It's time to loosen up those offenses.
The Titans under Jeff Fisher have always been a run-first team that plays good defense. The team is built that way, which is why they have no real threat down the field in the passing game.
That showed up against the Ravens. Quarterback Kerry Collins had a nice day, but they didn't get any big plays down the field. That leads to long drives. That leads to possible mistakes, which happened twice inside the 10.
Once running back Chris Johnson went out with an ankle injury, the Titans had quite possibly the slowest offense I've ever seen from a team playing in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Fisher, who has now lost twice as the top seed with the Titans, needs to address that style.
You can't just run it all the time. They need a big-play threat outside.
The Panthers came into this season with the idea that they would be a power team again. That's fine. Except when it didn't work against the Cardinals, and they fell behind, they didn't have the passing game to overcome the mistakes.
You must throw it to win. Not always, but the big play has to be there in the passing game.
Run, run and short passes doesn't work anymore.
That's why the Titans and the Panthers are home.
----It can be hard for a rookie quarterback to assimilate into a locker room loaded with veterans. But Ravens sources say Joe Flacco has done a great job. He arrives at the facility early and can often be seen eating breakfast with a variety of teammates. That's a smart thing on a team with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
---Is Josh McDaniels a good hire by the Denver Broncos? Does anybody know? I've been impressed with the way McDaniels calls plays, but how much of that is because of Bill Belichick? We know Belichick is a defensive wizard, but he's also very much involved on the offensive side. When Charlie Weis went to Notre Dame, Belichick became iheavily involved in the offense. I do like the idea of an innovative offensive coach getting a chance. I think McDaniels is that. The Broncos better hope he isn't another Weis.
---The more I watch the Ravens play, the more I'm convinced that center Jason Brown is about to become a rich man. He's an unrestricted free agent and he's one of the biggest centers in the league. He has two pretty good games against Albert Haynesworth on his resume. At 330 pounds, Brown can handle the bigger inside players. The Ravens are almost resigned to the fact he won't be back next year. They will move guard Chris Chester inside to center.
----One of the biggest changes in the Eagles defense this season is the improved play of b both defensive tackles. Broderick Bunkley and Mike Patterson have really stepped up their games. Did you see Patterson blow up Chris Snee on that fourth-and-inches quarterback sneak Sunday against the Giants? That's a Pro Bowl guard he dominated.
---Even though the Ravens are playing in the AFC title game this week, it's clear where they need to go in next year's draft. They need a speed receiver and a corner. Those two positions are lacking, even when Chris McAlister returns.
---It takes LenDale White too long to get to the line of scrimmage. The Titans need to get him to lose some weight.
---Don't be surprised if Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio decides he will serve as the team's defensive coordiantor next season. Del Rio came to the Jaguars after being the defensive coordinator in Carolina.