National Football League teams don’t get more puzzling than the Tennessee Titans.
On paper, the Titans should be one of the NFL’s elite. They’ve got an outstanding coach in Jeff Fisher, a tremendous running game in RB Chris Johnson and QB Vince Young, great depth on the offensive and defensive lines and a linebacking crew that plays with a high motor.
So why, then, are the Titans just 2-2?
That’s the question a lot of people were asking following Tennessee’s 26-20 home loss to Denver on Sunday. The Titans came in as 6.5-point favourites but couldn’t slow the Denver passing game (Broncos QB Kyle Orton threw for 341 yards and two TDs), which could be a huge problem this week as they travel to Dallas to take on the well-rested Cowboys.
The Cowboys were on a bye last week, but don’t think they weren’t paying close attention to the Titans-Broncos affair. As they did, they probably noticed that the Titans have major issues in the secondary (they’re also a little banged up, as CB Jason McCourty missed the game with injury) and have to be thrilled at the prospect of airing it out this week. Cowboys QB Tony Romo looked to have gotten his season on track against Houston two weeks ago — completing nearly 80 percent of his passes for 284 yards and two TDs — and WR Roy Williams had the breakout game (5 catches, 117 yards, two TDs) Cowboys fans were waiting for.
Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) at Indianapolis Colts (2-2)
Hands up if — when the NFL schedule came out in April — you thought the Chiefs would be ahead of the Colts in the AFC standings heading into their Week 5 affair. Any hands in the air? Any? No?
Yeah, thought so.
The Chiefs are arguably the biggest surprise of the 2010 NFL season, but they’ll get their first major test of how “real” they are this Sunday in Indianapolis. The Colts haven’t started the season well — they’re 2-2 and still struggling mightily with stopping the run — but trying to get a win in Indy after the Colts suffer a disappointing loss is tough. Just ask the New York Giants. Two weeks ago, New York got Indy at home after the Colts opened with a bad loss in Houston; Indy proceeded to roll up the Giants 38-14 in a completely one-sided affair.
Kansas City has developed a recipe for success — strong defense, big-play special teams, limit QB Matt Cassel‘s mistakes — but that might not be enough to stick with the high-octane Colts. Regardless, it promises to be an exciting affair, one of the many on the Week 5 slate. The one place the Chiefs could strike is with the ground game, however. Between Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles, Kansas City has developed a “thunder and lightning” tandem where Jones does a lot of the grinder work…then Charles comes into to break the long, game-breaking run. Against a Colts run defense that ranks near the bottom of the league in every noteworthy statistical category, Jones and Charles could run wild.