After a hectic bye week, which included the passing of long-time owner, Bud Adams, the Tennessee Titans looked rejuvenated stifling the St. Louis Rams in the Edward Jones Dome, 28-21.
The Week 8 bye could not have come at a better time for Tennessee. After a Week 7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Titans fell to under .500 for the first time this season, Jake Locker was still not 100 percent and All-Pro running back, Chris Johnson, was yet to break a 100 yards on the ground in a single game.
Despite a 3-1 start, the Titans offense looked sluggish and overpowered as of late. This was not the case on Sunday.
Chris Johnson finally had the break out game he needed to get back on track as a dominant force in the ground game. Rushing for 150 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns; Johnson aided a Tennessee rushing attack that scored four touchdowns against St. Louis. Locker rushed for one while back up running back, Shonn Greene took another one in.
Over shadowed by Johnson’s break out performance, rookie running back, Zac Stacy, also emerged as a legitimate starter. Stacy carried the St. Louis offense throughout the day recording 127 yards on 27 carries to go along with two rushing touchdowns.
Even with Stacy’s 127 yards on the ground, perennial back up quarterback, Kellen Clemens, only threw for 210 yards with a single score while losing a fumble late in the fourth to allow Tennessee to take the lead.
This was surely a hard-nosed battle in the trenches. Neither team was able to eclipse a run longer than 32 yards despite the 358 total rushing yards to coincide the six rushing touchdowns recorded.
On the down side, the usually efficient Locker threw two picks Sunday while throwing no touchdowns and a mere 185 yards through the air. The defense also gave up three touchdowns to an offense led by a back quarterback including two touchdowns to a rookie running back.
However, the Titans were able to improve to 4-4 placing them one game out of the final wild card spot. Tennessee was able to get a big win on the road against a familiar foe through the run game, which should boost the Titan’s confidence. This was definitely the missing piece to this offense all season and now they know what they are really capable of.
With wins over the Jets and Chargers, the Titans hold the tiebreaker over the two teams standing in their way of the playoffs. The Tennessee Titans return home in Week 10 to face the winless Jacksonville Jaguars, which should move this young team back over .500.