I am really excited about this game. It is an interesting feeling because most of the time I get really nervous before big games. This time is different. I think it is because everyone is picking against them. That is fun to me because I think that is the thing that motivates Vince Young more than anything else. The last time Vince was on the national stage with everyone picking against him he turned in one of the best individual performances in football history. I just have this feeling that he is going to do somethig similar tomorrow.
The whole key for the offense tomorrow is taking care of the ball. The Chargers are +24 in turnover ratio for the season. That number is just silly. It is the reason, as I mentioned earlier in the week, that they are only gaining around 4 yards per game more than the Titans but score almost a touchdown more per game. The worst thing that could happen to the Titans would be to fall in a big hole early. We want Vince making plays in the flow of the game, not feeling like he has to take unnecessary chances because the Titans are so far behind. The Titans have an excellent defense, and as long as the Titans can win the field position battle they will be able to keep the Chargers from putting up a bunch of points.
It is going to rain a lot in San Diego between now and game time tomorrow. I know both teams are playing on the same field and both teams like to run the ball, but the Titans have a running back, LenDale White, who is a mudder. He can play his game better on a wet track that LaDainian Tomlinson can. The Round Mound is a lot less likely to lose his footing making a cut, probably because he doesn't make as many cuts.
Someone is going to step up in the passing game tomorrow, but I don't have any idea who it will be. I expect a solid day from Justin Gage, but beyond that it is a crapshoot. I would like to see it be Ben Troupe. We all know he has the potential but just hasn't put it all together. There is no better time for that to happen than tomorrow.
Defensively the plan is really simple, contain LT and get after Philip Rivers. In the first matchup the Titans hit Rivers a lot early in the game which forced him to turn the ball over. They are going to need to do the same thing tomorrow. I have a feeling that Albert Haynesworth is going to have his best game since the injury.
LT is going to gain some yards. He is just to good of a back not too. The Titans will just need to defend him like they did in the first 3 quarters last game. Hit him in the backfield and bring him down when you hit him. Wrapping up is essential when facing LT. You cannot try to deliver the knock out blow to him because he is to shifty. It is also essential that everyone on the defense play their assignments. The knock on Stephen Tulloch is that he sometimes tries to make the play instead of playing his responsibilities, which can leave big holes in the middle of the field. If he does that tomorrow, LT will hit some big gains.
Contrary to what the "experts" will have you believe, this is a game that the Titans can win. It is going to take everyone playing well, but it can be done. I think their will be a lot of people eating their words in about 30 hours.