Titans melt down on Monday Night

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 2:10am

DENVER — Call it a Mile High Mistake-fest.

The Tennessee Titans, hoping to make a Monday night splash before the viewing nation, instead drowned in pool of mistakes, wasting a career night from quarterback Vince Young in the process, in losing 34-20 to the Denver Broncos.

The Titans dug themselves an early 14-0 hole against the Broncos, thanks to a defensive breakdown, followed by a special teams collapse and could never climb the mountain in the Mile High City.

“It seemed like every time we took a step in closing the gap, they widened it again,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. “They made a lot of plays and we did not. Dropped passes, missed tackles, foolish penalties, turnovers against a team like Denver does not give you a chance to win the ballgame.”

Young, who passed for a career-best 305 yards in completing 26 of 41 passes, also rushed for a season-high 74 yards and tried to lead the Titans back into the game, despite the team’s many miscues, missed tackles and misgivings. Many of those rush yards came when Young made the player designed to contain him miss in the open field.

“I really had a good week of practice,” Young said. “I was just trying to do whatever it takes to get that first down. … If they’re doing a good job of covering our receivers, and have a guy spying me, I feel like one-on-one I’m going to win that battle.”

Young’s numbers could have been much better, as the Titans’ receivers dropped at least four passes that appeared to be catchable balls, including three that would have gone for big gains.

“[He was] just scrambling around making plays with feet and making plays with his arm,” receiver Justin Gage said. “He was doing everything he needed to do in order to put us in a position to win. And as receivers and playmakers, we had some dropped balls that killed us in tough situations.”

The mistakes on offense didn’t hurt nearly as much as some of the crucial errors defensively that cropped up for the second week in a row.

“Plays that need to be made are there, and we are just not making them,” linebacker Keith Bulluck said.

From the first play, it appeared that it would be a long night for the defense, as Selvin Young ran nearly untouched for eight yards on Denver’s first offensive snap. Selvin Young ran on four of Denver’s first five plays. Then, former Vanderbilt star Jay Cutler capped the six-play, 80-yard march with a 48-yard strike to Brandon Stokley, who broke free from safety Chris Hope when Cutler scrambled right and outran the Titans secondary into the end zone with 5:13 to play for a quick 7-0 lead.

Like Young, Cutler enjoyed an outstanding night, completing 16 of 21 passes for 200 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

After the Titans went three and out, Tennessee’s special teams had a breakdown, allowing Glenn Martinez to go 80 yards to make the score 14-0 Broncos at the 3:33 mark of the first quarter.

Young’s play was the only real encouraging part for the Titans in the game, as he got into a smooth rhythm in the first half and kept Tennessee in the game, despite several dropped passes by his receivers.

“Vince played a very good game tonight. He ran around and made plays and kept us in the ballgame. We just couldn’t catch up, but obviously, I was pleased at the way he played,” Fisher said.

The struggling signal-caller completed 15 of 22 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown and added 41 yards rushing on seven attempts in the first half.

Tennessee’s first scoring drive came almost completely via its quarterback, who took the team 65 yards in nine plays with his arm and legs. Young hit Brandon Jones for a 21-yard touchdown pass. In the drive, Young ran three times for 20 yards, completed 4 of 4 passes for 55 yards and also overcame two penalties on the march.

Denver answered that drive, however, tacking on a 21-yard Jason Elam field goal after a pass interference call on Cortland Finnegan of 37 yards against Stokley that gave Denver the ball at the Titans 11.

Young drove Tennessee to the Broncos 27, but LenDale White fumbled the ball, opening the door for another Denver scoring drive. Elam cashed in from 39 yards out to push the Broncos lead back to 13 points with 1:51 to play.

The Titans managed three more points when Rob Bironas made a 56-yard field goal with 9 seconds to play in the half. Bironas, who has now made 16 field goals in a row, missed badly on his first attempt, but the Broncos called timeout just before the snap.

Denver appeared to put the game away early in the third quarter as Cutler hit Brandon Marshall on a 41-yard pass to go up 27-10. On that play, Calvin Lowry closed first on the ball, then on Marshall, but came up with neither, as Marshall scored when Lowry fell.

Tennessee did gain some life when Martinez muffed a punt after the Titans’ next offensive possession, and Stephen Tulloch recovered at the Broncos 27. Young led the Titans in for a touchdown, getting a 1-yard touchdown that was awarded on a belated replay challenge that came only because of a Broncos timeout.

