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Titans @ Jaguars Review Part II: The Defense

Photo: AP

I don't even know how to describe how happy the defense made me yesterday.  I was nervous that it was going to be the Titans defense that was worn down in the 3rd quarter.  I was worried that it was going to be the Titans defense that was getting gashed for big runs.  Fortunately I was wrong.

Now I realize that it is only one game.  It is dangerous to get too fired up by the events from an individual game, but this defense looks a lot better than it did in 2006.  The front 4 was getting decent pressure on passing downs and making plays against the run.  The secondary was in position on pass plays and made the tackles when they had the opportunity.

Zack mentioned in this morning's post that Bulluck and Thornton both had a below average number of tackles yesterday.  That is always a good sign.  That means that the front 4 is stopping the back before he gets to the linebackers.  I had doubts about our front 4 but, at least for 1 week, they looked very much improved.

The secondary defended the pass pretty well all day.  The Jaguars were only able to manage one big play all day.  That play was with Cortland Finnegan defending.  Finnegan was in good position but tried to cut under when the ball was thrown.  David Garrard actually made a perfect pass, and Finnegan was beat.  Those kinds of things happen.  Finnegan and Harper were good all day against the run as well.  They are a lot more physical than Reynaldo Hill and the other corner were last season.

By the way, the defense got 2 TERRIBLE penalties called against them yesterday.  The unecessary roughness call against Albert Haynesworth was ridiculous.  There isn't another defensive tackle in the league how gets that called against them.  I had to be calmed down by my wife at my 1 year old niece's birthday party after that call.  I yelled something about how this is the NFL not Pop Warner.  That was a totally legitimate complaint in my mind.

The other call was the roughing the passer call against Antwan Odom.  He touched Garrard's face as he went past him.  That was the ticky-tack call that isn't supposed to be called anymore.  Plus, Garrard ran on the play so he wasn't the passer.  Yes, I realize that doesn't matter, but saying it makes me feel better.  The good news is that neither call affected the outcome of the game.

The performance by the defense wasn't perfect but it was good enough to win yesterday.  That is really all that matters.  There is another huge test this week against a Colts offense that is overall much better than the Jaguars.