The Tennessee Titans lost 27-20 to the Miami Dolphins in a game that lasted over seven hours and featured multiple injured players for Tennessee. Here’s the recap of what ended up a dreadful day for Tennessee.
Yesterday’s game was a tough loss for the Tennessee Titans to say the least. News came out shortly after the game that tight end Delanie Walker will be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a dislocated/fractured ankle. Walker’s importance to the team cannot be stated enough. In addition, left tackle Taylor Lewan suffered a concussion and quarterback Marcus Mariota suffered an elbow injury. Along with the injuries, two multi-hour delays during the game due to lightning didn’t help the Titans cause either.
There has to be a point in Mariota’s career when he can consistently be relied upon to stay on the field. This is the year Marcus is supposed to break out and prove to be elite under a new system and talent around him. It is discouraging that come Week 1, Mariota is back on the sideline not playing because of a late hit.
Early on in the game, the offense showed signs of life and had two opportunities for touchdowns in the first quarter. Wide receiver Tawyan Taylor dropped a beautiful pass from Mariota in the end zone and the drive resulted in a field goal. One their second drive, Tennessee drove down the field and made it within the five yard line. After two incomplete passes on second and third down, the offense went for it on fourth down and failed to get a touchdown. This sparked a major momentum shift. Mariota threw two interceptions on the day before he got taken out of the game because of an elbow injury. His replacement, Blaine Gabbert, threw an interception as well. He is not a reliable option to lead the team.
Running back Dion Lewis is a great player and a great piece to the Titans’ offense. He looked very elusive and was easily able to make people miss. Lewis had the only offensive touchdown of the day for the Titans. Derrick Henry looked good as well, albeit on limited touches. He broke out on a 60 yard run for touchdown late in the game which was called back by the referees on a very questionable holding penalty. Wide receiver Corey Davis had a nice game with six receptions for 62 yards. Davis is still having miscommunication issues with both quarterbacks; he often times looks lost, and the ball is thrown his way while his head is still looking down. With Walker gone, the former 5th overall pick needs to step it up in order for the Titans’ passing game to succeed.
Besides two long drives that led to scores, most of the Dolphins’ points came from great field position, and a kickoff return for a touchdown. However, this Titans defense needs to improve if the team expects to make a push for the playoffs. Tennessee’s pass rush yesterday was nonexistent. The only sack of the game came from newly acquired OLB Kamelei Correa, who was unblocked on the play. OLB Harold Landry and linebacker Rashaan Evans need to get back as soon as possible. Today looked as though the Titans’ defense lacked talent and any motivation to win the game, which is frustrating for a defense touted to be one of the best in the NFL.
Cornerback Malcolm Butler was the bright spot for the defense. He had an interception out of the end zone that prevented the Dolphins from scoring a touchdown. Butler let Kenny Stills beat him on a deep ball for a score later on, but the coverage was there; it was a great ball from Ryan Tannehill and a great catch. Adoree’ Jackson played abysmal. I expect him to be one of the leaders of the team, and yesterday he played lethargic and was beaten on several occasions. The defense needs to show up next week, or Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will take advantage and wide receiver Deandre Hopkins will take advantage.
Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong for this Titans team. The Titans’ new coaches Mike Vrabel and Matt LaFleur must have better time management entering next week’s game. Tennessee wasted too many timeouts early on in the game. There is a lot of season left to play. Let’s see how the team can battle through the adversity and bounce back.