Aug 15, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) celebrates by dunking over the goalpost following a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during second quarter of a preseason game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Titans Defense Struggles In New Orleans

The Titans Defense is starting to worry even the most optimistic fans. Even though it is very early in the preseason, this defense has shown no signs of life at all. It may be a long, long year.

The Titans are in New Orleans playing the Saints in the  second preseason game of the year. Just like last week at home playing the Packers, the defense gave up a long opening drive to begin the game. The Saints sans Drew Brees drove 80 yards doing whatever they wanted to do to move the football.

The opening play was a Fullback dive that netted 7 yards straight through the teeth of this hapless defense. It went downhill from there on the first possession. The Saints ran at will, passed at will, and were not challenged by the Titans. The drive ended with the first Jimmy Graham touchdown catch.

As bad as the defense looked, the offense and Jake Locker looked very good. Locker made plays with his arm and with his legs. He looked extremely sharp, and extremely efficient. Jake’s first drive ended with the first of two touchdowns caught by rising star Justin Hunter. It was a great throw and catch in the corner of the end zone where Hunter kept both feet in bounds to finish the drive.

Shonn Greene looked really good running the ball early in the game, as did Dexter McCluster. McCluster showed his versatility catching the ball well out of the backfield as well. Greene later fumbled a ball deep in his own territory and was injured on the play. It looked to be a knee, but I do not know how severe the injury actually is.

Likewise Charlie Whitehurst was hurt on his first play of the game. He was hit on a blitz and went out with a hand injury. Zach Mettenberger came in and quickly hit Justin Hunter across the middle and Justin took it to Bourbon Street without being touched. Mettenberger looked decent in his extensive work, but turned the ball over a few times in throwing 2 interceptions.

There are two things I take away from this scrimmage. First, the 3-4 is going to be hard to watch until they get 3-4 personnel here. Coach Ray Horton has to get busy to find some answers. Again, I know it is preseason, but I see nothing that gives me hope they will be able to stop anyone at this point. A base defense should be able to stop a base offense in the preseason. The line was bad, the linebackers were bad, and the corners were bad.

Second, the offense can be pretty decent. The offensive line may be the strength of the entire team. I hope the injury to Shonn Greene is minor. We know we will be able to run the ball enough by committee, and the starting three receivers, Washington, Hunter, and Wright are NFL caliber receivers. Locker looks good, so I think the Titans will move the football.

It was not a great night in New Orleans. The Titans leave with a lot more questions than answers in my opinion. Those questions are on the defensive side of the ball. Ray Horton may want to start watching the waiver wire tonight.


Tags: Jake Locker Justin Hunter Ray Horton

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