I watched the Steelers-Titans Week 2 game to gauge the strength of our next opponent. The Giants can win this game, but they will have to execute very well.
I was blown away by how physical the game was between the Steelers and Titans. If the Titans come in and play that physical, it is going to be hard to beat this team. If Vince Young has his head screwed on properly and takes care of the ball (i.e. does not look off the Safety and play into the hands of the Fewell’s Tampa 2, does not hold onto the ball too long), the Giants will lose the game. No, I am not making a prediction, as the Giants have a shot here following a bad loss.
The problem is that the Titans lost also. They turned the ball over SEVEN times to the Steelers and were still a couple of plays away from tieing the game and sending it to OT. They started the game by giving up a TD on the opening kickoff AND then turning the ball over on the kickoff they received. So there was plenty of charity going on.
This may seem tangential, but it is necessary to talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers to understand what happened to the Titans. The Steelers defense was wild. Their set of LBers (Woodley, Harrison and Timmons) are excellent. Then there is the football savant, the MVP of the NFL if he can stay healthy… Troy Polamalu. It is like playing against 12 players, because he has a sense for the play that is bordering on clairvoyant. One play he is in the backfield taking a runner down for a loss or sacking the QB, the next play he is in coverage and makes an INT. The guy is phenomenal. When I would go to games to watch the Giants, I would find myself mesmerized by Strahan’s play, whether he was around the ball or not. It is like that with Polamalu too. The only difference is that Polamalu seems to be around the ball on nearly every play.
You must understand that the Steelers were animals in this game. No, they don’t have a QB (God help the rest of the NFL when Roethlisberger comes back, because if this team stays healthy, in my opinion it is winning the Super Bowl), but they played a great game. The Titans’ stock price went up considerably after seeing them hang in there vs this tsunami. (Yes, the Steelers offense is much weaker w/o their QB, but Ward, Wallace and Mendenhall will move the chains.)
SEVEN TURNOVERS. It was a blitzkrieg, yet this Titan team gave up a total of 12 points off of those mistakes. And many of those mistakes were simply caused by the havoc that the Steelers unleashed. So what does that tell you? It tells me that the Titans are a tough team.
I am not a Vince Young expert. In tomorrow’s blog, we’ll do a Q&A exchange with Tom Gower of Total Titans to learn more about him and the whole team. Young’s play was erratic on Sunday. He made some nice throws. Then he caused a delay of game in the red zone AFTER a timeout! He got the ball stripped for a fumble and turnover because he held onto the ball too long, so if he is careless with the Giants DL he will give our team opportunities.
Wonder points out that the Titans Secondary can be had. Indeed, because the Steelers do not have a real QB right now, I did not see the Tennessee Secondary tested. That is the opportunity for the Giants. But there is a problem with testing the Titans this way.. Eli needs time. And that DL is going to be physical and get after the QB. So how many of you are going to have a lot of confidence in Eli’s protection?
It looks like Boss is going to play (did not see him on Injury report), but Koets might be playing for O’Hara, as our starting center has not practiced. Between the speed rush problems of our Tackles, and Seubert and Koets, that is a question mark.
Summary: The Titans are a physical football team. If Young protects the ball, the Titans have the edge. If Young does not protect the ball, the Giants should win.