|Other Week 2 Game Recaps|
|ATL at TB||BUF at JAX||CHI at CAR||GB at DET||IND at MIN||MIA at ARI||NE at NYJ||NO at WAS|
|NYG at STL||OAK at KC||PHI at DAL||PIT at CLE||SD at DEN||SF at SEA||TEN at CIN|
Week 2 Game Recap: Tennessee Titans 24, Cincinnati Bengals 7
What you need to know
After dominating the Bengals in windy Cincinnati, the Titans are 2-0 for the first time since their 1999 Super Bowl season. Tennessee's defense continued where it left off and limited the Bengals to 215 net yards. The Titans defense kept the Bengals off the scoreboard for the last 33 plus minutes and held Cincinnati to two second half first downs. Carson Palmer was unable to hit any big plays and was never able to get comfortable as the Titans forced two fourth quarter interceptions.
While the injured Vince Young remained at home, veteran Kerry Collins made his fifth start for Tennessee and the 150th start of his career. Collins was unfazed by the wind gusts that reached up to 60 miles per hour and did a commendable job managing the offense. Collins efficiently ran the team and threw low flying lasers to cut the wind effectively. Most importantly, he made no mistakes.
The Titans offensive line protected Collins well; he was rarely touched and was sacked only once. For the second straight game, rookie speedster Chris Johnson and LenDale White split carries almost evenly. White put in the workmanlike effort with 59 hard fought yards on 18 attempts. Johnson had the better numbers. He finished with 109 yards on 19 carries. 51 of his yards came on a draw play that set up Tennessee's second touchdown. So far, White has been getting the opportunities deep in the red zone. He now has touchdown runs in consecutive weeks.
Justin Gage was Collins' favorite target. Gage contributed five catches for 59 yards and one touchdown.
Craig Hentrich had a punt partially blocked and mishandled a snap. However, he also nailed a 70 yard punt that pinned the Bengals at their two yard line and set up a blocked punt by Keith Bulluck that resulted in a Tennessee touchdown.
The Bengals' once prolific offense has struggled tremendously so far this season. Through two games, Cincinnati has scored only one offensive touchdown. After averaging over 258 yards passing per game last season, Carson Palmer has now passed for only 228 total yards in two games this season. Unlike Kerry Collins, Palmer struggled to get comfortable throwing in the gusty conditions. He was erratic and missed open receivers throughout the contest. He threw two fourth quarter interceptions and finished with his second worst rating ever.
Cincinnati managed only two first downs in the entire second half.
Chris Perry was effective at times. He finished with 64 yards on 21 carries, including the first rushing touchdown of his career. The touchdown came on a fourth and one play. Perry found a hole and broke one tackle on his way to a 13 yard touchdown.
Chad Johnson caught four passes for 37 yards. Johnson was penalized for holding and offensive pass interference. His counterpart, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, did not catch any passes in the first half. Houshmandzadeh was able to haul in only three balls for 26 yards.
Cincinnati's offensive woes also led to a blocked punt resulting in a Titans touchdown as Kyle Larson had no room to get a punt off and Keith Bulluck blocked it in the end zone.
What you ought to know
|QB Kerry Collins, Pass: 14 - 21 - 128 - 1 TD / 0 INT|
Collins started for the fifth time in his Tennessee career and the 150th time in his career. He began the game sixteenth on the NFL's all time passing yardage list. Collins needs 90 more passing yard to reach 35,000 for his career.
Collins was the better quarterback in this game. He was efficient and mistake free, throwing only one questionable pass during the game. Collins consistently demonstrated his arm strength by throwing lasers through the tropical storm like winds. He threw one touchdown pass to Justin Gage.
|QB Vince Young|
Young did not make the trip to Ohio for the game. He stayed at home to rest his injured knee.
|RB Chris Johnson, Rush: 19 - 109 - 0, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (3 targets)|
Johnson's day was hit or miss. Johnson, the fastest man ever timed at the NFL's scouting combine started off slowly gaining only seven yards on his first six attempts. His seventh attempt was a perfect illustration of his speed. He found an opening on a draw play. After he made a defender miss, he was off for a big 51 yard gain. Once into the second level of the defense, Johnson was able to compile nice gains, but LenDale White was more effective on runs up the middle. White and Johnson have split carries almost equally so far.
|RB LenDale White, Rush: 18 - 59 - 1|
LenDale White continues to share carries with rookie Chris Johnson. White was the more effective runner between the tackles, while Johnson is more of a home run hitter. White's biggest gain was a 17 yard burst. It was a nice run, but White lacks the speed that could have turned it into a huge gain.
So far, White has been the choice of coach Jeff Fisher in carries deep inside the red zone. He now has touchdowns in back to back games and owns nine touchdown runs in his career.
|RB Ahmard Hall, Rush: 3 - 9 - 0|
Hall, the fullback, had his first three runs of the season. His second effort enabled him to pick up a key first down on a third and one play.
|WR Justin Gage, Rec: 5 - 59 - 1 (7 targets)|
Gage was Collins' favorite target on the day and hauled in Tennessee's only touchdown reception. On the play, Gage caught a hitch route at the Cincinnati three and was able to turn up field and reach the end zone.
|WR Brandon Jones, Rec: 2 - 26 - 0 (2 targets)|
Jones caught both of his targets, including a 19 yard reception that tied for the Titans' longest pass play of the day.
|WR Justin McCareins, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (5 targets)|
McCareins caught only two short passes, but was targeted deep a couple of times.
