I've never been more proud to be a fan of this team after a game. I mean, wow, talk about exceeding expectations. Maybe some of you remember that last week, the Titans were actually ranked pretty high in the DVOA rankings. If they're not the number one team this week, I'll eat my hat. Right before the game, Jimmy posted three keys to victory. Make big plays, win the turnover battle, and pressure Joe Flacco. Check, check, and check. Kenny Britt and Matt Hasselbeck are obviously very in sync right now. There haven't been many QB/WR combos in the first two weeks better than them. I can't overstate how huge that is for this team going forward. Big plays are practically raining from the sky at this point. This is a division with a few very weak secondary units. Time to get to work on some of them.Even teams with bad running backs can have good running games if they have an elite passing offense. For once in his career, Chris Johnson might not have to run with eight men in the box. You thought he was good before, just wait for him to get back to his old self, especially if the offensive line blocks like it did on Sunday.
With Hasselbeck and Britt locked in at this point, it's time to see some other players get involved. It'd be especially nice to get Jared Cook a few more looks. His showed off some of that crazy ability on an amazing catch he made while falling away from Augusts' favorite player, Ed Reed. In any case, the big plays will come whether they're from Kenny or Jared or even Nate.
Winning the turnover battle seemed kind of hopeless to me. Baltimore's defense is built to take the ball from young and physically inferior teams with a blend of pass rushers and a safety with the best ball skills in the game. However, I underestimated the improvement that was to be made with the addition of two starting defensive ends, a new strong safety, and Cortland Finnegan getting his swagger back by running around as a nickel back. Derrick Morgan played a heck of a game. Jason Jones played a heck of a game. Jordan Babineaux played a heck of a game. And Cortland Finnegan may have played his best game in three years. When he wasn't blanketing Anquan Boldin, he was flying around and making plays outside of his assignment, going above and beyond every chance he got. Despite being the only starting corner without a pick on Sunday, Finnegan probably played the best game out of the entire unit. The influx of new players combined with Jerry Gray's game plan that kept Baltimore way off balance allowed Tennessee to steal the ball from the Ravens three times at critical moments.
As I mentioned before, Derrick Morgan played an awesome game. Just seeing him in the quarterback's face this week made the feelings of apprehension disappear. He looks for all the world like that first round pick from last year. I'll admit that the pressure wasn't terrific, for all of their hard work, the Titans only managed three sacks, but it was more than enough to get the job done.
Some other things I liked seeing were the improvements made across the board by the offensive line. The interior line really played well which is huge against a team that features Haloti Ngata. Maybe it's because of the short 3-5 step drops that Hasselbeck was taking all day, but the Ravens just never found their groove in the pass rush. We ripped the team all weak for its' lack of physicality. Maybe they heard us, because Baltimore's mountain in the middle, Terrence Cody has a concussion.
It's too tough to say what lies ahead for this team. If the Titans that beat the Ravens shows up every week, they've got a chance to maybe be in the conversation as a stretch run contender. If the team that lost to the Jaguars shows up every week, they'll be lucky to reach five wins. What say thee MCM? Are they that good? Are they that bad? Maybe somewhere in the middle?