Thoughts from the Luke: First Half
Emptying the little notebook from what I saw from the 12th row of Lucas Oil Stadium in the Titans’ 27-17 loss to the Colts. Since I took so many notes, I’m only posting the first half tonight, but will add the second half tomorrow. Notes are mostly as taken and in chron order…
1. P Brett Kern was the only holder who practiced. In the past, S Donnie Nickey had also done work practicing as the holder.
2. Mike Otto played left guard, while Eugene Amano was playing TE on the right side on kick practice. I forgot to look for it during the game, and don’t always pay enough attention on kick snaps to notice if this was different than usual.
3. Collins, KVB, Nick Harper, and Nickey were the captains who went out for the coin toss.
4. I mentioned this when I called in, but Thornton and Bulluck were the linebackers in nickel all day. Stephen Tulloch probably only played about 10-15 snaps in total. The Titans tried matching up early on, going nickel against 3 WR and base against 1 RB/2 TE, but abandoned that after getting caught in base against 3 WR on I believe the Colts’ second drive for a play or two.
5. Depressing start with the fluky completion to Garcon after a deflection, and Fuller shaken up. Mouton came in at nickel initially but the Titans were in base set the next couple plays and Fuller returned quickly.
6. 40 yard line, 12th row is pretty much the same seat I had when I went to Green Bay for the preseason game last year, and I felt like I had a better view there. Lucas Oil’s seats go back more than they go up, and the lack of incline makes it harder to get perspective on things like rush lanes.
7. Ahmard Hall was in an awful lot the first drive and really most of the game before disappearing after his fumble. Also of note was that he was in an offset position-I don’t think the Titans lined up in a straight I-formation once the entire game.
8. I don’t know how it looked on TV, but the chain stretch the Titans’ first drive was very, very close. From the video board shot, it looked short to me. The Colts fans didn’t like this, and also expressed their displeasure clearly when a similar Colts shot later in the game was ruled short.
9. CJ’s quickness and burst really stood out to me-on the run down to the Colts’ 25 on the first drive, he went off left and and picked up about 7-a normal fast back gets maybe 2, but he just has an unbelievable extra gear.
10. The Titans went to a full house backfield on 1&G from the 9, with Crumpler motioning in parallel to Hall. This isn’t much of a change from the normal H-back position, but it is a (new?) wrinkle.
11. An awful lot of the runs, especially early, looked like cutback runs against zone blocking. White’s carry with 2:45 left in the first quarter stood out to me because it looked like the first time the Titans man-blocked.
12. Fish mentioned it in today’s presser and I mentioned it in the podcast, so you already know Washington was bumped on his route on 3&G from the 2 the first drive. Could’ve drawn a flag, but I think it was a legit no-call.
13. Somebody I was sitting near said the counter option the Titans ran their second drive was an old UT play, which I didn’t think was right.
14. I love me some Michael Roos, but Freeney destroyed him on that sack to kill the drive.
15. Titans ran a DT stunt on the play after Diem’s false start, but Tony Brown took a long looping route across LDE and Garcon just ran past Harper on a fly pattern.
16. I thought the horse collar call on Fuller was a cheap one.
17. Was the first play of the second quarter a zone blitz? I thought it might have been.
18. McRath really got run over by Addai on the TD to make it 14-3.
17. Hall’s fumble was (obviously) the result of him trying to do too much. He needs to do a better job of playing within himself.
18. Peyton’s boot at 2Q 10:40 looked like something out of the Titans’ playbook.
19. Griffin had a nice series after Hall’s fumble, with 2 pass breakups. That was a big series for the defense.
20. Washington walked off at 2Q 8:18 and returned 3 plays later. Hawkins came in for him at wideout-I thought the Titans might go 2RB/2TE until Washington was ready, but that didn’t happen.
21. I don’t think VY saw Lacey on the pick. That play was created by pressure up the middle. If CJ was better at blitz pickup, VY doesn’t have to scramble here.
22. VY really gave him a pop after the pick, but may have been shaken up on the play-he was clearly limping on the sideline and Collins started warming up.
23. I’m avoiding typing in all the missed tackle notes, just because it’s too depressing. Ex: 2Q 4:45 Brown misses tackle, then Thornton faked out of his jock the next play.
24. The Colts were keeping the same players in, trying to keep the same defenders on the field, but the Titans were still rotating their defensive linemen. It seemed like they were good at keeping the guy with the ball down and covered to create extra time to make the subs-very creative.
25. Nick Harper looks mostly done.
26. The Titans were playing a lot of 3 DE on 3rd downs. Makes sense, since they deactivated DTs Jones and Marks.
27. Brett Kern really looks young.
28. Nate Washington looks really small.
29. I have no idea what happened on the incompletion to nobody with about :30 to go in the first half.
30. Scaife doesn’t seem to be the first read nearly as often as he used to be, which I can only regard as a positive change.
31. The pooch kickoff with :20 left and 2 TO was a bad idea-too much time. Yes, I wrote that as it happened.
32. DeVan may have pushed him late and over Peyton trying to draw a flag, but Brown absolutely has to be smarter than he was there.
That was it for the first half, I’ll post halftime, second half, and some other nonsense tomorrow.