Aug 28, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley (17) runs the ball as Tennessee Titans cornerback Cody Riggs (37) pushes him out of bounds during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 34-10. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Call it what you want, but the Kansas City Chiefs 34-10 win over the Tennessee Titans in game three of the preseason was a beat-down in Arrowhead Stadium on Friday night.
More at Titan Sized: Titans fall to the Kansas City Chiefs 34-10
Even after the starters left the game down 17-10, it didn’t get any better until the “Rain Gods” took mercy and provided enough lightning in the area to get the game called with 3:50 left on the clock.
Whether the Titans were flat with the quick turnaround after the game two win over St. Louis on Sunday night, or the Chiefs were well rested and ready to play, it still resulted in a game that head coach Ken Whisenhunt would probably like to forget.
Tennessee Titans ESPN reporter Paul Kuharsky called the effort in Kansas City “anemic” in his post game post, but gave rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota some good marks by calling him efficient.
The Starting Defense was Bad
If you caught the first quarter of Titans first preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons, you saw that Alex Smith and wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin picked right up where Matt Ryan and Roddy White left off in game one.
Smith and the starting offense scored on the first three possessions against the Titans starting defense and built a 17 point lead before the offense got into gear.
Linebacker Zach Brown missed two tackles that led to big plays on Friday night, and Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt called it “unacceptable.” Brown had a ball carrier stopped short of a first down on one third-down play, but he didn’t wrap up. Later, he let a Chief elude him on the sideline for a big play. Brown was hardly alone, however. The Titans missed tackles on defense and on special teams.
The Titans defense continues to miss cornerback, Jason McCourty but until they can get more of a pass rush going, they will fall victim to good, esablished quarterbacks.
Our rookie quarterback looks to be a slow starter. Once again, he didn’t get on-track until well into the second quarter.
It didn’t look like he brought any fire to the game until the Chiefs Justin Hunter planted him for a 9-yard sack and lorded over him after the tackle.
Mariota got up and got in Houston face and it seemed to fire up the offense. They were able to march down the field for Titans only touchdown of the evening.
To his credit, first quarters are traditionally slow, but for the most part, if the defense could get off the field a little sooner, Mariota would not be in the hole early.
Mariota has not turned the ball over since the game one debacle, and has yet to throw an interception since. The Houston sack could have resulted in a turnover, but the ball bounced out of bounds.
Perrish Cox was the recipient of yet another interception in this game, but it came against backup quarterback Aaron Murray after starter, Alex Smith was wearing a ball cap on the sideline. It did however turn into the Titans first and only touchdown on the evening.
With Jason McCourty and Blidi Wreh-Wilson out, and Coty Sensabaugh trying to fill the holes with rookie Cody Riggs, they will need more pressure on the quarterback in order to find some success when the regular season starts.
According to Paul Kuharsky, Justin Hunter still doesn’t look like a guy willing or able to go up and win on contested catch situations.
The Tennessee Vol put up a goose egg on Friday night and caught no passes.
Minnesota Vikings up next
The Titans will face Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings in the preseason finale’ on Thursday night. Typically, this game is a last chance to look at players who are on the bubble prior to the cuts that will come shortly after.
We don’t know if the starters will see any action, but should find out during the week how coach Whisenhunt will approach this game.
I’m sure he would like to see a little more, especially if the Vikings play their starters for a a couple of possessions, but we will see!