Stock Down: The Coaches
What a terrible day for all the Titans coaches. Jerry Gray/Gregg Williams allowed the Rams to pitch and catch on almost every third down. I understand not blitzing to provide extra coverage, but when it is 3rd & 7 and you have guys giving up 10 yard cushions, that's a mistake that a middle school basketball coach wouldn't make.
Dowell Loggains has some explaining to do too. Often the Titans running game had the Rams on the ropes only for Loggains to call a pass play that through the Titans off rhythm. I get trying to diversify the play calling, but when you have someone consistently beating the defense (whether that is Locker or a running back) you have to keep going to them.
Finally Nate Kaczor, you are killing me. (For those of you that don't know Kaczor is the Titans special teams coordinator) How could you possibly decide it was a good idea to kick it to Tavon Austin at the end of the game? Sure you did a good job covering him earlier, but the Rams offense couldn't get anything going through the air and they didn't have the time to run the ball. With that in mind, how could you decide to kick it to someone with explosive speed in a turf stadium?
Stock Up: Chris Johnson
So, maybe the Titans should subtly threaten CJ every week. The Titans came into this game expecting to split carries between Shonn Greene and Chris Johnson, but little did they know that CJ's time machine is powered by the prospect of losing carries to another running back. When the coaches fueled him up this week he went back in time and grabbed CJ circa 2009. If CJ can actually start to get into the rhythm heading into this stretch of AFC South games (three of next four games) then this could be when we see the Titans be who we thought they were.
Stock Down: Akeem Ayers
I hate this. Ayers has been a bright spot for the Titans over the last two years, but now he just doesn't look like he is trying. Whether his ankle is bothering him or not, when I see him drop in to coverage he looks so utterly disinterested 90% of the time that I half expect the opposing team to throw it at him every time. If it was only that, maybe I would understand but even as a pass rusher he looks like he isn't going full speed. I hope his ankle injury is still healing and that he will get back to the Akeem Ayers that looked like a second round steal, if not I don't know if he will be the guaranteed starter going into next year.
Little by little we are seeing the Titans using Wright on more intermediate/deep routes. Today it was a 12-yard post that turned into a 45 yard gain, and hopefully that is just the beginning. When Wright gets the ball in his hands he can make plays, if the Titans give him a full route tree he could put up some gaudy numbers this year.
Speaking of improvement, Justin Hunter didn't dazzle but he got better today. Locker found Hunter twice for first downs, and both times he looked like what the Titans thought they would be getting from Kenny Britt this year. If Hunter can take over that role long-term, the dynamic mix of Hunter and Wright could be great for this offense.