Context: The Titans were not in a great spot going into this game. On the Monday night game the week before against Jacksonville, Vince Young injured his knee, thrusting Kerry Collins back into the starting lineup for the Eagles game the following week. If that wasn't enough, the Titans' best receiver at the time, Kenny Britt, got into a bar fight two days before the game. He had already gotten in trouble a number of times before this, thanks to a bunch of boneheaded decisions. This caused Jeff Fisher to discipline Britt in some form. So, he decided to bench Britt for the first quarter of the game. This meant that the Titans' quarterback and top receiver would be absent, at least for the beginning of the game. Since Chris Johnson was coming off of his 2000 yard season, defenses were already doing everything to stop him, and with the offense missing two of their key players, this allowed the Eagles to zone in on him, and only him. It would be tough to get anything going on offense. If there was anything that could save the Titans that day, it was that Michael Vick was also out, and the defense would be facing off against Kevin Kolb.
The Main Event: As expected, things were very slow on offense in the first quarter. However, since Kevin Kolb was the quarterback on the other side, the same was true for Philadelphia. The game was really slow overall until about halfway through the second quarter. Kenny Britt had finally entered the game, and on his first play of the game, he caught a touchdown pass for about 30 yards--it was a sign of things to come. That being said, things did not truly turn around on the Titans' side until towards the end of the third quarter. The Eagles were winning 16-7 and were knocking on the door for another touchdown, which would give them a big lead. However, the star of last week's Throwback Thursday, Jason Jones, made a huge play. He got an amazingly quick jump off the ball, burst through the offensive line, forcing LeSean McCoy to fumble in the red zone. The Titans recovered the fumble, and never looked back. Kenny Britt caught a deep pass from Kerry Collins a few plays later, putting the Titans in scoring range. They settled for 3, making the score 16-10. At the beginning of the 4th quarter, Kenny Britt continued his historic day, with another deep ball for a touchdown--this one was for 80 yards. On the Titans' next possession, Britt caught yet another deep ball, thanks to some pristine route running, and his ability to aggressive go up and get the ball. Only a few plays later, he put the Titans in scoring range again thanks to another 20+ yard reception. Just a few plays later, he caught his 3rd and final touchdown, putting the Titans up, 27-19. He finished the game with an absolutely astonishing 225 yards and 3 touchdowns, in just 3 quarters. Considering the fact that he did not enter the game until there were 6 and a half minutes left in the second quarter, it was more like 2.5 quarters. It was an incredible performance. The defense put the exclamation point on this game, with a Cortland Finnegan pick-6 on the final play of the game.
Significance: This game did not have much, if any long-term effect. It did show how dominant Kenny Britt could be as a receiver if he stayed healthy and kept his head on straight. Unfortunately, he hurt his hamstring the next game against San Diego. It perfectly encapsulated his Titans career--get in trouble off the field, have an amazing game, and get hurt the next week. After this game, things looked really good for the Titans going forward. They appeared to have another big-time, game changing, offensive threat. This would force defenses to cover all bases, rather than keying in on Chris Johnson. Unfortunately, this was one of many situations at the time that was revolved around "potential." Nothing ever really came to fruition. We already covered the Vince Young situation, Chris Johnson fell apart the next season, and Kenny Britt had an incredible start to the 2011 season before a season ending, and career-changing knee injury. The entire core of the Titans' offense was broken up, and it has taken several years to try to replicate the success of the Young-Johnson-Britt trio, albeit very short. While the new core with Mariota, Henry and Murray, and Green-Beckham has potential, this Eagles game from 2010 is a reminder that potential is only potential, until we see consistent production. We can only hope that the Titans have finally built a productive core on offense.
Pulls From the Archives:
I think 225 yards was the best
#1 WR in place, top RB, solid O-Line, QB who wins games, great defense.
The Titans finally have a REAL #1.