The Tennessee Titans beat the Miami Dolphins 21-10, finishing the preseason 3-1 for the first time since 2012.
Tonight’s final preseason game was never going to be much of an intriguing one. Marcus Mariota and DeMarco Murray weren’t going to play, and many of the first-team players would only get a series or two. Still, it was important for the Titans to end the preseason on a good note.
They did so by capitalizing on some early fortune. On the Dolphins first offensive play of the game, Jay Ajayi took a handoff to the right side only to be met by DaQuan Jones, who knocked the ball loose. Rashad Johnson recovered the fumble. Jones has had an impressive preseason and looks to be a frequent force on the defensive line.
A Derrick Henry seven-yard run, a seven-yard Dolphins penalty and a six-yard Rishard Matthews catch to the one-yard line set up a one-yard plunge into the end zone for Henry. There wasn’t much else to get excited about in this game, as both teams picked up one-yard rushing touchdowns of their own before the Titans went ahead 21-7 on Antonio Andrews’ second rushing touchdown of the night. The Dolphins answered with a field goal, but the Titans defense stood strong for the remainder of the game.
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Alex Tanney completed 17 of 20 passes and was able to move the chains efficiently, but two of his three incompletions were interceptions. Henry was dominant once again, as has been the case during his whole footballing career. One of the standouts from this offseason, Kevin Byard picked up his second interception of the preseason and will force the coaching staff to give him plenty of playing time during the regular season as a ballhawking safety.
Two players that had a lot to gain from good performances in tonight’s game had contrasting experiences. Kalan Reed fumbled two punt returns, with one being recovered by the Dolphins. Reed has shown really well as a cornerback, a position of weakness for the Titans, so it would be good to see him stick on the team. Tre McBride made a few big catches and has also done well on kick returns in previous games. He should have a spot on this team, but we’ll see what happens when final cuts are announced.
Mike Mularkey will be pleased to come away with another win in impressive fashion. The Titans depth seems to be much more adequate than in years past, and it has shown in all preseason games. Let’s hope that success translates into the regular season.