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Jaguars @ Titans Defensive Recap

As I mentioned last night, the Titans defense basically made Albert Haynesworth a couple of extra million with the performance yesterday.  With Haynesworth in the lineup, through 8 games, the Titans allowed 66 yards per game on the groud.  Yesterday they allowed 166.  That is 100 more than the average for those of you scoring at home.  When Haynesworth is in the middle and playing like he has been this year, he requires a double team.  That means every other defensive lineman is facing one on one blocking.  Without him in the middle yesterday they were able to double Kyle Vanden Bosch like they did last year.  That means not only is KVB doubled up, but there isn't really another defensive lineman that can beat single blocking.

Haynesworth being in the middle also keeps the offensive guards from getting to the 2nd level.  That frees up Ryan Fowler to move around and make plays.  Fowler is a solid linebacker, but he is not the type of guy that is going to shed a bunch of blockers to make plays.  Having Fowler plugged in the middle opened up some huge holes that Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew took advantage of all day.  There is also no way the Jags go 3-5 on 4th down conversions with Fat Albert in the middle.

The Titans also didn't tackle very well yesterday for the first time all season.  They looked like they were trying to get shots in on people instead of just wrapping up and making the tackle. I will give them this though, that MJD guy is a shifty little fellow.  He has a very low center of gravity which makes him very hard to bring to the ground.  There just isn't that much of him to hit.  He made Michael Griffin, usually a solid tackler, look silly a couple of times yesterday.  Big holes in the middle of your defense and missed tackles are not exactly a recipe for success in the NFL (or in Pop Warner for that matter).

The secondary played pretty well yesterday.  They only allowed Quinn Gray to pass for 101 yards (granted he is Quinn Gray).  The longest pass play they gave up all day was 13 yards.  Most of the time that is good enough to win.  It was a little scary to see Reynaldo Hill in their chasing receivers.  Hopefully Nick Harper isn't going will be back this week.

Over the course of 16 games there are going to be let down games.  It really sucks that the Titans had to have theirs in a game that was as big as yesterdays.  As long as they come back with a solid performance next week, there isn't a huge cause for concern.