I'm going to try this out as an echo to the "Why" series last year that was popular after all of the Titans' losses. Heck, it was pretty easy to write the post after some of the wins as well as the past regime left a lot of fan scratching their collective heads on Sundays.
Due to the lack of questionable calls or decisions during Sunday's win over the Kansas City Chiefs, instead we'll try to just take a look at some eyebrow raising moments both good and bad.
The Titans won't miss Chris Johnson. - I was a fan of Chris Johnson when he was a Titan. In all honesty I wish him luck in his future endeavors. But even to a fan it became painfully clear over the last couple of years that the negative plays weren't worth the payoff of the big runs that happened less and less frequently. Sunday the Titans ran with an extreme committee approach, toting the rock 32 times for 148 yards (not counting Locker) with contributions from all 4 running backs on the roster. The best part is that none of the runs went for negative yards even if something wasn't there.
Succop eases my anxiety. - After watching the Titans let two rookies duel it out on who could miss the least during the preseason, I was beginning to worry. After watching the Chiefs cheaper rookie kicker bank his first two shots off the uprights, the second one for a miss, I felt immense relief that that wasn't the Titans. Thank you Chiefs for cutting Succop, and thank you Webster for making that happen.
Karl Klug re-emerges. - The score was 17-3 in the third quarter when the Chiefs lined up facing a 3rd and 10. The only down lineman near the middle of the formation was Karl Klug, who bull-rushed his counterpart and sacked Alex Smith for a 7 yard loss forcing a punt. The fan favorite lives on.
Locker looked great. - Jake Locker looked like he owned this offense and there were no training wheels on. Locker was efficient and accurate while completing passes to everyone except himself and more importantly the other team. He finished the day with 266 yards, a 66.7 completion percentage and no interceptions. This team can go a long way with him at the helm.
Whisenhunt looked great. - I can't say enough about the game planning and management of situations during the game. No one panicked. Everyone was in control. The new coach's decision to force the long field goal by declining a penalty and giving the Titans good field position was the right one and changed the momentum of the game for good. It was nice to have the Titans dictate what was happening as opposed to reacting to what the other team did for once.
The Defense can tackle. - And that's a good thing. They played smart and rallied to the ball, but I tread with caution here. The Chiefs were severely limited both on the offensive line and without having Dwayne Bowe. Kudos for bottling up Jamaal Charles who I thought could have a career day, but let's see how things go when they play a more balanced team.
McCourty is Awesome. - But I already knew that. Seriously though, he's awesome.
Andy Levitre is making me nervous. - Levitre looked overwhelmed at times. After getting abused my Bailey in the first quarter and giving up a sack on Locker, Levitre proceeded to dive at the feet of Eric Berry while attempting to block on the ensuing screen pass. Maybe it was just a bad series, but right now he's the weak link when it comes to pass protection.
The offensive line makes me nervous. - Okay, so it's not just Levitre. Locker took 4 sacks for 23 yards and was hit way too often other than that. The Chiefs have a great defensive line, but if this trend continues next week I will call it a legitimate concern.
Taylor Thompson gets some. - Taylor Thompson did enough in the preseason to get some looks in the opener with the first team. The long term defensive end conversion project picked up 2 catches for 24 yards and looked good doing so. One of his catches was an amazing catch off a horribly thrown ball that he finger tipped about an inch off the ground while falling backward. I expect his playing time to increase from here.
That's it for this week. What tidbits did you pick up on?