The Tennessee Titans got back on track in their Week 2 trip to Duval.
After a disappointing Week 1 loss to the Oakland Raiders at home, the Tennessee Titans travelled to Jacksonville to take on the 1-0 Jaguars in Week 2. What ensued was an absolute beatdown, but one that was delayed by a half of bad football.
The score of this game was 6-3 heading into halftime. Both offenses struggled to get anything going early in the game, with both defenses surprisingly stifling, particularly through the air. Even though the Titans were filled with failed third-down conversions, penalties and a continued penchant for settling for field goals, they still went into the locker room up three points.
Fueled by what I believe would classify as the greatest hypothetical halftime speech of all time, the Titans railed off 31 points in the second half, 24 of which were unanswered. There were no unsung heroes, there were just heroes.
Derrick Henry was literally unstoppable, shaking off defenders and plowing through every line of defense on his way to 92 yards on 14 carries (6.57 ypc) and a Tecmo Bowl-style touchdown. Marcus Mariota followed up an uneven first half with a precise second half in which he moved the chains and threw a touchdown on a screen pass to rookie tight end Jonnu Smith, his first career touchdown.
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Delanie Walker was his usual dominant self, finding seams in the defense and making contested catches look easy. The same could be said for Rishard Matthews.
What really stood out was the play of the defense. They held rolling ball running back Leonard Fournette to just 40 yards on 14 carries and picked off turnover-prone quarterback Blake Bortles twice. Countless times throughout the game they forced three-and-outs, setting up the Titans offense with good field position constantly.
Another way to set up an offense with good field position is through the return game, and rookie Adoree’ Jackson did it again for the second consecutive week. In Week 1 against the Raiders, Jackson had a long kick return in which he bounced off a tackler and hurdled a kicker. This week, Jackson contributed a huge 46-yard punt return that set the Titans up for a touchdown in just two plays. He was also stout in pass coverage and made some plays in the run game.
All in all, this was a fantastic rebound by the Titans. Week 1 and the first half of Week 2 left a lot to be desired, but the second half of this game showed off the potential this team has when it’s operating efficiently in all phases.
The Titans are now 1-1 atop the AFC South standings and welcome the Seattle Seahawks for a home game in Week 3.