Monday Morning QB: Bills @ Titans Grades
By Jeff Fuqua
Nov 16, 2009 - 9:01:36 AM
The Tennessee Titans put their third game in the win column in as many weeks with a 41-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Like their previous two wins, the Titans got a huge game from Chris Johnson, a solid effort by Vince Young, won the turnover battle and the defense took advantage of their opportunities. "...when you can run the football and not turn it over and get your
turnovers and make plays when the opportunities present themselves, you
have a good chance to win a football game," said Coach Fisher.
As obvious as that statement is, it's something Tennessee could rarely do in their first six games. Oh, and having a player who can run and catch for over 200 yards doesn't hurt.
Let's look at the Titans 41-17 win over the Bills and grade the team by position.
At the risk of sounding like a parrot to previous weeks, this was another solid performance as Vince Young was decisive and
confident while passing for 210 yards and a 90.4 passer rating. He used
his legs to keep the sticks moving and even threw a block when needed. His first interception didn't phase him as he appears more and more confident each game.
Young continues to get it done. Is he the reason the Titans are 3-0 the last three games? I don't think so. I think the Titans would be 6-3 right now if they'd gotten anything close to the run production, defensive and special teams play we've seen the last three weeks. But there's no doubt he's added a dimension to the Titans offense and has made Chris Johnson even a bigger weapon.
Chris Johnson had 132 rushing yards and another 100 receiving. That's the first time an Oiler/Titan has gone 100+ in both categories since Billy Cannon in 1961. I'm trying to not put CJ's name in the category of Barry Sanders and other NFL elite yet but there's no doubt he's the most exciting player in the NFL right now.
Not a lot of production here with Bo Scaife only pulling in two receptions and Jared Cook one. However, one was a big third-down conversion and they helped open the way for CJ.
With Justin Gage out, Kenny Britt got the start and fought for a 38-yard reception. Nate Washington had another touchdown reception.
Penalties hurt but the OL kept Young clean and it's hard to be too critical anytime the Titans run for over 100 yards. Some expected an even better showing for the Titans run game against the league's worst rushing defense but the Bills did have a bye week to scheme ways to slow CJ.
William Hayes had another nice game and is looking like the real deal. Rookie Sen'Derrick Marks had his best career effort so far. The Bills were only able to generate 89 rushing yards and the DL did a nice job getting pressure on Trent Edwards most of the game. Jovan Haye had a big stop on Edwards on a third-and-one.
Stephen Tulloch had a sack to go with his QB hurry and looks to be more and more potent as a rusher. Keith Bulluck was all over the field with 12 tackles.
Far from perfect but Rod Hood and Vincent Fuller both had picks for a touchdown. Terrell Owens was limited to 85 yards with one a 46-yard reception over Cortland Finnegan. Michael Griffin bit on play-action which allowed an easy touchdown.
Rob Bironas nailed a 51-yarder to go with another FG of 38 yards. Alvin Pearman looked better in his return duties. P
Brett Kern has upgraded the punt game significantly with a long of 58 and a net average of 31.3 yards. The coverage units also did a better job in this game.
On both sides of the ball, the Titans are playing a more exciting style of football. OC Mike Heimerdinger continues to find ways to get the ball to CJ despite teams scheming to limit him. DC Chuck Cecil is playing more aggressively and keeping pressure on opposing QBs. Talk of running Jeff Fisher out-of-town has faded though the challenge gets more intense beginning next Monday night when the Titans begin to face better teams.
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