NGSC Sports

A step in the right direction? Titans 27 Falcons 16

On this day the Tennessee Titans would take a step in the right direction. It has been a preseason of questions for the Titans to this point. Yesterday, they decided to answer some of those on the field. They played with a sense of purpose after a shaky start. The third week in the preseason is usually known as a dress rehearsal for the regular season. This is when players separate themselves from their competition.

For QB Jake Locker, the cry has been about his decision making and accuracy. He has appeared a bit shaky in his first two starts. First, he and the team would have to overcome a fumble on their first possession and then TE Taylor Thompson missed a sure third-and-three catch on the second drive. From there, it was mostly smooth sailing the rest of the way.

Locker would settle down and have some really good throws. He showed what he can do when he is set in the pocket as opposed to being rushed and hurried. He has talked about making quicker decisions off the snap of the ball. With the offensive line protecting him, Locker would finish 11-13 for 133 yards and a seven-yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington. His backup, Ryan Fitzpatrick would pick up where he left off going 6-9 for 76 yards and two touchdown passes. It shows that if this team can play solid football, they have two capable quarterbacks that can help them win.

The running game continues to impress as they racked up 176 yards on 36 carries. Chris Johnson continues to show he can get outside on a nice 19-yard run. Shonn Greene is a flat out bull as he showed on his third-and-one conversion. Even Jackie Battle continues to make a case for a roster spot.

The defense has been the one spot that has given the coaching staff the most trouble thus far. They have allowed long drives and opposing runners too much freedom. They have spent too much time on the field allowing one third down conversion after another. In the first quarter they allowed the Falcons to march down the field on their first two possessions. What could have been an early 14-0 Atlanta lead, turned into a 6-0 lead as the defense made two stops to keep the team in the game. From there, Jurrell Casey and the rest of his defensive mates would put on a show. They would sack Falcons QB Matt Ryan four times and end up with six in all. Casey continues to have an outstanding preseason and the defense held the Falcons running game at bay after a good start by Steven Jackson.

In a season where virtually every job is in jeopardy, the Titans finally played the kind of football they think they are capable of. Even Rob Bironas shook off a last week’s bad performance by hitting field goals of 39 and 53 yards. WR Justin Hunter from the University of Tennessee, caught the first touchdown pass of his NFL career when Fitzpatrick hit him for a three-yard score.

There are still decisions to be made about roster and starting spots. Players are injured and some are still working themselves into football shape, but if this team can play like this every Sunday, the season looks bright.









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Ralph Garcia


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