Diner morning news: Young, Titans on a roll
QUOTE: “By making a comeback, I'm changing the attitude of people toward me. If I'd known that people would react so enthusiastically, I'd have done it years ago.” -- Mark Spitz
What quarterback Vince Young and the Tennessee Titans did Sunday is what makes the NFL so great each and every week. Coaches always talk about going to training camp to bond and build team chemistry, but what builds chemistry is leading a team to victory in a fourth-quarter comeback, much like Young did against the Cardinals. He took his team 99 yards down the field, converting four critical fourth downs, for the Titans’ fifth win in a row. Right now, as we enter Week 13 of the season, no one wants to play Tennessee. The Titans can run the ball effectively with Chris Johnson, and they now can throw it as well, and some of their young players have matured and are playing very well. The Titans travel to Indy next week, and if they can find a way to win that game, they very well could run the table and make Chris Johnson’s prediction of winning 10 in a row a reality.
Young throws for almost 400 yards; Chris Johnson has a typical Chris Johnson day, gaining 154 yards on just 18 carries; and rookie first-round wide receiver Kenny Britt has hit his stride and is making key catches. These three players are young and talented and give the offense a bright future. The Titans have a good offensive line, which allows their talented players to demonstrate their enormous skill level. Their future is bright, and their present might become brighter if they can find a way to beat the Colts on Sunday.
1. What makes Andy Reid’s onside kick so perplexing is that the Eagles deferred the ball in the second half. Had the Eagles wanted to get the ball to start the game, they could have just elected to keep it. Weird decision.
2. Jim Zorn mismanaged the end of the half, which allowed the Eagles to get a cheap three points, which ultimately cost the Redskins the game.
3. I can’t understand why the Dolphins play so much man-to-man defense with their secondary. They’re like the gambler who constantly loses betting football, but when someone suggests he try hockey as an alternative, he replies, “But I don’t know anything about hockey.” The Fins are too slow at linebacker and not good enough to keep playing man to man. They allowed Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw for 246 yards and one touchdown despite being sacked six times.
4. Chad Simpson of the Colts might not get much playing time, but when he does get his chance, he looks like a very effective player.
5. The Texans just have not learned how to win a game. They can be frontrunners, but when the going gets tough, they’re not tough enough. I know they had to overcome a horrible call on the Jacques Reeves pass interference, but they’re just not able to fight through the hard times. The Texans seem to find ways to lose games, and until they get tougher mentally, they’ll keep being 8-8 and I’ll keep heading to Amsterdam to see Springsteen.
6. Bucs coach Raheen Morris might want to rethink his decision to attempt a 51-yarder late in the game. Field position was too important at that point, and the result of his decision was no different than a turnover. The Falcons marched down the field to score the game winner.
7. I know the Bucs are not great on defense, but Falcons backup QB Chris Redman did a very good job managing the game. I’m sure he doesn’t receive many practice reps during the week, but his execution was sound. Last-second win on fourth down was clutch.
8. The Bears are not a good team, and the whipping they received from the Vikings is a real indication of who they are as a team. They need to really study that tape and base their future decisions on those evaluations. The level of competition, especially on the road, is a great indication of where you are as a team.
9. Jacksonville is not a playoff team. The Jags might back in, but when you play two games on the West Coast and score just three points, how can you be a playoff team? They’re just not consistent enough on either side of the ball.
10. The Browns’ offense went back to normal as they were held to fewer than 200 yards for the seventh time in 11 games. Brady Quinn needed more than 30 throws to gain 100 yards.
11. The Bengals’ new running back, Larry Johnson, had 107 yards rushing against Cleveland. I’m anxious to see if he has improved or if the Browns just make everyone look good.
Much more to come in the Tavern later today.
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To read more about the struggling Texans and a case for the club to dismiss Gary Kubiak, check out this article from Bleacher Report.