AFC South: Jerraud Poers
October, 12, 2009
By Paul Kuharsky | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky
The suggestion: scodig88 said I should look at the first quarter play of Colts-Titans when Clint Session “absolutely lit up Chris Johnson while filling his gap.”
The situation: Second-and-3 from the Tennessee 24 yard-line with 6:45 on the clock in the first quarter and Indy up 7-0.
The Titans go with two tight ends (Bo Scaife and Alge Crumpler), two receivers (Nate Washington and Justin Gage) and a back (Johnson).
Washington is wide left, Scaife is slot left and Crumpler is tight left with Gage to the right and Johnson behind Kerry Collins who is under center.
The Colts counter in base with cornerback Jerraud Powers with Washington, cornerback Jacob Lacey with Gage and strongside linebacker Tyjuan Hagler with Scaife. The safeties are deep.
Here’s what I saw unfold after the snap:
Johnson takes a handoff from Collins and aims to go off left tackle.
Scaife turns Hagler outside and Crumpler does the same with middle linebacker Gary Brackett.
Left tackle Michael Roos manages to get outside right end Keyunta Dawson and steers him back to the middle with one hand in his chest and another on his shoulder. Dawson fights off of him with the help of a right hand on Roos’ facemask, a call that is missed.
Left guard Eugene Amano and center Kevin Mawae double defensive tackle Ed Johnson, but then Amano looks to get to the second level and deal with Session, the weakside linebacker who’s come all the way across the field. Amano is late and can’t sneak between Mathis and Johnson in time to get in Session’s way.
Session moves through the same hole Chris Johnson sees, lowering his left shoulder and planting it into Johnson’s side. They both lower their heads at impact and Session’s helmet crashes into Johnson’s on the right jaw or right temple -- even in slow motion it’s too fast for me to discern. Session wraps Johnson drives him back and drops him as Dawson arrives for cleanup help that’s unnecessary.
Result: A 1-yard gain that sets up a third-and-1 that the Titans fail to convert as Collins throws incomplete for Kenny Britt.
Ultimate outcome: A run defense tone is set. Johnson gets a season-low nine carries for 34 yards. Session is credited by game statisticians with a team-high nine tackles.