One week after an inexplicable loss to a Luke McCown-led Jacksonville team, the Tennessee Titans did the improbable and knocked off the Baltimore Ravens.
In large part, the Titans were able to do so because of the emergence of a passing attack that suddenly looks potent, as long as Matt Hasselbeck makes good decisions with the football like he did against Baltimore and Kenny Britt continues to climb into the conversation regarding the game's elite wide receivers.
Hasselbeck, who had precious little time to learn Chris Palmer's offense thanks to the lockout, will have to carry the load on his shoulders until the Titans prove themselves a consistent enough threat through the air that teams will back out of the box and allow Chris Johnson some rushing room.
That time to open up the rushing room may have been shortened greatly with the emergence of Britt, who had nine catches for 135 yards, on top of a five-catch, 136-yard performance in the opener against Jacksonville.
Hasselbeck and Britt are developing a rapport on short notice, as Britt missed much of the preseason with a hamstring injury.
"I wish it was better, to be honest," Hasselbeck said. "We're working through everything - not just him, but with everybody, we're working through new people, new things. I think the goal for us is just to try to find ways to win games as we're growing, as we get better."
Britt agreed and said Hasselbeck promised things will get better.
"He came up to me and said, 'Actually, once I know what you're doing at all times, we'll be good at it,' and that's what I'm waiting for," Britt said.
No one would benefit more than Johnson, who banged and scratched for 53 yards on 24 attempts, on the heels of last week's 24-yard effort.
Sunday's game plan actually changed on the fly when it was evident the Ravens were not going to allow Johnson to beat them. Hasselbeck simply beat Baltimore's beat-up secondary, exploiting a lot of single coverage for Britt and Nate Washington, who added 99 yards on seven catches.
"We wanted to get the run game going early," quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains said. "Give credit to Baltimore. They did a good job of stopping what we wanted to do. So we put the game on No. 8's shoulders, and he took over and was as accurate as I've seen."
In the meantime, heading into next week's home game with the Denver Broncos and probably for several more weeks, the passing game might have to carry the load.
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