RECAP: Tennessee Titans lose 30-14 to Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tennessee Titans lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-14 at Nissan Stadium in Week 2 of the 2018 NFL Preseason.
Following a disappointing second half against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1 of the preseason, the Tennessee Titans wanted to get some mojo going in Week 2 at home against the Buccaneers. While the starters did their part, the Titans’ backups did not show up for the second week in a row, and the Titans ended up losing their second preseason game by two scores.
QB Marcus Mariota was in for two drives, attempting just two passes on a short six-play opening drive that featured four touches for RB Derrick Henry. On his second and final drive, Mariota tossed a screen pass to WR Taywan Taylor, who — with help from a stellar block by WR Nick Williams — exploded down the field and jolted to the end zone from 47 yards out. That same drive featured plenty of action for RB Dion Lewis, who caught two passes for 26 yards and broke ankles and tackles on both runs.
With the Titans sitting their starters after the first quarter and the Buccaneers leaving most of their starters in for the rest of the first half, the Titans saw themselves down 20-7 by halftime. Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston, who came in after QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, moved easily down the field on two touchdown drives, while Titans QB Blaine Gabbert wasn’t able to get things going after relieving Mariota.
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Early in the second half, Gabbert began to find a smooth rhythm that he hadn’t been able to capture in Week 1. On the first drive of the third quarter, Gabbert completed all four of his pass attempts for 55 yards. He capped off the drive with a quick strike for Taylor’s second score of the night. Undrafted rookie RB Dalyn Dawkins looked fantastic during the series, exploding north-south and picking up 15 yards on three carries, including a seven-yard tote that put the ball at the Bucs’ two-yard line.
As Week 1 showed and today confirmed, the Titans’ pass coverage among the third- and fourth-string defenders leaves a lot to be desired. The Buccaneers passed for 365 yards and all three of their touchdowns came through the air.
But the Titans’ defensive starters played much better than a week ago, the first-team offense scored its second touchdown in just three drives during the preseason, and there were no serious injuries. That’s all that truly matters.
The Titans will head to Heinz Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers next Saturday, August 25 at 3:00 p.m. CT.