On Sunday the Titans opened up the 2012 season with an extremely reputable opponent in the New England Patriots. The Titans could not have asked for a more difficult matchup to get the season under way. Although there were a lot of high hopes going into the game with thoughts of seeing a rejuvenated Titans team on both sides of the ball, the reality is that fans witnessed pretty much the same thing they saw all of last year.
Still No Run Game: During the preseason fans were excited about seeing some positive strides in the run game. In the second preseason game against Tampa Bay Chris Johnson ran for 2 touchdowns with both being 14 yard touchdown runs. However, everyone knows that preseason does not count for anything. One of the main reasons the run game did not work is because the Titans were playing from behind the entire game. Chris Johnson only carried the ball 11 times for 4 yards so hopefully the Titans can start strong against the Chargers and more touches should equal more yards next Sunday.
Inconsistent Offense: The Titans gave the fans plenty to cheer about on the opening drive of the game, but in classic Titan fashion the drive stalled and Bironas came on for a routine 28 yard field goal. This would set the tone for the rest of the day. The Titans managed just to score one touchdown on the day. Late in the game fans were thinking comeback when the Titans put together a long drive and had a first and goal on the Patriots 1 yard line. Unfortunately for the home team the Titans lost 5 yards with a Chris Johnson run, ultimately settling for a field goal instead of going for it on fourth down. Needless to say the fans were disappointed in the decision and lack of execution in the red zone.
Soft in the Secondary: Granted, Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game so it’s hard to knock the secondary of the Titans too hard here. With that said though, Brady completely picked the Titans defense apart all game long completing almost 75% of his passes. He made it look so easy and effort less. It was really impressive to see that high powered offense work the way it does in person. It didn’t matter if the defender knew where the ball was going, the Pats offense could not be stopped.
No Need to Panic: Despite the big loss to the Pats Tennessee fans should not panic. The Patriots are a great team and have been for years now. The Titans have a first year starter at quarterback and a ton of young second year players on defense. At least they kept this game closer than they did the last time they faced the Patriots in New England a few years ago, but just barely though. Hopefully the Titans will learn from this loss and get a win in San Diego on Sunday. They have no choice but to win in order to avoid a dreaded 0-2 start to the season.
After the game I’m sure you could just hear Denny Green shouting, “They are who we thought they were” over and over throughout the stadium (maybe it was only in my head). In any case, this time the Titans never had the Pats on the hook.