The Mullet Blows Titans' Game Plan...Again
In the first meeting between the Titans and the Stillers on MNF, Jeff Fisher rolled the dice that Kordell Stewart could not beat them. The result? With only 22 passing attempts, Stewart completed 13 passes for 232 yards, 1 passing TD and 1 rushing TD. Stillers won 34-7 in a good ol' fashion ass whippin'.
Since beating the Titans, Stewart had two strong games against the Ravens (236 yds passing, 31 yds rushing) and Jags (266 yds passing, 50 yds rushing) and an adequate game against the Browns (188 yds passing, 65 yds rushing). Leading up to the second meeting between Pittsburgh and Tennessee, Stewart had 3-200 yard performances, 3 passing TD's, 1 rushing TD and no interceptions in 4 games. Also during that span, he had a very respectable QB rating of 90.9. Most of all, his numbers could have looked even better if not for the coaches' head-in-the-sand play calling in the red zone.
Despite Kordell's recent play, Fisher decided that Bettis was the man to stop again. The result, again, was that Stewart burned the Titans. Not only did he collect 254 yards passing and 2 TD's, he added 54 yards on the ground including a spectacular 48 yard TD run. His two highest single-game QB ratings of the season have now come against Tennessee (110.4 and 108.8 respectively - these happen to be his only 100+ ratings of the season). In Fisher's defense, there were a few balls that should have been picked off, but nonetheless, they weren't.
If not for the Mullet-man's game plan, Pittsburgh might not have been able to get back in the game by sheer running alone. With Tennessee over committing to the run, though, the pass was wide open and Kordell and the receivers exploited it. The beauty of it all was seeing #10 and company make the plays in the passing game that we've been wanting to see since '97. The most impressive plays against the Titans came on third down where 7 of 14 attempts were successful. Third downs were converted by Hines (3), Plex (2, TD), Zeroeue (TD) and Edwards -- all 7 conversions came through the air. That is big time production -- converting 50% of your chances and scoring on 2 of them.
With weekly improvements, the offense has now shown the ability to win by air and by ground. Not to mention...the ability to win on a day when the defense plays below expectations.
Hey Mr. Fisher, do you think you'll give Kordell Stewart and the passing game a bit more respect in the future? I do.