Let's keep in mind this team is not a playoff team. All we can hope for each week is to see improvement. We saw that yesterday.
On the first series of the game we had a 3rd and 1. Raise your hand if you thought they would get that. Anyone, anyone. Those are the plays that make me miss Eddie George. He always got that. Collins looked bad once again. He did make some nice throws but he overthrew 4 or 5 passes that could have been big plays. The one long pass he completed to Bennett was a terrible throw that Bennett made a nice adjustment to catch.
The second quarter was the highlight of the year for Collins as he threw a nice TD pass to Scaife. Thornton was called for a questionable unneccesary roughness penalty when he hit Culpepper as he was running out of bounds. I know they are trying to protect the QB and I did see that Culpepper was out of bounds. The problem is the minute Thornton lets up on that play and assumes Culpepper is going out of bounds, Culpepper will lower his shoulder and run Thornton over. I know it is a penalty that is going to be called but I am not sure what else Thornton could have done. That penalty helped extend a drive that ended in a Mare field goal. The Titans got the ball back in time to run a 2 minute drill but Collins made a stupid throw to Henry in the middle of the field that cost the Titans. He has got to throw that ball away. They did have a reasonable shot at a field goal that was wide right (which seemed to be the theme of my weekend). Halftime score 7-3 Titans. The Miami fans were boing the team as they ran off at halftime. I might boo to if my team was losing to the Titans.
The third quarter was highhlighted by good special teams play. Lowry put a nice hit on Welke to force a fumble that was recovered by Finnegan. That led to a field goal that tied the game at 10.
The big play of the fourth quarter, obviously, was the punt returned for a TD that was called back on a block in the back. Ganther has got to know in that situation to let that guy go. There are very few guys in the NFL that are going to catch Adam Jones from behind. (he will be called Pacman here when he earns it) The game ended on another pass from Collins that got tipped and was behind Bennett and picked off.
The run game looked good yesterday. Henry had a bounce in his step that we have not seen since he was acquired before last season. It will be interesting to see who gets the start against the Cowboys if Chris Brown is ready to go.
The defense looked good yesterday especially against the run. Ronnie Brown did end up with 90 yards but that was on 26 carries, one of which being a 27 yard run. Take that out and he would have averaged well under 3 yards per carry.
Special teams, with the exception of the Ganther penalty, looked very solid yesterday. Lowry had a couple of big hits one which forced a fumble that set up a field goal. Adam Jones has the ability to take it to the house everytime. He is one of a very limited number of playmakers on this team.
I was disappointed that Vince Young didn't get any time. I guess they didn't want to take Collins out of his "rhythm." VY should start the rest of the year because he gives this team a better chance to win. Collins is an absolute statue back there. The only time he completes a pass is if he gets the perfect pocket. VY would give them the ability to open up the offense with some bootlegs and QB draws.
I don't understand why the Titans cannot stop a reverse. The Dolphins ran 2 reverses yesterday for big gains. Both times LaBoy abandoned his assignment and chased the ball. That allowed the receiver to get outside. A reverse is hard to stop if it is not pushed back to the middle of the field.
This has been a pretty negative post but overall yesterday was an improvement. Again, that is all we can hope for this year. If this team improves each week they could be a playoff contender in 2007.
A few things to look for this week here at MCM. I will be doing a 5 questions with Dave Halprin of Blogging the Boys about this week's Cowboys game. Also, we will take a more in-depth look at Vince Young.