By: Brendan Smart (@bsmart21)
The Tennessee Titans headed into Sunday's match up verses the Baltimore Ravens looking to show the league their full potential.
The Tennessee Titans opened the game with a beautiful play action pass from Marcus Mariota to Rishard Matthews for 29 yards. But it seems that a lot of the Titans drives have stalled out just like their first one against the Ravens. A five play drive that ended in three Ryan Succop points. Back-to-back screen plays to Delanie Walker that was a gain of seven, but was pulled back on an Eric Decker “block in the back” penalty. Then, the other screen to Taywan Taylor went for a loss of four yards. The Titans offense sputtered, and that 4 play drive ended in a punt. The Titans offense on their second drive came out firing. Mariota had full command of the offense on a three play 46 yard drive that ended in six.
A quick third and eight was quickly diagnosed by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco on a 13-yard pass to Benjamin Watson up the middle. Then, a 14 yard run by Alex Collins gave the Ravens hope. Then on a fourth and seven, the Ravens pulled a fake punt, and converted. Following the fake punt Titans defensive front seven seemed to come to life with their backs against the wall. The Ravens first drive went 12 plays for 49 yards. The Titans defense entered the field on the Ravens 20-yard line, but after a play action pass from Flacco to Breshad Perrian, the Titans safety Kevin Byard had his fifth interception on the season.
The Titans first possession of the second quarter went five plays for 19 yards, and were passing plays. Mariota seemed to change several plays at the line, but those changes did not seem to help the Titans take the ball down the field. That drive ended in a 56-yard Brett Kern punt. After getting great field position on a botched punt from the Ravens, the Titans finally capitalized. A 1-yard touchdown run by Derrick Henry gave the Titans a (16-3) lead following a three play 46-yard drive finally gave the Titans six points.
A drive that transitioned into the second quarter, the Ravens offense drove the ball 44 yards down the field, managed to get three more points. The 11 play drive brought the Ravens within four of the Titans (10-6). The Titans defense handled their second defensive trip of the quarter really well.
The Tennessee Titans offense seemed to come out locker rooms and play the clock. Which is never a good thing for teams with a mild size lead. A few penalties here, and a missed play there have the Titans scoreless third quarter from the Titans.
Even though the Titans offense seemed to be stagnant, the Tennessee defense held their own. Holding the Ravens offense to zero points. It was gridlocked after the third quarter at (16-6).
The Tennessee offense seemed to have something going at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but an interception thrown by Mariota to Eric Weddle. The Titans offense finally put it all together in the second half, and drove the ball down the field for six. The nine play 75-yard drive showed a perfect mixture of offense, and gave the Titans enough for their fifth win of the season.
The Titans defense opened up the 4th quarter with a huge fourth down stop against the Ravens. Following a Mariota turnover, the Ravens capitalize it, and drive the ball down the field on a six play drive that took 42-yards. The Ravens scored six, and trimmed the Titans lead to three with 8:56 left in the fourth quarter.
Tennessee Titans MVP’s of the game:
Delanie Walker: 5 targets, 5 catches, 71 YDS
Kevin Byard: 2 INTs
Tennessee Titans Offense:
Marcus Mariota: 19/28, 218 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Derrick Henry: 8 rushes, 26 YDS, 1 TD
Rishard Matthews: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 70 YDs