Few Bright Spots for Titans

In their 34-7 lopsided loss to the Steelers on Sunday, the Titans opened up with an 11-play, 61-yard drive that displayed new offensive coordinator Norm Chow's desire to keep defenses guessing.

Quarterback Steve McNair estimated that Chow had the Titans in seven different personnel groupings in the first twelve plays.

McNair completed two-thirds of his passes utilizing his three tight ends as his primary targets. Erron Kinney, Ben Troupe and Bo Scaife pulled in 13 of the team's 18 receptions.

Although the Titans moved the ball, they turned it over way too often, especially in the red zone. Former Bills running back Travis Henry contributed to their problems with a fumble in his regular season debut with Tennessee that seemed to be a moment-shifter in the game. Kicker Rob Bironas joined Henry in the lackluster start category, missing his first NFL regular season field goal attempt from 47-yards out.

McNair can't be too excited about facing the Ravens this weekend. He's 6-8 in his career and has thrown more than twice as many interceptions (15) than touchdowns (7) against them.

One bright spot for Tennessee was the effectiveness of running back Chris Brown who was averaging 5.7 yards per carry before losing carries to the passing game once Tennessee began lagging to far behind.

But in addition to turnovers, another troubling aspect of the Titans' effort was their inability to stop the run, a trend that began last season. Over the past 16 games, they have allowed an opposing back to rush for over 100 yards in eight of those contests. Pittsburgh rookie Willie Parker gouged them for 161 yards on 22 carries, and this week they will square off against the Ravens' Jamal Lewis.

"This is back-to-back weeks where our defense is going to have to stand up because the opponent chooses to hit you right in the mouth and run the football," coach Jeff Fisher said. "So we're going to have to answer that challenge, and to do so, you're going to have to tackle."

The Titans' secondary was lit up by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who averaged 19.82 yards per attempt, including a 63-yard strike to Antwan Randle El who was left wide open when defender Tank Williams fell down on the play.

PLAYER NOTES

First-round pick Pac-Man Jones didn't even dress as part of the active roster for the season opener, but may do so this weekend as a special teams player. With his extensive contract holdout, the Titans feel he is too far behind to contribute to the defense yet....The Titans will regain some talent on their offensive line this week as left tackle Brad Hopkins was activated following his one-game suspension....The team announced the release of Todd Williams, a 2002 seventh-round draft pick.

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