The Tennessee Titans were an embarrassment on Thursday Night Football.
There’s no other way to say it: the Tennessee Titans embarrassed themselves on Thursday Night Football in a 20-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars — and everyone shares blame for this loss.
Let’s get right to it.
-The Titans’ offensive line was a disgrace. You can pick out things Marcus Mariota did poorly in this game, but no quarterback can be expected to succeed with opposing defenders constantly in their face.
-You can point to just about every o-lineman having done something wrong, but guards Rodger Saffold and Jamil Douglas were especially awful. Calais Campbell dominated both separately all night long and finished with three sacks. Rookie Josh Allen notched 2.5.
-Overall, this group should be embarrassed, with the Jags earning nine sacks and 13 QB hits. And, just when Mariota started to really pick his game up in the second half, this offensive line was a major roadblock to any hope for a comeback.
-As for Mariota, he missed several throws in this game, with one of them being a deep ball to Corey Davis that could have went for six. He also missed Adam Humphries on a wide open screen pass, and couldn’t get the ball to an open Delanie Walker in the end zone on two consecutive throws, one of which was tipped. His receivers didn’t help him, either, as there were some drops thrown in there.
-Mariota also held on to the ball for far too long in many instances to the point where Troy Aikman said he was too casual when the pocket was collapsing around him. With the way his offensive line is blocking, Mariota needs to speed up his internal clock or it’s going to be a long, painful season.
-People can yell all they want about giving Ryan Tannehill a chance (I’ll admit, I was close to that point a few times on Thursday night) but he wouldn’t be able to do much with this group upfront protecting him, either.
-Derrick Henry did have some decent gains, but the Jags did a great job in containing him and forcing the Titans to beat them through the air.
-One of the touchdowns allowed by the Titans defense wasn’t their fault. Adoree’ Jackson inexplicably tried to field a bouncing punt in rainy weather, botched the handle on the ball, and the Jaguars got it on the seven yard line en route to their first touchdown of the game early in the first quarter.
-Titans corners got beaten for some big gains over the course of the game, but that certainly wasn’t the biggest problem on defense.
-The biggest issue on defense? The pass-rush was a joke. The Titans garnered ZERO sacks all night, and Gardner Minshew’s jersey might not have to even go through the laundry. The Titans had two QB hits all game long.
-It didn’t end up costing the Titans, but Mike Vrabel made a poor decision to go for it on fourth down in the third quarter with the Titans desperately needing points. I get the urgency, but it was too early and the Titans were struggling too much for that to be the call.
-Arthur Smith didn’t have a good game calling plays. There was a situation on a second-and-19 where Smith called for a run play. The Titans can’t be giving up drives with decisions like that. Smith looked like a rookie play-caller tonight, although his offensive line certainly didn’t help.
-After Adoree’ Jackson muffed a punt that led to a touchdown, Vrabel kept him in the game for THREE more returns. Those returns? Two fair catches and one punt that Jackson let bounce, setting up the Titans in horrible field position. Vrabel cannot allow Jackson anywhere near the return game anymore if he cares about this team.
-The refs were a joke in this game. The Titans were whistled for six penalties in the first half, and at least three of them were terrible calls. Even Tom Brady got involved to call the refs out for their terrible performance.