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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Game Notes | Week 1: Jaguars @ Titans

I'm covering the JAX/TEN and DET/ATL games today for Rotoworld.

Merrill Hoge and Matthew Berry disagree on Darren McFadden. Berry loves McFadden, but Hoge says he doesn't like the way McFadden runs. Both of them absolutely love Chris Johnson. Of course they do.

I think owners of the Jags defense/special teams will get a pleasant surprise with undrafted rookie Brian Witherspoon on returns. He was pretty explosive in the preseason.

Garrad going to Matt Jones on 3rd & 20, but tipped by a Titans DB.

Chris Johnson starts over LenDale White -- as predicted by yours truly. Rotoworld top story blurb:

Titans rookie Chris Johnson started over LenDale White against the Jaguars Sunday.
Coach Jeff Fisher has been saying all summer that there is no set starter in the backfield and the carries would be split almost 50/50. Johnson finished the first drive with 31 yards on three carries and remains the Titans top offensive weapon.

How about Matt Ryan's first NFL pass? A 62-yard TD strike to Michael Jenkins.

David Garrard can't get any offense going in this game. Albert Haynesworth and the Titans D-Line is getting into the backfield with regularity.

Evan Silva says Tom Brady just left with an ACL injury. Holy shit!

Backfield penetration by the Titans defense.

Marcedes Lewis just made an awesome second effort play to dive for a possible first down. He used every inch of his 6'6" frame on that one.

Vince Young just threw an awful interception right into Gerald Sensabaugh's gut. No Titans around the ball. Poor decision, poor throw. Jags now have 1st & goal from the five -- interesting that Fred Taylor got the first carry there. MJD gets the next carry, and it looks like a TD . . . but they mark him just short. That's going to be reviewed. Play upheld and Garrard gets a one-yard TD pass to Greg Jones.

Vince Young throws a nice deep ball, but McCareins "doesn't have the speed or extra gear to go get it," says Solomon Wilcotts. Once again, the Titans have no receivers that can get separation on defenders. Justin Gage follows that play up with a drop.

Titans S Michael Griffin leaves with what looks like a shoulder injury. Vincent Fuller replaced him.

Chris Johnson bursts through for 18 yards, and Jags S Reggie Nelson makes a nice ankle tackle to save a long TD run. Wilcotts: "Boy, does Chris Johnson put pressure on your defense." Chris Johnson with 75 total yards so far in the first half. Yeah, that's right. Interesting to note that Johnson is in the game on consecutive plays from the 10-yard line.

Vince Young with a nice deep pass to a wide open Bo Scaife on the sidelines.

VY with a throw at Chris Johnson's shoe tops, but Johnson makes a nice play, keeps his balance and finds the end zone. It's the Chris Johnson show.

Vanden Bosch gets to Garrard for the sack, the forced fumble, and the fumble recovery. Titans third sack of the first half. Jacob Ford down for the Titans, but he walks off and appears fine.

Wilcotts: "What I'm seeing is that after the initial separation by the Titans receivers, there's no extra gear for them to get past the defenders and get open."

Chris Johnson's first half totals: 95 total yards and a touchdown. LenDale White's first half totals: 3 carries for 6 rushing yards.

Johnson doing a good job with decision making and patience according to Wilcots. Another WR drop for the Titans, this one on a deep pass to McCareins.

Titans haven't converted on a 3rd down all day. Vince Young needs to tuck and run more often.

No running room at all for Fred Taylor and MJD. Six yard gain the longest of the day for Taylor. Ball thrown to Troy Williamson on 3rd down, and he doesn't drop it. Titans D swarms him. No yards after contact today for Titans D. Garrard deep pass to Williamson, jump ball won by Courtland Finnegan.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: Garrard isn't going to put up numbers nearly as good as last season if his running game isn't dominant. He looks worse today than he did any game last season.

Garrard 22-yard pass play to Matt Jones who makes a nice grab. I'm saying it now: if Matt Jones is out of Del Rio's doghouse, there's no reason he should not be the Jags leading receiver this year. He's got game.

Scobee missed 37-yard FG goes right over the top of the goalpost. Too much fade.

Stephen Tulloch down. No word on the injury.

Wilcots: "You like the way Chris Johnson attacks the line of scrimmage, going downhill." He's got defenders backpedaling.

Vince Young throwing and on the wrong page with Justin McCareins. How many times did we hear that last season? Tough to tell if that's on VY or the receivers.

Finnegan jumps the route on Matt Jones picks off Garrard for the second time today. Have the Jags conceded the running game to the Titans? Vince Young answers by throwing it into rookie Derrick Harvey's arms for an interception answer. Nice athletic play by Harvey.

Garrard is engulfed by Tony Brown, and the Titans D continues to storm the backfield. Titans are out-physical-ing the Jags, which rarely happens to JAX. They're also dominating the line of scrimmage battle.

Uh-0h. Chris Johnson limps off and is heading to the locker room. Noooooo! Vince Young goes down with an injured knee on the next play.

Kerry Collins' first pass is a 44-yard pass play to Bo Scaife as Scaife takes a TE screen through a blitzing Jags defense.

LenDale White powers it in from a yard out and Titans take a 17-7 lead.

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