The Tennessee Titans played the Houston Texans in Week 4 of the 2012-13 NFL season on September 30, 2012. The Texans won 38-14. The Titans fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter. Matt Hasselbeck threw two pick-6s in the second half. Despite the bad outcome, there were some positives to come from this contest.
Here were some quick observations from that contest. This includes studs and duds.
Jake Locker Re-Injures Left Shoulder
During the first quarter, Jake Locker re-injured his left shoulder. The injury occurred when Texans safety Glover Quin went unblocked on a sack of Locker. The Titans are awaiting the results of a MRI on Monday, October 1. There's a realistic chance that Locker will miss some games.
Chris Johnson Sighting?
Through the first three games, Chris Johnson had 33 carries for 45 yards. The media and fans have become increasingly annoyed with his lack of production. Johnson has insisted that his offensive line isn't doing their jobs.
The offensive linemen did their job today. Johnson had 25 carries for 141 yards. He also had 16 receiving yards. Johnson's long run was 19 yards. Javon Ringer also had a couple good runs. This was a surprise because the Texans normally have a stout run-defense.
The Titans were able to contain one of the NFL's most-lethal backfields. Arian Foster had 24 carries for 86 yards. Ben Tate added 11 yards on five carries. That's an astounding accomplishment when one considers that Colin McCarthy wasn't available. Mike Martin, Sen'Derrick Marks and Jurrell Casey controlled the line of scrimmage. Pannel Egboh also had a tackle for loss (TFL).
The Titans have a turnover differential of (-6). Alterraun Verner has each of the Titans' two takeaways. This includes one interception and one forced fumble. The Titans have 10 passes defensed. The Oakland Raiders are the only team with fewer passes defensed.
The Titans have to fix this. The defensive backfield seems like they're playing prevent defense for 60 minutes. The linebackers are ineffective against tight ends. Owen Daniels and James Casey combined to have 11 receptions for 108 yards with two touchdowns.
Through three losses, the Titans have been outscored 110-37. For the entire season, the Titans have surrendered 151 points. The 2000-01 Titans surrendered 191 points for the entire season. What's funny is that the Baltimore Ravens surrendered fewer points. Once again, the Titans were out-gained in time-of-possession, 32:26 to 27:34.
The 1-3 start isn't too surprising. What I'm surprised about is the lack of competitiveness in each of their three losses. They're a "Miscommunication" away from a 0-4 record. The schedule doesn't get much simpler with games against the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers.
No more excuses. For the Titans to remain in the AFC playoff picture, they must win one of these next two games. Even in that scenario, they'd have a 2-4 record. They'd have to win eight of their final 10 games to finish with a 10-6 record. That doesn't guarantee a playoff spot.
Run Offense: A
Pass Offense: D
Run Defense: A+
Pass Defense: C
Special Teams: C
The Titans look for their first road victory over the season when they play the Minnesota Vikings on October 7. The Vikings have won three of their first four games. Known for being one of the NFL's loudest home-field advantage, the Vikings are a tough test for the Titans.
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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