What I think they are thinking, or should be thinking, at the four team headquarters of the AFC South…
We decided we could make things work on defense with a young secondary and a thin pass rush. But we did so expecting that we’d have one of the top offenses in the league and would put up significant points ever week. But we’ve scored 13 touchdowns while we’ve given up 16, and that’s just not going to cut it. Kansas City will be bringing a tough, underrated defense to town on Sunday, and we need to figure out how to get and maintain some offensive rhythm, the type that produces some points.
The bye week sure looks appealing, but before we get there we have a tough trip to Washington. The Redskins qualify as an unfamiliar opponent, but Mike Shanahan and his staff know us. Peyton Manning says we’re still trying to figure out our identity. Sure, things don’t automatically carry over from year to year. But as steady as we are and as little non-injury change as we’ve had, shouldn’t we know who we are? Shouldn't we know what we do well and what we don’t by the middle of October?
We’ve done some very good things the past two weeks to pull to 3-2, but without a good showing at home on Monday night against the Titans, a lot of that good can slip away. We need to pressure Vince Young and make things complicated for him so he can’t beat our struggling secondary. We’ve got to limit the Titans big plays from Chris Johnson and Young. And we’ve got to protect David Garrard, who’s played well given time and asked to take the short stuff. This is a good game for us to measure our offensive line. The Titans’ 22 sacks are more than our last two opponents now have combined.
If we can put together the big plays in the passing offense, and the sacks and turnovers from the defense we got in Dallas, we’ll be in good shape. Heck, we can win some games with less than all those ingredients. But doing it against a division opponent who knows us better is a different deal. Garrard is playing with great confidence. We need to smother him early, take away Marcedes Lewis, who’s becoming a dangerous target, and slow down Maurice Jones-Drew and Deji Karim.