Being on the road has not been kind to the Tennessee Titans. When the team left Nashville two weeks ago, they were at the top of the AFC South. After a loss to the Arizona Cardinals last week and to the San Francisco 49ers this week, the Titans are now second behind the Jacksonville Jaguars who have two consecutive wins.
It stings, it hurts. What hurts even more, is that Arizona and San Francisco have been having rough seasons with tons of injuries. They were considered teams that should be “easy to beat”. The Titans are making these easy to beat teams look good, unfortunately.
What was supposed to be a beautiful beginning of a trip out west ended up an offensive nightmare. The Titans defense was playing full force. They had eight sacks this game and they kept the Cardinals from scoring touchdowns. However, the Tennessee offense was just plain awful. They are not working together. There is no mojo brewing, no fantastic plays, and certainly no smashmouth football going on. Blah!!
After being defeated 57-14 and humiliated by the Houston Texans in October, there was some talk about this game being a rematch or a revenge game. I would say it was not an even rematch.
The Texans had lost two of their brightest stars, rookie quarterback DeShaun Watson and defensive end JJ Watt to injuries. I would say it wasn’t even a revenge game. Just another divisional game that the Tennessee Titans had to win to keep hope alive to finally get into the playoffs. Something that the team hasn’t done since 2008. The Titans keep plodding along and getting unspectacular wins, but by gummies, they are getting wins.
Yep, it was another slow starting, low scoring game for the Tennessee Titans. In the first half, Tennessee was only scoring by field goals. Kicker Ryan Succop did all the scoring. First, with a 29-yard kick and then a 45-yard kick for the Titan’s only scores.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota threw two interceptions in the first half of the game. That created flashbacks to the horror that was last week’s Thursday Night Football game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. A 40-17 loss where Mariota had four interceptions. The second interception during this game happened when wide receiver Taywan Taylor fell down, and the ball went sailing into Indianapolis defender Nate Hariston’s arms.
After another slow start with a score of 9-7 at the end of the first half, the only Titans’ scores coming from three field goals from place kicker Ryan Succop; the Titans finally got the train rollin’ in the third quarter. In that respect, this game was eerily similar to the previous game against the Jacksonville Jaguars with very little action in the beginning and then a whole lot of excitement at the end.
The best Tennessee plays in the beginning ended up being taken away. Wide receiver Eric Decker made a great sideline catch with some “toe drag swag” as Good Morning Football Show would say, keeping his toes in bounds and getting a first down during the first quarter. Decker would later be called for a holding penalty so a touchdown run by quarterback Marcus Mariota was called back.
Cornerback Adoree Jackson had an 80 yard punt return for a touchdown that was overturned due to an illegal block by running back David Fluellen in the second quarter. The call was a bit on the “iffy” side in my opinion. It looked like Seattle Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin actually ran into Fluellen, but I’m not an NFL referee. Sure would have been lovely to have those two touchdowns light a fire for the Titans.