In about the least important thing that happened in the game, the Tennessee Titans lost the the Cincinnati Bengals 27-19 at Paul Brown Stadium. Missed field goals helped make the scoreline less flattering to the Titans than it should have been, but once again the first-team defense struggled against the opposing first-string offense.
1. Jake Locker actually played pretty well. He finished 12 of 20 for 116 yards but had a couple drops and another catchable pass not be completed. Most of the passes didn't have a high degree of difficulty, but it was a less checkdown-filled performance than last week.
2. Damian Williams got most of his snaps against second-teamers, but he stood out against them in the same way I thought Antonio Johnson did last week.
3. Shonn Greene and Jackie Battle both ran hard. Greene in particular looked good with 1's v 1's.
4. The defense got some pressure on Andy Dalton early, including a strip-sack by Jurrell Casey where he just took the ball away from the Red Rifle.
5. Michael Griffin led the team in tackles and didn't miss any that I recall.
1. Those drops-one by Kenny Britt, another by Jack Doyle, who's drawn praise for previously highly reliable hands, plus Nate Washington failing to haul in a catchable ball on third down.
2. Chris Johnson had one good hard run and six that were very blah. That's a familiar Chris Johnson, and not in a good way.
3. Rusty Smith's second 2 minute opportunity in as many weeks failed to result in the offense getting anywhere close to midfield, let alone actual points, thanks in part to left tackle Daniel Baldridge getting beat.
4. Tommie Campbell got the start this week and drew a fair amount of attention from the Bengals offense, much of it successful for them. He needed a good performance and didn't come close to one. I wasn't hugely impressed with Alterraun Verner after a couple positives from him early, but he didn't need a good game nearly as much as Campbell did.
5. Bernard Pollard is not good in space. This is not really news, but he was in space today and looked bad in it.
6. The bigger defensive line did not look better, getting blown off the ball close to the goalline in particular.
1. Akeem Ayers went off early with an ankle injury Mike Munchak described after the game as the result of him getting kicked in the knee. Patrick Bailey is not an adequate replacement at SLB. Nor is Scott Solomon.
2. Kendall Wright has a knee injury of indeterminate severity. While he limped to the sidelines before being carted to the locker room, all other signs are this could be a multi-week injury. At this point, I'd be happy if he's practices the week of and plays in the first regular season game against the Steelers. Unless I missed a play or two (quite possible), he once again only played in the slot in 11 personnel.
In-depth reviews of the offense and defense later, once I have a chance to re-watch the game.