Schedule leaves Titans no time to enjoy season-opening victory Print
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Monday, 10 September 2007 13:47
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 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -The Tennessee Titans have no time to enjoy their season-opening victory over AFC South rival Jacksonville. Not with the defending Super Bowl champs up next.
The Titans watched film Monday of their 13-10 victory over the Jaguars, a game in which they ran for 282 yards and held the ball for nearly 37 minutes, to identify the mistakes that must be corrected.
But the home opener against the Colts will limit the Titans' enjoyment of their first season-opening win since 2004.
``Indy's a big week around here,'' defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said Monday. ``Everybody gets excited for it. It's the defending Super Bowl champs. If we really want to make a name for ourselves, we have to play well this week.''
The NFL didn't help the Titans much in the scheduling department.
The Titans' first two games are against AFC South opponents, and the Colts (1-0) have had a few extra days to prepare for their first road trip after opening the season Thursday night.
``I'm sure they got a good start, and we have to catch up,'' coach Jeff Fisher said.
At least the Titans had a better start than last season.
A year after starting 0-5 before winning six of their final seven to just miss their first playoff berth since 2003, the Titans opened up 2007 with the second-best rushing game in team history.
The offense held the ball for 36:55, the longest since Oct. 11, 2004, when the Titans had it 38 minutes against Green Bay. A big improvement for an offense that averaged 27 minutes time of possession in 2006, last in the NFL.
After ranking fifth in the league rushing last season, the Titans cut Travis Henry in March even though he ran for 1,211 yards. But the offensive line starters returned and they opened huge holes against Jacksonville.
Chris Brown, back on a one-year contract after finding little interest as a free agent, ran the ball better than anyone else in the NFL on Sunday. His career-high 175 yards rushing on 19 carries - a staggering 9.2-yard average - was more than his 156 yards in all of 2006.
Starter LenDale White ran 18 times for 66 yards, but couldn't gain a yard at the Jags 1 on fourth-down. Fisher said he wants to split carries 60-40 and left open the chance that Brown might have earned his first start in nearly a year.
``It is a week-to-week thing,'' Fisher said.
As happy as Fisher was with the running game, he wants better production near the goal line. The Titans got inside the Jaguars 13 four of their first seven drives and scored only two field goals and one touchdown.
``You can't do that. Granted, their defense is a good defense, but we left points (off) the board yesterday,'' Fisher said.
Fisher said Vince Young did a good job managing the game, even though he completed only 11 of 18 passes for 78 yards. Fisher said Young was accurate on some tough throws that kept drives alive.
The defense that gave up more yards per game than any other in the NFL in 2006 held Jacksonville to 272, with only 72 of those on the ground.
``We said the type of team we want to be, we want to stop the run,'' Vanden Bosch said. ``We want to run the ball on offense. That's exactly what we did. Hopefully, that's form for us every game this season.''
The Titans split with Indianapolis last season, losing 14-13 on the road and pulling out a 20-17 win here in December on a 60-yard field goal.
The game plan will be changing against Indianapolis, but not by much.
``As we've shown, one way of effectively playing the Colts is keeping their offense off the field,'' Fisher said. ``To do that, you have to hand the ball off.''
 

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