We have spent a lot of time talking about how much better the Titans secondary is now than it was at the Boston Massacre. But my question is how much better are they? They looked good against Jacksonville, San Francisco, and Buffalo, but none of those teams have a passing attack that really strikes fear into anyone. Thus the real test comes Monday Night in Houston. The Texans have the 3rd ranked passing attack in the league, and feature one of the best receivers in the game in Andre Johnson. AJ can accurately be called a Titan Killer. In his last 2 games against the Titans he has 207 and 149 yards receiving respectively with 3 touchdowns.
The good news for this particular match-up is there is no way AJ will ever be lined up across from Nick Harper. Most of the big plays to Johnson have come with Harper "covering" him. I would love to see the Titans chance the philosophy a little bit and line Cortland Finnegan up across from Andre on every play, but even if they still refuse to do that at least he would be Rod Hood's assignment instead of Harper's.
This game is also arguably the biggest of Michael Griffin's career. August wrote a couple weeks ago about Griffin addressing his poor play (via Kuharsky). Griffin has played better, but stil got caught peeking in the backfield last weke against the Bills. Pretty much all of us here thought that after the season he put up last year Griffin was on track to become one of the best safeties in the league. He has regressed this year, and Monday night would be the perfect opportunity for him to re-assert himself in the upper echelon of safeties.
It seems that his biggest problem this year has been guessing run far to often and letting receivers get behind him. Gramsey offered me the perfect solution for this yesterday:
I wish MikeGriff would never ever, ever, ever, ever, evaevaevaeva, read run, eva
Sounds like a plan to me. Kuharsky made the point on the radio this morning that there is really no reason for him to worry about the run in the scheme the Titans play because most of the time he is 12-15 yards away from the ball when it is snapped and there are at least six other guys that have run responsibility before it gets to him.
I still have faith that Griffin is going to be a star in this league. No better time than Monday night on a national stage to prove that. His play will go a long way in determining if this secondary is ready to be the strength of the defensive unit as it was a year ago.