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.
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.
Today’s playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs will be Mike Mularkey’s first playoff game as head coach. This AFC wildcard game will be played at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chiefs (10-6) have three main weapons in the form of tight end Travis Kelce, running back Kareem Hunt and wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs also will have home field advantage and a veteran quarterback in Alex Smith, who will be well rested coming into this game. The Chiefs had rookie quarterback PatrickMahomes II in as their starter last week.
Coach Mularkey had this to say about playing at Arrowhead: “Tough place to play. Good football team. We played them there last year in another close game, so we’re not as familiar playing them this year.”
October 2011 was the last time that the Titans beat their AFC South division rivals, the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts had beaten the Titans eleven times in a row; quite a shameful statistic. It was looking like the winning streak was going to continue on Monday Night Football in Nashville, with the first half of the game being a bit of a snooze fest courtesy of the Titans offense. Sportscaster Jon Gruden had this to say about the Titans action in the first half:
“play selection and execution is just not good enough”.
The offense was predictable, the defense was not stopping runs, Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett had plenty of time to throw the ball, and the Titans’ pass rush was almost non-existent. The only scoring for the Titans were three field goals by placekicker Ryan Succop, who set an NFL record for the most consecutive field goals under 50 yards (#47 was the record setter, and four more goals added to make the record 51 consecutive field goals).Continue reading “The Losing Streak Is Over; Titans Beat The Colts”→
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.