Tennessee Titans fans have waited through four preseason games and well into the regular season to get a good look at rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota in a designed run play. That ended in the Titans 14-13 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon at Nissan Stadium.
We have seen Mariota take off to escape the pass rush and pick up a first down or scamper out of bounds, but until Sunday we have not seen a play thats designed to take advantage of his legs.
The Titans were finding it tough to run the ball against the NFL’s number three ranked run defense that includes Mario Williams, Marcel Darius, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes not to mention the rest of the Buffalo Bills front seven.
They were able to control the clock and time of possession, but only managed 97 yards rushing on 28 attempts on the afternoon, with none of the running backs having a run of 10 yards or more, and non with an average on the day that exceeded three yards per carry.
Kendall Wright even had a carry on an end-around that was only good for one yard.
The best running play of the day was a designed scamper for Marcus Mariota that went for 23 yards and a first down. The run made him the leading rusher with a 47 yard total for a 9.7 yard average.
Jim Wyatt at Titans Online said in his post-game Six Pack:
The Titans need to take advantage of Mariota’s legs even more moving forward, but Mariota also needs to do a better job of steering clear from big hits. He got leveled on one run in the middle of the field.
The bottom line in Sunday’s game was a great performance by Dick LeBeau‘s defense in keeping Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor in check for the lion’s share of the game, but they let him get away two times, and those two times were a back-breaker.
Taylor ran for a touchdown and got the Bills a first down on a third and 23 play when the Titans had them on the seven yard line.
The 14-13 loss on Sunday to Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills became a field possession game that for the most part, the Titans won. Except for two plays.
GIFs were provided by Owned Sports. Check out more of the best plays of the week in the NFL.