This game was really rough to watch. As a realist, I found it difficult to find the silver lining for this game; however, I found some. My thoughts after the jump.
I'm going to start with the negatives because that is what 90% of the people in the gamethreads were looking for:
- The offensive line played really poorly today. Pass blocking was atrocious, as was the run blocking.
- David Stewart is getting older, which was shown by his blocking today. I hate to admit this, but it's become evident by the past few days.
- The receivers were not open for the most part. When Locker did have time to throw, his only option ended up being CJ on many occasions.
- CJ can't make plays with a bad offensive line still.
- Jake Locker isn't perfect. He can't win the game by himself, which was evident by his 50% completion percentage and single interception. He did have some poor decision making with some poor passes. It's only his second start, however.
- Jared Cook is still inconsistent.
- Taylor Thompson isn't necessarily ready to be an NFL; however, moving him to the practice squad would be a major mistake because someone would surely take him.
- The Titans still cannot cover tight ends.
- Michael Griffin's tackling is still bad. He had a few whiff's again, a bad coverage for a TD, and some missed tackles.
- Special teams was bad on both sides- undisciplined. Reynaud was not impressive either, whom was benched.
- We lost the time-of-possession battle again with 15:08, per McCormick.
- Palmer called too many run plays, but I'm not putting much blame on him or the other coaches because of poor execution. The only coach I feel may deserve major blame is Bruce Matthews.
- Jake Locker is composed. He didn't throw his pads into the stands, nor did he bash his coach.
- Jake still threw for a touchdown and over 100 yards. I bet you a pretty penny that Hasselbeck wouldn't have done better.
- The coaches are loyal to Locker. He was not benched to fix the game.
- The coaches made mid-game adjustments. As the game progressed after the first five plays, Palmer took on a more spread-offense (Credit to SuperHorn for this stat).
- Derrick Morgan and the pass rush was very good. They continued to get to Rivers, forcing fumbles and very bad passes.
- ATV proved to be a playmaker with his interception.
- Michael Griffin did lead the team in solo tackles with 16, per the man himself with the final stats sheet via Twitter. Can't argue with the stats, especially since 2nd place was Ayers with 8.
- Lavelle Hawkins may not be a consistent passing weapon; however, he had two very good returns. I expect to see him get more returns in the future.
- Brett Kern pinned the Chargers back deep many times, although the coverage team didn't respond well.
- Kenny Britt didn't not re-injure his knee.
- Jake still played better than 36.8%, 53-yard performance of Blaine Gabbert.
We have to remember that this is a young team. We had three second-year starters today with three other rookies out there, as well. Should we have played better? Yes. Can we play better? Of course. It may take some time. Let's also keep in mind that many of our issues today were not by the young guys, they were mistakes by some of the older guys. The Titans are still rebuilding. Although this may be a rough year to watch, just remember that if the Titans could finish 8-8 in 2009 by playing Fisherball, then they can definitely make a comeback in 2012 with the help of Jake Locker.