Titans “Code Blue”

PFC Titans Writer: Dan Johns

Well 8 weeks into the NFL season and I still haven’t had to report any losses thus far for the Tennessee Titans; they as a team hope to remain undefeated as the host the Indianapolis Colts for Monday Night Football.  The Titans have been sitting at the top of the charts in terms of NFL Power Rankings, when each team 1-32 is ranked from best to least.  They have been sitting atop that the throne for several weeks now, yet the media seems to almost careless about the 6-0 under-the-radar Titans.  After barley surviving an ugly win at Baltimore on a controversial call late in the game by referees, the Titans took advantage of their bye week in Week 6 to heal up before man-handling the struggling Chiefs 34-10 last week.

Such critics call them the worst 6-0 team in recent memory; and for that same token, those same critics say they have had a soft schedule thus far.  Well the schedule may have in fact started out rather easy as they played as slew of under .500 teams, however, now is where the schedule get’s a little bit more interesting for the currently undefeated Titans.  Up next as mentioned prior, is a Monday Night Showdown under the lights against Indy.  Then the Titans host the same team who beat Indy last week, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.  After those two obstacles, the Titans go on the road to play the upstart Chicago Bears and the equally tough at home Jacksonville Jaguars.

So if this next portion of their schedule is any indication, then fans better start respecting them if the Titans make it out alive in these next 4 weeks.  A win on National T.V. against division foe Peyton Manning led, Indianapolis Colts, will surely start to get people’s attentions that – maybe yeah this team IS for real.  The Titans players and certainly their coach Jeff Fisher could careless about the limelight.  They see, to prefer to fly under the radar, that way teams could possibly come into their matchups not taking the Titans as seriously as they should.

Certainly being a small market team in the state of Tennessee, doesn’t help their cause for a media frenzy; No leave that up to the highly overrated Dallas Cowboys who have all the star-power one team could wish for, yet have fumbled out of the gates and now have their star quarterback on ice, for the media to cover them like a pool of hungry sharks.  ESPN and NFL Live seem to show more interest in going over Dallas Cowboys losses than Tennessee Titan wins.  But then again I guess you can’t blame them too much, when television is based all around ratings, and when you have so much hype and star-power on one team it’s just another soap opera after the next with that team.  The Titans got rid of their trouble maker who once said while still playing for the Titans, that “the Titans need more thugs”, Adam “Pac Man” Jones.  Well he got his wish, but for another team, sure Dallas has plenty of thugs now – well one less now that “The Pac Man”, basically ran himself out of the league all together, all the while the Titans are undefeated without him.

So even though the Titans are content to not be the center of media attention, they will look to improve to a franchise best 7-0 and show the world that they aren’t a fluke and are a team to take more seriously from here on out.  “The Code Clue” promotion will be this Monday Night, as everyone in the stadium will be handed a “light blue Titans shirt” to either wear or use as flying towel device, to distract the visiting Colts and show the world a little “Titan Pride” from their home fans.  The Titans are the only other team in the AFC South to win this division besides the Colts, and that was back in 2002 and 2003.  The Colts have won it every other year since the division was constructed.  So in a division dominated so-much by the Colts in the past, they now find themselves almost in a must win situation when they travel to Tennessee , who could be in line for a 4 game lead in the South with a win over Indy.

Last Week the Titans absolutely torched the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium none-the-less.  For the first time in their history, even dating back to the Houston Oiler days, the Titans had two rushers over 100 yards; and well over 100 for that matter.  Rookie running back Chris Johnson embarrassed the Chiefs defense as he ran for 168 yards and touchdown.  After breaking a run of over 60 yards for a touchdown, he celebrated by banging on drums on a drum set in the back of the end zone; he was later fined $10,000 which he plans to appeal.  LenDale White added a 149 rushing yards and a career high 3 touchdown performance to go with it.  LenDale also broke a career high run of 80 yards for a touchdown, as he galloped through a large hole opened by the aggressive offensive line.

The Titans defense left their mark on the exasperated Kansas City Chief team, by knocking out two of their three quarterbacks.  Starter Brodie Croyle is lost for the year and veteran backup Damon Huard had to leave with a finger injury leaving only the inexperienced Tyler Thigpin who had to play that Sunday and who also was banged up at one point in the contest.  Coincidentally, Kansas City took the Titans then third string (practice squad) quarterback Ingle Martin a few weeks prior, who may need to start suiting up in the next upcoming weeks.  One other quick Titans note: the Titans now currently hold the longest winning regular season record with 9 wins a row, dating back to last year, and during that span kicker Rob Bironas hasn’t missed a field goal attempt – which his streak is at 18 FG’s in a row.

Heading into the AFC South Division rivalry matchup this Monday Night, the Colts will be without starting running back Joseph Addai and still will be without Free Saftey Bob Sanders.  The Colts running game has been stagnate all year even with Addai in the lineup, while on the other side of the spectrum the Titans defense is 3rd in the league and one of the top rush stopping teams.  That means Peyton Manning may be forced into passing a lot, something that he is obviously comfortable doing regardless.  It’s up to defensive backs Cortland Finnegan and former Colt Nick Harper to slow down receivers Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison.  If any win matters more than the other, it’s going to be this game.  The Titans can finally get the respect they deserve around the league with a win on national t.v. to a tough opponent but more importantly will then have the advantage of taking a 4 game lead in the division with half the season then in the books.