesting mismatches in the future.
- Tie game. 4th and 1 from the 10 and the Titans go for it? I love it. We never would have seen this out of Fisher. I don't especially like the playcall (pitch to Ringer), though the result is obviously fantastic.
- I know this is probably going to get old, but I just don't get the Ruud acquisition. Ray Rice abuses him running a route on 1st and 10 on the Ravens first possession of the 3rd quarter. What part of his game is an upgrade?
- Derrick Morgan just looks nasty coming of the LOS. I'd be terrified to block him. If he can stay healthy, he'll be a huge addition to this defense. We got a taste of that yesterday.
- Ahmard Hall's absence is likely one of the big problems we're seeing in the run game. Quinn Johnson doesn't seem nearly as effective at run blocking.
- Earlier in the game, I had assumed that CJ's lack of snaps on passing downs was a result of his lack of understanding in pass protections. When he's been left in to block, though, he's looked good. Haven't seen any blown assignments yet and he's been in a number of times to block now. Quinn Johnson, eh, not so much. He almost gets Hasselbeck killed on the deep incompletion to Kenny Britt where Quinn fails to pick up Ray Lewis on the blitz.
- Great play by Finnegan tipping the ball that resulted in the 4th quarter INT. Finny had an all around excellent game yesterday.
- On the deep ball to Lee Evans with 10:30 in the 4th, the announcer places the blame on McCourty for "peeking inside". It looked more to me like the Titans were in cover 2 zone and McCourty released the receiver to Griffin who couldn't get over in time.
- Ruud gets beat again in pass coverage, this time against a TE deep over the middle. At least worth noting is that a few plays later he delivers a good shot to Boldin at the goal line that disrupts a pass play.
- I'm really surprised that Baltimore didn't go for it on 4th and goal when they were down by 13 with 7:00 to go.
- The way this Titans team milked 6:30 off the clock on the final drive and marched down the field is a thing of beauty. And, most of the drive was accomplished through the passing game. That's a stark contrast to Fisher, who likely would have run three consecutive times with CJ despite the fact that the run game had been broken the majority of the game.
It's hard not to get excited after watching this game if you're a Titans fan. While the issues in the run game are concerning, there's a silver lining (in addition to a win); even when CJ is completely shut down, this team has what it takes to stick it to the best defenses in the NFL through the air.