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News » Tennessee Titans Inside Slant 2008-10-30

Tennessee Titans Inside Slant 2008-10-30

Tennessee Titans Inside Slant 2008-10-30
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Tennessee Titans' victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night was the halftime adjustments they made to thwart a gimmick game plan from Indianapolis.

Determined to stop the Titans' running game of Chris Johnson and LenDale White, the Colts opened the game in a 4-4-3 set with Tyjuan Hagler, an extra linebacker, in the game instead of a strong safety.

The Titans predictably had trouble against the set, and set about abandoning their game plan against the Colts' Tampa 2 system to take advantage of single coverage with their receivers. The result was Kerry Collins completing 24 of 37 passes for 193 yards in the win.

Now, as the Titans prepare to face the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, perhaps it will make the next opponent think twice before resorting to such an unconventional scheme on obvious rushing downs.

"I don't know if it will deter teams, because a lot of defensive philosophies are they're going to stop the run first," Collins said. "Obviously, we've proven we can run the ball, and at times, we've shown we can be effective throwing it. It won't be the last time they'll challenge us to throw outside. We'll probably see it again this week."

Collins made good use of the situation by completing passes to nine different players. It helped to offset the fact that Tennessee's rushing game accounted for just 88 total yards, one week after a franchise-record 332 at Kansas City.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher was complimentary of both Collins and offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, who made the halftime maneuver away from the run game to take advantage of a vulnerable Colts pass defense.

"Certainly it was a departure from what they're (Colts) used to doing," Fisher said. "Obviously, it was their attempt to try and address and shut down our run game. They must have felt that having four linebackers on the field with four down linemen was going to obviously give them the best chance. It did, and it was very effective.

"It also suggests that you'll have opportunities to make plays elsewhere. That's basically what Mike and Kerry did. They kind of took advantage of it. When they recognized it, they picked it up and started throwing it."

On the fourth-quarter drive that put the Titans up 24-14, Collins was six of eight for 55 yards.

It also gave the team a nice dose of confidence that the veteran Collins brings an added option to the arsenal in an area that was sketchy last year as Vince Young struggled with his consistency throwing the football.

White was on board with the way the Titans passing game came to life and knows that Collins and the receivers must strike some sort of balance on offense in order to keep teams from trying the same sort of tricks the Colts did.

"The thing is I have full confidence in our tight ends and receivers and whoever needs to catch the ball," White said. "We know what our guys can do. If you want to add an extra guy in the box, then Kerry is more than capable of getting the job done, getting the ball to people he needs to. ... I feel like if you have an extra linebacker in there, you're making a mismatch on yourself. You pick your poison. If you want to stop us, you've got to stop Kerry. If you want to stop Kerry, you've got to stop us."

SERIES HISTORY: 10th regular-season meeting. Titans lead the series, 5-4. The Titans intercepted Brett Favre three times and also recovered three fumbles in a Monday night 48-27 blowout of the Packers in their last meeting in 2004. Safety Lamont Thompson was the star of that game for Tennessee, intercepting Favre twice and forcing a fumble that the Titans recovered.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 30, 2008

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Isaac Snell Name: Isaac Snell
Position: OG
Age: 26
Experience: 4 years
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