NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After Alterraun Verner won the starting cornerback job opposite Jason McCourty in the preseason, defensive coordinator Jerry Gray maintained the Tennessee Titans could still use Tommie Campbell in certain matchups.
It turns out the matchups weren’t so much game-related, as score-related.
Late in Sunday’s blowout of the New York Jets, the Titans saw fit to pull Verner for Campbell.
Verner had earned the time off, with two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Through four games, he has four interceptions and two fumble recoveries and qualifies as the secondary’s biggest playmaker.
“It means something is definitely working, not just me,” Verner said.
For this game it was a combination of good pressure from the front and bad decisions and throws from Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who looked a lot like the struggling quarterback he was drafted to challenge, Mark Sanchez.
“Our defense is really coming together,” Mike Munchak said. “The thing we were missing [were] the two things that happened today: the fast start and getting turnovers. They accomplished both and put the offense in position to score points.”
Tennessee’s average starting field position on opening day in Pittsburgh was its own 40, thanks to a couple turnovers by the Steelers.
But the last two weeks the average drive start was for worse. The Titans’ 24 in Houston, the Titans’ 18 against the Chargers.
With Verner leading the charge, it was the Tennessee 37 Sunday. The Titans four touchdown drives were five plays, six plays, seven plays and three plays. The first three of them started in Jets territory.
It sure is an easier way to get to the end zone.