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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Game Notes | Week 9: Packers @ Titans

I lucked out today. This is the game I most wanted to cover, and you know why.

Does any team take on the personality of its head coach more than the Titans? Jeff Fisher rocks!

Packers start with the ball. Empty backfield, tons of pressure and Javon Kearse swats the ball down. Packers plan on being pass heavy in this game, which could be the end of Aaron Rodgers. Second pass looks like a miscommunication with Greg Jennings on a sideline route. Delay of game on third down. Incomplete pass behind Driver.

Chris Johnson starts the game for the Titans and picks up 4 yards on his first carry. Yikes. Kerry Collins takes off on 3rd & 6 and picks up 8 yards. Not exactly Vince Young as a scrambler. Collins goes deep and as we've come to expect, the Titans receivers can't get separation. Chris Johnson picks up a big-gainer for 25 yards, and LandWhale is in to relieve him. Brandon Jones makes a nice leaping catch for a first down, and the Titans are in scoring position. Third & 7, Johnson back in the game in the backfield. Bad pass from Collins to Scaife, and Bironas will come on for the field goal.

Rodgers escapes Vanden Bosch for a short pick-up. Fullback carry by John Kuhn to pick up the first. Brandon Jackson seeing some playing time early on. Rodgers pressured again, but he can't escape this time. Third & 6 for the Pack. Rodgers has time, scrambles again, but is tackled from behind just short of the first down. Fourth & a long one, and the Packers are going for it. Timing play to Jermichael Finley, but the rookie tight end can't pull it in. Nice back shoulder throw by Rodgers, but Finley unable to notch his first NFL reception.

Kerry Collins has plenty of time and decides to go deep to Justin Gage, who is nowhere near the ball. Collins drilled as he throws, ball up for grabs, but two Packers knock into each other trying to catch it. Poppinga 15-yarder away from the play to give Titans new life. End around to Brandon Jones, and that just didn't look smooth . . . luckily he broke free of a backfield tackle for a 7-yard gain. Chris Johnson with back-to-back nice gainers, 7 yards apiece. BakeSale into the game. Chris Johnson back in at the 15-yard line after a LenDonuts first down. End of the first quarter, Titans up 3-0 and knocking on the door. Titans can't get a first, and Bironas comes on for his 2nd field goal.

Ryan Grant with the toss, and he just looks slow to the edge. I thought he had the perimeter there; maybe the Titans are just really fast on defense. Draw play to Grant for about 7 yards. Rodgers nice pass on the run against the grain to find Greg Jennings who picks up tons of YAC. That was a simple curl that Jennings abused Cortland Finnegan on. Pass in the end zone to Jermichael Finley, but too high. Third & goal, empty backfield, Rodgers throws a grounder. Pack will settle for a FG.

Packers driving with short passes, and the Titans defense looks a little winded. Rodgers targets Jennings on 2nd & goal, but it goes right through Finnegan's hands. Another miscommunication on the Packers offense? O-Line thought it was a run play. Third & goal, Titans blitz, and Rodgers finds the hot read in Donald Driver for the TD, 10-6 Packers with 4 minutes to go in the half.

Damn. Landwhale just hit a hole and breezed through it for 54 yards. I thought it was Flash Johson at first. Seriously. Johnson vultures BakeSale b/c Tubby is huffing and puffing on the sidelines. Eugene Amano down for the Titans -- he got his knee rolled up on. Looked like the back of his knee, and he'll try to walk it off. Opposite world today for the Titans. Siragusa says, "That's not fair. LenDale should have gotten the goal-line carry. He was probably getting oxygen on the sidelines."

Left tackle Chad Clifton out for Packers, Darren Colledge moves to tackle and rookie Josh Sitton is in. Screen pass to Brandon Jackson, who is in the game for the 2-minute drill. Fourth & 4, and the Packers will go for it. Rodgers goes to Jennings, and Finnegan almost picks it. Titans take over with about 40 seconds left. Finnegan is getting Rodgers' timing down. Screen pass to Flash Johnson who does a nice job to slip by for 7 yards. Brandon Jones with a nice catch, and there are 6 seconds left with the Titans at midfield. Bironas is going to attempt at 63-yarder? Titans use a timeout after Bironas get set. Maybe they're changing their minds here. Nope. Here it comes. Oh, chickenspits. Direct snap kneel down. Titans take a safe 13-10 halftime lead.

Kyle Vanden Bosch (groin) is on the sideline sans helmet on the Packers first drive of the 2nd half. Brandon Jackson into the game every time the Packers pass to a halfback. Great play by Chris Hope for an over-the-shoulder end zone interception on a deep ball. That's his third pick of the the past two weeks.

Packers aren't worried about the Titans passing game at all, especially going deep. Titans are going to have to find a way to make defenses respect their ability to pass going forward.

Rodgers to Jennings off the playfake for a 20-yard gain. Rodgers with a pretty deep ball to a wide open Donald Driver for 45 yards. Rodgers sacked, and then a tight end screen to Donald Lee gets 15 yards when they needed 18. Crosby will come on for a FG to make it 16-13.

Ryan Grant tripped up with Michael Griffin making a big tackle, saving a long gainer. Rodgers pump fake and finds a wide open Donald Driver who goes over 100 yards for the first time this season. Third & 10 pass to Brandon Jackson who comes up 3 yards short. Mason Crosby will come on for the tie.

Kerry Collins has just done absolutely nothing in the 2nd half, and the Titans offense is bogged down . . . and appear to have no answers. Titans with 54 2nd half yards so far, and Collins misses Brandon Jones deep across the middle -- could have picked once again. Hentrich comes on for his 5th punt of the 2nd half.

Rodgers goes deep to Jennings, and there's tight/questionable pass interference coverage by Finnegan. So Rodgers goes back to Driver for another first down. Rodgers is over 300 yards, the first time that's happened against the Titans all year. Finnegan with a nice play to knock it away from Jordy Nelson. Another 3rd down dumpoff to Brandon Jackson, and that one goes nowhere. Titans will get the ball back inside their own 10-yard line with 2:00 minutes left. They better find a way to get the ball to Chris Johnson in space because they aren't moving the ball any other way. Johnson/White have a combined 165 total yards, and the rest of the offense has bupkes. Johnson picks up a first down, and the Collins to McCareins back shoulder for a nice completion to the 40. Collins with a couple of completions to Brandon Jones, and the Titans are getting close to field goal range. Great job of the O-Line to give Collins plenty of time, and a nice switch to agressive playcalling by Heimerdinger.

Chris Johnson for a few yards, and Fisher is going to let the clock run. Bironas will attempt a 47-yarder for the win with 4 seconds left. McCarthy brings the ice. And Bironas slides it to the right shanking it off the right crossbar. We're going to overtime.

Titans win the toss. Third & 6 and a key first down on a 16-yarder to Chris Johnson. Oooh. Johnson looked like he about to break that one. A 14-yard pickup, and he's tripped up at the last minute. He's up to 150 combined yards on the game. And here comes Tubby with the draw play. Third & 4 from the Packers 37-yard line. They're in the nether region right now, but White picks up the first, running hard. Chris Johnson back in and gets about 5 yards. Johnson evades Johnny Jolly in the backfield and manages a 3-yard gain. Bironas comes on for a 3rd down attempt, and McCarthy will bring out the ice again. Redemption time for Bironas on a 41-yarder. It's good. Titans stay undefeated.

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