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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Johnson: Titans ready to move on

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Titans and Chris Johnson had little room to run most of the day.
(T-G Photo by Danny Parker)
NASHVILLE -- You knew it had to happen sooner or later.

Titan fans hoped it would be later rather than sooner, but what a run it's been.

After 10 wins in a row and the last undefeated team in the NFL, Tennessee finally lost their first game Sunday at LP Field against the New York Jets.

All the experts never expected the win streak and many of them even predicted the Titans to lose the first game of the season at home against the Jacksonville.

Many of them also predicted the Titans to beat the Jets at home.

Shows what they know.

I said earlier in the season that when that first loss did come, I wasn't going to be too disappointed because there have been a number of games that the Titans could have lost -- at Baltimore and versus Green Bay, where they won in overtime.

Despite the loss, all is still extremely good in Titans Land.

Tennessee (10-1) still has the best record in the AFC by two games and remains atop the AFC South by three games with five left to play.

"We weren't worried about being undefeated. We tried to win as many games as we could while it was going," defensive tackle Tony Brown said. "We had something good going and we still do, so today was just a good test for us. We're going to test our courage and how we're going to bounce back."

For the most part the defense has carried this team even though the offense has been adequate since Kerry Collins took over at quarterback.

It looks as if the Titans are assured a playoff berth but how deep they advance in the postseason may depend on the output of the offense instead of how dominant the defense is.

On Sunday, Tennessee had only produced 143 yards going into the fourth quarter compared to the Jets' 284.

Dropped balls hampered the Tennessee passing game in the early going.
(T-G Photo by Danny Parker)
New York finished with 409 total yards compared to 281 for the Titans.

The Jets dominated the time of possession with a huge 40:30-19:30 advantage.

Perhaps most disturbing is the Titan offense couldn't take advantage of a pair of turnovers the defense came up with in the first half.

"That was disappointing," quarterback Kerry Collins said. "A lot of times this year, we have been able to capitalize on opportunities that our defense had given us. We didn't do that today. I thought that was a big factor in the game. That's on us. The offense is going to take responsibility for this one. The defense certainly gave us a chance and we didn't do it."

If Tennessee converts those turnovers into points then it might have changed the whole outcome of the game.

I think all Titans fans would have been happy at the start of the season if you told them that their team would be 10-1 after 11 games.

"We are still in the driver's seat and everybody else is playing catch-up," linebacker Keith Bullock said.

The Titans won't have to wait long to avenge the loss as they play Thanksgiving Day at Detroit.

Gary Johnson is a Times-Gazette sports writer. He can be contacted at gjohnson@t-g.com.

Gary Johnson
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