The sign of approval: All of a sudden, the Titans look like the best team in the AFC South
Chris Johnson re-connected with his big play ways, giving the team a boost it was missing last week in Tennessee.
Can you hear me now? This is the question the Titans are asking their critics, just a week after they were the one’s being questioned with their questionable performance in front of their home crowd. In what was a back and forth affair between them and Dallas, the Titans rode their best player late to defeat the Cowboys 34-27 in an impressive road win in “Jerry’s World”. Despite surrendering over 500 yards of total offense, the defense sacked Tony Romo six times, five times more than he had been sacked through three games. Another key factor that contributed to the team’s win: plus three turnover differential. A big difference between last week, where the team was making mistake after mistake. Well, it also helps that Chris Johnson had a “Chris Johnson” game.
Vince Young came back to his home state and showed why he still has the “winner’s mentality” that he showcased at the University of Texas. Young finally got Kenny Britt involved, or Britt finally got involved, and put in a turnover-free game where he looked extremely comfortable. The result, two touchdowns and a renewed sense of confidence. No matter what Dallas did defensively, whether bringing the heat or exotic blitz packages, Young countered it and did not seem rattled during any moment. You think the team may have been shaken after allowing Dallas to come back continually, but the team stayed in there and slammed the door shut the final time around for good.
It wasn’t all roses for the former Rose Bowl MVP and his troops. With the score tied at 20, rookie Alterraun Verner, starting in place of Jason McCourty for the second consecutive week, made the second big interception of the game. The other belonging to Michael Griffin, also helped provide the Titans with an opportunity to score, an opportunity which later led to Rob Bironas cashing in on from 40 yards out. Verner, the former UCLA Bruin and 4th round pick of the team, picked off Romo in the 4th quarter with more than seven minutues to go, returning it to the Dallas 1-yard line. The play happened after the team went three and out after squandering a 42-yard Chris Johnson run.
The rookie’s interception set-up a rejuventated Johnson, who on the ensuing play entered his home for his first visit giving the Titans a 27-20 lead. Later, he would make a second trip, the go-ahead score and enventual game-winning touchdown from one yard out again on a third and goal to go. The Titans made sure not to relinquish another lead after that, slamming the door shut, never looking back. LB Stephen Tulloch clinched the game for good, picking off Romo for the team’s third pick in the waning moments.
To sing more about the defense’s praises, “The Jasons”, Jones and Babin, each registered two sacks apiece. Which begs to question, what do you make of this defense? Regardless of the situation, what I know is this: they are finding unsung heroes to step it up, week after week. The defense is not filled with many names, like the Cowboys, but they play bigger than their names, unlike the Cowboys. In a game that was filled with its ups and downs, the Titans remained the most consistent, behind their relentless NFL sack leading defensive line, their steady MVP candidate running back, and their “all he does is win” signal caller. The common denominator: just having fun according to #28.
“Just all fun and games,” Johnson said. “I like to entertain. I feel like this team needs to get back to having fun and things like that, it was just all a part of it.”
If Johnson continues to have fun playing his game, you can expect the Titans to be celebrating and having fun at the end of many games this season, and possibly when it really counts in January, or better yet, February. However, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Nonetheless, this was a crucial victory in a bounce back game for a team that is getting back to having fun and playing loose. After all, it’s just a game -tell that to coach Fisher. I dare you, just like the Titans dared the Cowboys to give them their best shot. To no avail, as it availed the Titans best shot, further showing their shot could be as good as any team’s best shot considering the pieces in place, namely Chris Johnson.