Entire secondary (Except Usama Young)
That would be Mike Jenkins, Tracy Porter, Phillip Adams, Chimdi Chekwa, Brandian Ross, and Charles Woodson. All of these players had their moments of choking this one away. As one might expect, it was Jenkins who got it started off. He gave up two catches for 29 yards on the Titans' opening drive. Ross gave up the biggest catch on the drive of 13 yards on third and one to keep the drive alive. The result was a field goal to tie it up. The secondary all played quite well the rest of the first half. Then came the second half, and ugh.
Tracy Porter started off the second half by giving up a 23-yard catch. Two plays later he missed what should have been a tackle for loss. But the big play, again, was given up by Ross. He didn't come up to cover Justin Hunter from Adams and the result was a wide open catch. Then Ross and Adams both were juked out of their cleats and whiffed on the tackle for a 54-yard touchdown catch and run.
Porter would give up another catch, this time for 8 yards, on a long Titans' drive to begin the fourth quarter. It resulted in another field goal and a 16-12 Titans lead. The Raiders would take the lead back only to see this secondary get completely destroyed on the following drive.
The Raiders had the Titans in third and 7 a few plays in but Chekwa gave up an 8-yard catch and the drive continued. Then they had them again in third down and 6 at the 19-yard line, needed a stop to hold them to a field goal to tie it and head to overtime. Then Woodson gave up a 9-yard catch and the drive was alive. An incompletion later and the Titans would have two more chances to score a touchdown. They only needed one. The Titans' receiver found the soft spot between Tracy Porter and Phillip Adams and Titans' QB found him there for the touchdown. Game. Over.
Dennis Allen, Jason Tarver
You can't have the entire secondary among the Busters without also mentioning the man who draws up the defensive plays along with the DB specialist head coach. The Titans were able to sustain at least three very long drives in this game that took huge amounts of time of the clock. They were able to do that by methodically picking apart the Raiders defense. The final drive was one such instance.
Allen uses the final play of the Texans' game as an example of how sometimes the zone look they gave works and sometimes it doesn't. Well, against the Texans it didn't really work. Lest we forget the Texans marched all the way down to the goal line in the same way the Titans did. That is playing with fire and this week the Raiders got burnt. The Raiders were able to stop the score in the end last week and they weren't able to do it this week. But what about stopping the other team from driving all the way down the field at all?
The Titans converted on 5 of their final 6 third down attempts in this game. The Raiders offense was also clicking late but it was the Titans who had the last drive. That drive kept alive with very little pressure on the quarterback and breaks in containment. Allen said he regrets not putting more pressure on the quarterback on that last play. That realization didn't have to be hindsight, but now it's all ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda.'
The Raiders lost by four points. He missed two field goals that were makeable by even the most mediocre kicker. The first one he missed was a golden opportunity afforded him by a blocked punt and a big completion. He was set up for a 32-yard field goal and it twisted left and just missed. He thought it made it, as did many of us who watched it, but the ref under the left goal post said no. Regardless, 32-yard field goals should not need to be a judgment call. There should never be a doubt it went through from that distance.
The Raiders drove right back into field goal range to start the third quarter. Yet again, Janikowski lined up and missed it - this time from 48 yards out. Anything under 50 yards has been nearly automatic for Janikowski for quite some time. Word from the sideline was that Janikowski was not happy with the hold by Marquette King. Hard to argue with him considering the problems he's had this season and the only difference is the holder. But without a camera trained on the ball as it's place to see if he messed up the hold, I can't assume King is at fault. Even though logic would say his hold is a factor. For now, it's just two missed field goals by Janikowski and those six points would have been the difference in the game.
Dude touched the ball three times in this game. One was a fair catch, one was a punt return which he fumbled, and the other was a pass on third down which he flat out dropped. The fumble was luckily recovered by the Raiders or it could have been much worse. The drop was late in the third quarter with the Raiders at the Titans' 24 yard line and threatening. The threat ended off Ford's stone hands and they settled for yet another field goal.