The game in Dallas started out rather rocky for Titans fans. A fumble and a turn over by quarterback Marcus Mariota in the first quarter set up Dallas for an easy score by new Cowboys’ wide receiver Amari Cooper.
The Titans had just come off of their bye week and Mariota started the game without the glove he has had to wear since the beginning of the season; he’s been playing with a tweaked nerve in his throwing arm since week 2.
The gloveless Mariota had sparked hopes that he had healed and would be back at the top of his game, but then this game starts with a fumble, and those hopes were dashed a bit.
The Titans “missed it by that much” as Maxwell Smart used to say in the Get Smart tv series. The Los Angeles Chargers held on to the win, 20 -19 in the last few seconds of the game after the Titans tried for two after a touchdown made by tight end Luke Stocker.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota attempted to throw to wide receiver Taywan Taylor, but the throw was tipped by one of the Chargers defenders and it was just not a catchable ball.
The Titans really did put forth a good effort in this game. It was an exciting and the win could have gone to either team as the battle went on until the very end.
The Titans won their home opener without their top three defensive tackles and their starting quarterback. They also had help from some unexpected plays.
QB Marcus Mariota was out with an elbow injury from last week’s game against the Dolphins. He has not been able to grip and throw the ball well since he suffered a late hit during that game. Other injuries are also plaguing the Titans.
What did we learn from the first week of Titans training camp?
Cornerback Malcolm Butler is a hit. Left Tackle Taylor Lewan is Nashville’s daddy (highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL, $80 million). Tight End Delanie Walker gets a contract extension and he has a guardian angel.
New coaching staff is comfortable and having fun, especially defensive back coach Kerry Coombs. Wide receiver mystery: why is Rishard Matthews on the PUP list? The Competition: running back Derrick Henry vs running back Dion Lewis.
Hopes were high for the Tennessee Titans. They were relishing the “underdog” role against the number one seed New England Patriots and were confident after getting an upset victory last week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Titans players were quoted in the press saying “it’s our time”. They were confident in their quarterback, Marcus Mariota, insinuating that the Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady might be past his prime and due for a fall from the NFL throne.
At the beginning of the game, it looked like the Titans had a good chance to beat the Patriots; the Titans were first to score late in the first quarter when Mariota threw a 15-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Corey Davis for a touchdown. It was Davis’ first NFL touchdown, a one-handed catch that got the Titans on the board and it felt like a breakthrough for the Titans first-round draft pick. Finally, during a playoff game, Davis made a big play. The glee didn’t last for long as the Patriots were able to score on their next possession and even the score.
The first half of the game belonged to the Kansas City Chiefs. They scored on a touchdown by Chiefs’ running back Kareem Hunt, who ran the ball in from the one-yard line. They scored another TD when tight end Travis Kelce caught a 14-yard pass from quarterback Alex Smith. Not a good start for the Tennessee Titans.
Titans’ quarterback Marcus Mariota was leading a good drive during the second quarter until he threw an interception to cornerback Marcus Peters; Titans head coach Mike Mularkey later stated that it was Titan wide receiver Corey Davis’ fault as Davis didn’t run his route correctly. The Titans have had this “miscommunication” and “execution” problem throughout this season. It has frustrated the coaches and the fans and has lead to much speculation about the security of the coaching positions in Tennessee.
Division rivals Jacksonville Jaguars were not gonna make it easy for the Tennessee Titans. The Jags were already in the playoffs, but they still played their first line players and were going all out against the Titans at freezing Nissan Stadium in Nashville on the last day of 2017. The Titans have lost three games in a row and this was their last chance to survive and get into the playoffs. They succeeded and made it in. It was another “ugly” win for Tennessee. It was another low scoring, not the most exciting game. The end result is that the Titans are in the playoffs for the first time since 2008 is beyond exciting.
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.