The Titans closed to within 27-20 on Bironas’ 37-yard field goal, but the defense gave it right back on the next possession, when a missed Reynaldo Hill tackle became a 62-yard touchdown gallop for backup tailback Andre Hall.

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By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

What can one say? The Titans still are ahead of their heritage which is 8 and 8. They have six games left. All they have to do is go 2 and 4. This will return them to their appointed lot in life. 8 and 8. Who would have thought that they would be 6 and 4 after 10 games. Tremendous dedication on the part of this team.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Frank, your sarcastic comments are getting old, please join id in his rubber room. Now as for the game, VY played a hell of a game, but the receivers dropping long balls and the secondary killed us. We also need big Al back ASAP.

By: Socrates on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Oh, yes, Titanloser. Professional sports did get Nashville some priceless national exposure on Monday Night Football. I understand that LP Field is changing its moniker to “LOSER Field”. And, Alan Jackson has been commissioned to write a theme song for y’all that goes to the tune of his hit song “Pop a Top” titled “Welcome to LOSERville. Home of LOSER Field”.

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Titan1, I have much respect for your loyalty towards the Titans. I know that it is genuine. Don't chastise me for not finding 8 and 8 as acceptable. Some people and I am one of them do not allow anything mediocre in their lives. From the time that I was a child I have strived to always be a winner. Some people are more accepting of "just getting by" I was just not one of them. My favorite nursery rhyme as a child went " He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum and said what a good boy am I."
"8500

By: Socrates on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Darn, all these years I was under the misconception that football was a team sport, and the team won or lost as a team. Now, according to Titanloser, it is an individual sport whereas ball-hog Vince Young is a team unto himself. That jingle: “LOSER in LOSERville seems to be catching on because now blame is being doled out based on individual performance.

By: BigPapa on 12/31/69 at 6:00

The Def just looked bad, really bad. Big difference from the first few games where they were just lights out. I'm thinking TN has been exposed as a fraud. They really weren't as good as their record. They may have caught these other teams at a bad time.

By: tnsmith71 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I must admit that Vince looked awesome but the Recievers did not! Vince consistently put the ball where it needed to be... The WR's did not step up to make the big plays. Sorta reminds me of the days of Drew Bennett.Secondly the Defensive secondary played awful. Too many mistakes.Reynaldo Hill was Denver's best player. We should have sent him packing...... Even with the help of Shannahan the Titans still could not pull off the win. We still have the likes of a good Texans team and the Colts and Chargers before we can hope to get in the playoffs! ball hog or not ! Vince can make it happen

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

The receivers are terrible. VY didn't play bad last night, he missed some passes, but overall pretty good. The defense really misses AH.They aren't as close as their early record indicated. Get a quality receiver or two and solidify the secondary and maybe...Socrates, Chill.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Great game I had the Titians and 15 points. Way to go Titians.

By: erbymi02 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

erbymi02As a fan from the days when they were the Oilers. I still pledge my loyalty. This team like the ones before them has much work to do. I still think Bud Qwens places too much emphasis on these players when they enter the college draft. We paid a fortune for Eddie George who was great as a Heisman Trophy player. He only averaged 2.5 yds per carry. The league has proven that the better players are not always the Heisman winners. Jay Cutler is a prime example and so is Bironas. Further, after Fisher gets them finely tuned we loose them in trades or they become free agents. Still, I have comfidence we will have a Superbowl team.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Id finally admits he's a jock sniffer. lol

By: nashbeck on 12/31/69 at 6:00

socrates your name makes you seem smarter than you really are. When is 6-4 a losing record? If we ever get Big Albert back, let's see how our defense is then. You call Vince a ball hog, are you mad that our center snaps the ball to our quarterback at the beginning of each play?? If it was possible, I wish Vince was throwing it to himself last night. We are still in the playoff hunt, let hope Vince keeps playing like he did last night, the receivers step up, and big al is healthy the rest of the year. Idgaf, you need a hug.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Maybe you guys should petition to get the pac-thug back again?Hey we are only giving them 22 million (plus) a yr maybe if we give them more they will do better?

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Without VY, they have no running game. LenWhale is proving the predraft evaluations of him were right, he's fat, lazy and has "ball control" issues. I wouldn't rush out and embrace Albert either, he's playing for a paycheck and if/when he gets it we'll see the old Albert.

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Cowboy84, You always say the things that most of us have in the back of our minds. Lenwhale will not be in the NFL in five years, You just cannot have less self-discipline than this fellow.