Despite injuries, Titans beat the Texans

Official Tennessee Titans Reporter

By Karen Christensen // @ksc47

Titans 20 – 17 Texans

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.   

Left tackle Taylor Lewan is out under concussion protocol, right tackle Jack Conklin is still recovering from ACL surgery and backup right tackle Dennis Kelly has been hospitalized with an unnamed virus. Filling in at the tackle positions were Kevin Pamphile and Tyler Marz. 

Jonnu Smith played tight end, replacing Delanie Walker who is out due to surgery he had on the ankle that he fractured  last week. 

Originally head coach Mike Vrabel had said that Marcus Mariota and quarterback Blaine Gabbert would both be playing, but that wasn’t the case. Facing plenty of adversity the Titans managed pull together and get their first win of the season. 

The first scoring throw did not come from Gabbert.  The Titans got their first touchdown off of a fake punt that safety Kevin Byard caught and threw 66 yards to rookie safety Dane Cruikshank for the TD.

That play showed that the Titans have some creative coaching, which is something that was missing last season.  The Titans then moved downfield using the wildcat formation with running back Derrick Henry.

The Titans were then able to get the ball to wide receiver Corey Davis, who had a bit of “angry run” complete with a jolting stiff arm to Texan defensive back Kareem Jackson.

Gabbert was then able to throw an 18-yard pass to WR Taywan Taylor.  Taylor was able to get past Texan cornerback Tyrann Mathieu AKA the Honey Badger easily for a touchdown.   The Titans were leading 14-0 at the end of the half. Coach Vrabel was high fiving the players as they came off the field.

The Texans did come back in the second half of the game, with quarterback Deshaun Watson getting his team the lead 17-14 by the fourth quarter.  But the Titans were able to battle back and kicker Ryan Succop was able to kick two field goals to seal the win. With creative plays and pure determination, Tennessee was able to pull off a win despite having so many injured players.

The Houston Texans did not have any sacks during this game, but the Titans were able to sack Watson four times.  Two sacks for defensive lineman Jurrell Casey, one for CB Logan Ryan and one for linebacker Kamalei Correa.  Also, the Titans were not bullied by J J Watt, and Gabbert never gave up.

Next week the Titans will be traveling to Jacksonville Florida to face the Jaguars. The Jags are currently 2-0 and beat the New England Patriots this week, very easily. Coach Vrabel needs to keep the winning moving on, because the Titans will face reigning Super Bowl champs, the Eagles, during week four.

 

Talk Titans with Karen on Twitter @ksc47

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