Sunday, November 3, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Tennessee Titans
By Paul Kuharsky
ST. LOUIS -- A few thoughts on the Tennessee Titans' 28-21 win over the St. Louis Rams:
What it means: The Titans are .500 halfway through the season and can be a big factor in the race for the AFC’s final playoff spot. They found room to get Chris Johnson going, finally, and he finished with 150 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns. The defense got a giant play with Jurrell Casey forcing a fumble by Kellen Clemens that Derrick Morgan recovered. Johnson’s second touchdown came on the next play and provided the winning margin.
Stock watch: Nate Washington was Jake Locker's go-to guy during the first four games of the season. But since Locker returned from injury, Washington has been far less prominent. He saw a streak of 85 games with at least one catch come to an end, dropping one low ball on a comeback along the right sideline against Cortland Finnegan.
One or the other: The offensive line remains an issue, but in this game it was for a different reason. Mike Otto was at right tackle for the injured David Stewart. The Titans struggled to keep the Rams off Locker in the first half. But against a 4-3 front they did far better run blocking than they’ve done against a lot of 3-4s. Johnson topped 100 yards and got his first two rushing TDs of the year and Shonn Greene found the end zone, too.
What’s next: The Titans host the winless Jacksonville Jaguars at LP Field. The Jaguars had a bye this week and just lost receiver Justin Blackmon to a suspension.