Quick Take: Titans 31, Texans 12

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by NewsGrabber, Sep 21, 2008.

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  1. NewsGrabber

    NewsGrabber Guest

    Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
    Watched all but a few plays of the other AFC South game today on one of eight flat screens lining press box wall at Lucas Oil Stadium.
    The things that struck me:
    [​IMG][​IMG] Steve Slaton provided a lot of what the Texans are looking for. Against a very good run defense, he got over 100 yards in the first half, with great runs of 50 and 25 yards. On Slaton's 6-yard touchdown run he knocked Michael Griffin, a physical safety, backward. No such good fortune on a short fourth-and-goal situation late in the game when the Texans desperately needed a TD to make it a game.
    Matt Schaub's accuracy and decision-making prevented Houston from achieving a good run-pass balance or, ultimately, having any success. He rarely looked comfortable and he threw three picks, though the final one was a prayer he had to throw as he absorbed a shot on a final fourth down -- Cortland Finnegan picked it and ran it all the way back from the goal line for a TD. I expect Schaub to get the backing of Gary Kubiak this week. I suspect talk radio in Houston will be loaded with calls for Sage Rosenfels to take over.
    Titans cornerback Eric King had a big series after taking over for a dinged Nick Harper, making a couple very physical tackles, one on a big third-down where he toppled Kevin Walter short of the marker forcing that fourth down attempt that Slaton couldn't convert. The Titans clamped down every time they had to when the Texans looked to threaten.
    The Titans did great work putting Kerry Collins on the move a bit. When Collins replaced Vince Young in the lineup, the presumption was automatically that he was not going to be on the move and might be a sitting duck. But in the first half he had a 12-yard run on a bootleg play to the right and a 17-yard dash on a similar play to the left. On Bo Scaife's 9-yard touchdown catch, Collins faked a toss left to LenDale White, then rolled right and hit the tight end moving with him.
    Houston did all it could to get the ball to Andre Johnson in big situations, perhaps too much. Four times before intermission he was the target in the end zone. One in the back left corner of the end zone was in his hands. Tough catch with good coverage from Harper, but a star receiver has got to pull it in. On another he could have helped himself by cutting more sharply toward the middle of the end zone for a deep ball, but instead allowed Harper to stay alive in the play and it went incomplete. The fourth he got his hands on, but there is no way he was going to get his feet down on that throw.
    In the fourth quarter, he made a great catch in a tight spot for a fourth-down conversion. He was the target on the next series when Titans safety Michael Griffin made his second athletic interception of the game. Great work to get both feet down in bounds.
    The Texans butchered a 37-yard Collins-to-Justin McCareins pass that set-up the Titans near the goal line for White's second touchdown run that made it 21-12. Even if Gary Kubiak's staff isn't telling him that McCareins landed out of bounds, shouldn't the fact that Collins rushed the Titans to the line of scrimmage to get the next play snapped indicate the Titans were uncertain the play was legit and prompt Kubiak to throw the red flag?
    The most predictable play the Titans run? I'd love to see a percentage on how often they run a draw on the first play of a 2-minute drill inside their own territory. They got 14 yards from Chris Johnson on first-and-10 from the Tennessee 8-yard line with 2:08 to go before halftime. It's often how they decide how aggressively to go from there.

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