The Titans offense showed all the agility and grace of a garbage truck. The defense was as sturdy as a little lamb.
But let’s not overreact to the Titans season-opening loss to the Oakland Raiders. Thing could be worse. Much worse.
Scanning the NFL after one week of action, here are some of the highlights and a few of the letdowns.
The Choke: Bengals QB Andy Dalton is paid like a prime-time player, but he performed like a box of cat litter against the Ravens. The Bengals didn’t score during a 20-0 shutout on their own home field.
Dalton threw 4 INTs and was sacked 5 times in leading a lifeless offense.
The Disappearing Act: The New England defense can stop playing hide and seek. We can’t find you.
The Patriots surrendered one big play after another against the Chiefs in allowing 42 points and 537 yards, both the most of the Bill Belichick era. It doesn’t help this happened during Week 1, which is usually dominated by defenses while offenses search for rhythm.
The Star: Playing in his first pro game against the defending league champs, Chiefs rookie RB Kareem Hunt was the brightest player on the field. He compiled 246 yards from scrimmage, the most ever in an NFL debut, while scoring three TDs.
His receiving skills are among the best I’ve seen from a RB. He caught a hard throw behind him in the flat for a TD, then followed that by catching a bomb in full stride for a second receiving TD.
The Stiff Arm: You better be prepared to tackle a very strong man when approaching Falcon TE Austin Hooper, who pushed a Chicago Bear tackler aside like leftover squash casserole in rambling for an 88-yard TD.
The Woeful: This is a tie between two teams in the AFC South, the Titans division. If the first week is any indication, the Texans and Colts are awful.
Perhaps flood waters are to blame for an ugly 29-7 loss by the Texans to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Texans OL couldn’t block a snail in allowing 10 sacks. It’s not too early to note the Texans are on pace to allow 160 sacks this season.
Meanwhile, the Colts entered year with low expectations and those expectations sunk even lower after a 46-9 loss to the Rams. Yes, the hapless Rams.
Scott Tolzien, playing in place of an injured Andrew Luck, is not an NFL-caliber quarterback. On defense, the Colts made the Rams look like they had Montana and Rice.
The Titans have an 11-game losing streak to the Colts, the longest active streak between two NFL teams. If that streak doesn’t end this year, there is reason to panic.