NUTS AND BOLTS
Date: September 24th, 2007
Time: 7:30 p.m. Central
Location: The Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Records: Titans (1-1) Saints (0-2)
TV: ESPN & WKRN 2
Radio: 103.3 WKDF
Saints Coverage: Canal Street Chronicles and NOLA.com
Key the reunited and it feels so good music. This is obviously a reunion of some of the key players, Vince Young, LenDale White and Reggie Bush, from the 2006 Rose Bowl. Some of you might remember that game. That was also the last time that Vince Young played a football game in prime time. Prime time seems to suit him pretty well.
It is also a homecoming of sorts for Kevin Mawae who played his college ball at LSU and Roydell Williams who played at Tulane.
Sunil has an interesting comparison at CSC between last year's Falcons' offense and this year's Titans' offense. All I will say is let's wait and see how the entire season plays out. 2 games is too small of a sample size to make any judgements.
The Saints defense has not been very good thus far this year. The Titans should be able to have some success on the ground. The Titans main game plan will be much the same as it was against the Colts, keep away. The Titans will want to control the time of possession to keep the Saints offense off the field. The Saints' offense hasn't showed the fire power they did last year yet, but I believe they still have it. The fewer chances the Saints offense gets to find their rhythm, the less likely it is that the rhythm will be found tonight.
Vince Young loves the spotlight as I mentioned above. If he can hit a couple of big throws early it will quiet the crowd that is sure to hyped for the home opener. It will also keep the Saints from stacking guys in the box. I look for Vince to have a big night in the air.
As always, protecting the ball will be very important tonight. There is no better way to get a crowd fired up than to turn the ball over. You also don't want to give a struggling offense a short field to help them gain confidence.
Even though Reggie Bush has been struggling this year, he still scares me. You know that he has the ability to hit the home run at any time. The key is to tackle him when you get the chance. His big plays come when guys go for the big hit on him instead of just wrapping him up.
Drew Brees has struggled big time in his first 2 games. He has 3 INTs to only 1 TD pass. The Titans need to get in his face early and often. This begins with the guys up front. The Titans' front 4 has played really well so far this year. They are going to need to have another good game tonight. Pressuring Brees will keep him from picking the secondary apart. We saw what pressure could do to Manning last week.
The Titans' front 4 will also be key in stopping the run. The Saints have 2 very talented running backs in Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush. Stopping those 2 guys will largely depend on the front 4 getting into the Saints' backfield. If the Titans can stop the run with the front 7 it will free up the guys in the secondary to not worry about play action. That is the recipe for success.
Today is going to be a very long day waiting for this game to get here. The Titans have the chance to earn some national respect tonight. I think they will.