|TE Alge Crumpler, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (3 targets)|
Crumpler caught two passes. He has yet to become a key cog in the Tennessee passing game.
|TE Bo Scaife, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (3 targets)|
Scaife followed up last week's big game with only one catch for six yards. He was targeted at the goal line, however, and appeared to have been interfered with, but no flag was thrown.
|PK Rob Bironas 1 - 1 FG, 3 - 3 XP, 6 points|
Bironas nailed his only field goal attempt and all three extra point tries.
|TEN Rush Defense|
The Titans run defense held the Bengals to 88 yards rushing for a meager a 3.1 yard average. Chris Perry had a 13 yard touchdown run.
|TEN Pass Defense|
Carson Palmer never was able to get on track in this game. The Bengals had only one play longer than 13 yards. It came on a meaningless screen pass at the end of the first half. Kyle Vanden Bosch and Javon Kearse each had a half sack. Kearse forced a fumble on the play. Cortland Finnegan and Michael Griffin had interceptions. The unit also nearly forced a safety when Chris Perry was just able to get out of the end zone on a screen pass. However, when Cincinnati was forced to punt from inside the one yard line as a result, Keith Bulluck was able to get to the punter, block the kick, and recover for a touchdown. The only negative of consequence was the five times The Titans were guilty of being offsides.
|QB Carson Palmer, Pass: 16 - 27 - 134 - 0 TD / 2 INT|
Palmer debuted the 2008 season with his lowest rated game ever (35.2 passer rating). He followed that up with a 41.3 rating against the Titans for his second lowest rating ever. Palmer was never able to get into any real rhythm and struggled with his accuracy. With winds gusting up to 60 miles per hour, Palmer was unable to complete any passes more than 13 yards downfield. (Cincinnati's longest pass play was a 36 yard screen pass to DeDe Dorsey) With the Bengals trailing, Palmer threw two fourth quarter interceptions. The second interception was a high, but probably catchable ball thrown to Reggie Kelly. So far Palmer has been unable to get in sync with his flamboyant pair of star wide receivers.
|QB Ryan Fitzpatrick|
Backup quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the game late and handed the ball twice to DeDe Dorsey.
|RB Chris Perry, Rush: 21 - 64 - 1, Rec: 2 - -8 - 0 (2 targets)|
Prior to this season, Perry, the oft-injured running back, played in only 22 games during his first four years in the league. He is now the Bengals' feature back. Perry showed some promise during the game. He broke a tackle on the way to the end zone on his 13 yard touchdown run. So far, that run accounts for Cincinnati's only offensive touchdown this year. Perry fumble twice in the game, but the Bengals did not lose possession.
Perry is a good receiver and caught two passes that both lost yardage. On his second reception, Perry was almost caught for a safety, but he did a good job of fighting to just get out of the end zone.
Despite his ability as a receiver, it seems that Cincinnati plans to use Kenny Watson as the running back in third down passing situations.
|RB DeDe Dorsey, Rush: 3 - 10 - 0, Rec: 2 - 49 - 0 (2 targets)|
Dorsey played late in each half. He was given three rushing attempts. He led the Bengals in receiving yards with only two receptions (both on screen passes). He took the second one 36 yards for Cincinnati's longest play of the game as time ran out in the first half.
|RB Kenny Watson, Rush: 4 - 14 - 0 (2 targets)|
Watson had only four rushing attempts. Palmer missed an open Watson on an outlet pass that would have given punter Kyle Larson more room to get his blocked punt off and would have kept the Bengals in the game longer.
|WR Chad Johnson, Rec: 4 - 37 - 0 (8 targets)|
Johnson was Palmer's most targeted receiver, but only caught four short passes. Johnson was called for holding and pass interference penalties.
|WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Rec: 3 - 26 - 0 (5 targets)|
Houshmandzadeh was not targeted until the second half and has not been a big factor in the passing offense thus far.
|WR Antonio Chatman, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (3 targets)|
Chatman had his first two receptions of the season. Palmer missed him on a couple of other deep attempts.
|WR Glenn Holt (1 targets)|
Palmer short hopped Holt on what would have been a 16-17 yard gain.
|TE Reggie Kelly, Rec: 3 - 14 - 0 (4 targets)|
Kelly caught three short passes. Palmer targeted him deep downfield in the fourth quarter, but the pass was high and went off Kelly's fingertips for an interception.
|TE Ben Utecht (1 targets)|
Utecht was the targeted receiver on the opening play of the game. Palmer led him a little too far and Utecht was unable to gather the pass. He then took a hard hit to his chest and had to be helped off the field. He did not return.
|TE Dan Coats (2 targets)|
Coats had a three yard reception negated by a penalty.
|PK Shayne Graham 0 - 1 FG, 1 - 1 XP, 1 points|
Graham, the NFL's active percentage leader, missed his only field goal attempt. The wind caught his kick and flew it into the right upright.
|CIN Rush Defense|
The Bengals run defense played well for much of the game. However, the unit did allow a Chris Johnson a 51 yard run on a draw play that led to a touchdown that broke a 7-7 tie. The unit was also unable to keep LenDale White out of the end zone and allowed Ahmard Hall to pick up a first down in a short yardage situation.
|CIN Pass Defense|
The Bengals pass defense put almost no pressure on Kerry Collins. Antwan Odom had the only sack. He forced a fumble on the play, but Tennessee recovered. Despite the windy conditions, Collins was able to pass effectively.