Titans Firing on All Cylinders in 27-16 Win
By Mike Edler
The third preseason game is often seen as the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season. When first seeing that this pivotal game was going to be against the Falcons I had my doubts. The Falcons were coming off another fantastic season and the Titans were fresh off another top ten draft pick. Goals going into this game had to be to show improvement and, above all, come out healthy. The Titans blew all my expectations out of the water with their 27-16 victory. Lets look at what should be taken away from this game.
As a whole, this is the best the Titans offense has looked in a very long time. Both the run game and pass game kept the Falcons defense off balance for two and a half quarters. Jake Locker (11-for-13 with 133 yards and 1 touchdown) had his best game since week 3 last season against the Lions and has shown flashes of being worthy of the first round pick the Titans used to get him back in 2011. Chris Johnson and the rest of the run game thrived again and showed that this Titan offense could truly be two dimensional. When the starters were on the field it looked like, not only could this Titan team move the ball on the Falcons, but they truly looked like the better team for the majority of this contest. Wide receivers Kenny Britt and Nate Washington also helped Locker's day by making catches on everything that came their way. Rob Bironas also proved his critics wrong by nailing home field goals of 39 and 53 yards. Its very encouraging to see the offense come so far in so little time and rise to the occasion. its claer the team is improving and it has plenty of time to grow further.
Shonn Greene and Nate Washington had minor lower body injuries and should be ready to go by week 1.
This is the Titan defense that was promised when the Titans took a chance on Gregg Williams. The defensive line showed consistent pressure and got to Matt Ryan five times and limited Ryan to only 138 yards and no touchdowns. Constant pressure from the defensive line is the key to defensive success. When players like Jurrell Casey, Derrick Morgan and Karl Klug are creating constant pressure, it makes the secondaries job much easier. The Titans finally appear to have adopted the Gregg Williams mentality of aggressive and consistent play can lead to good things.
A preseason win means little to nothing in the eyes on most viewers, but I believe this was a turning point for the Titans. This was the first real action the team has seen as a full unit and they rose to the occasion. With the regular season now only two weeks away you have to feel good going forward.
The Titans preseason finale is Thursday in Minnesota against the Vikings. A game that will decide the final 53-man roster for the 2013 Tennessee Titans.