Tennessee Titans Close Out Preseason With A Win


60. Final. 24. 35. 17

The Tennessee Titans finished off the 2015 preseason schedule with a 24-17 win over the Minnesota Vikings at Nissan Stadium on Thursday evening, and hometown fans got to see their franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota for one series.

More at Titan Sized: Marcus Mariota Offensive ROY per Jon Gruden

They did not get to see the Vikings starting QB Teddy Bridgewater and they did not see Adrian Petterson on a warm evening in Music City. Marcus Mariota and the Titans will not be back at home until week three of the regular season to face the Indianapolis Colts.

Mariota and the starters played for one series, ran four plays that went 74 yards for the game’s first touchdown. The score was a 59 yard strike to Harry Douglas and was Mariota’s first touchdown pass in the NFL.

The rookie saw some pressure, went through the reads and hit Douglas as the second option. Douglas did the remainder of the work by tight walking the sideline for the score. As quickly as it began, it was over.

Mariota hit Delanie Walker earlier in the drive for 15 yards and ended his night 2 for 3 for 74 yards, a touchdown and a passer rating of 149.3.

Head coach Ken Whisenhunt said after the game that everyone recognized that they weren’t going against the Vikings starting unit, but they would take the score, and end the preseason on a positive note after the beatdown they took in Kansas City on Friday night.

The two highlights of the game came later when rookie defensive lineman Angelo Blackson caught a touchdown pass that wasn’t, and Philip Supernaw performed the one of the NFL’s worse spiking of the ball in the end zone after a touchdown.

In fact, Blackson’s touchdown made the NFL channels Red Zone and was anointed as one of the best plays anywhere Thursday night.

On a high snap that got away during an extra point attempt, Ryan Succop corralled the ball and fired it toward the end zone. Rookie DT Angelo Blackson recognized the problem and streaked toward the goal-line and caught the pass in full stride over his head.

The catch was Willie Mays like, but the touchdown was called back because someone got down-field. Titans players flooded the end zone anyway.

Philip Supernaw’s spike just slipped out of his hand. Whisenhunt said after the game that Supernaw would need to practice the spike, and he was asked when they would be trying out Blackson at tight end or maybe wide receiver. Of course it was tongue-in-cheek!

Whisenhunt also said after the game that with the joy of wining this final game of the preseason, the least popular part of his job would come with needing to ct 22 of the players that were on the field for the lion’s share of the plays Thursday night.

The roster will need to be cut to 53 players by 4:00PM Eastern on Saturday, and the real quandary will be at tight end. Both Chase Coffman and Philip Supernaw not only played well on Thursday night, but the entirety of the preseason.

Both could be cut if the Titans decide to only carry three tight ends into the regular season. Delanie Walker, Anthony Fasano and Craig Stevens will get the first three slots, they may keep one more, but which one?

I’m glad I am not making that decision.

The other place where the stable is full, is at wide receiver. Of 16 passes that were caught in game four, none were by Justin Hunter.

The best rushing effort in the finale’ came from Antonio Andrews early, with David Fluellen and Dexter McCluster later in the game.

Andrews carried the ball ten times for 38 yards for a 3.8 average. Fluellen carried 12 times for 61 yards and a near touchdown. Fluellen averaged 5.1 yards and thought he had a touchdown late in the game.

Whisenhunt challenged the play and the decision stood with the ball on the one-inch line. Fluellen was the only Titan who was limping at the end of the game.

McCluster carried the ball seven times for 27 yards and a 3.9 average. Bishop Sankey played earlier in the game with the starters, and carried six times for 17 yards.

The defense looked better on Thursday night, and it appears the coaching staff worked on wrapping up tackles. Zach Brown played a lot of snaps, and was a man on a mission after his poor performance in Kansas City.

Next up for the Tennessee Titans is roster cuts and getting prepared for Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Sunday.

Marcus Mariota said in his post game presser about the upcoming season:

I’m very excited. Obviously, now it counts. We’re looking forward to it. I think we’ve built a solid foundation for the season and were excited to show it out on the field.

Next: Marcus Mariota To Start Game 4

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