The Tennessee Titans are back from the dead after a 23-20 win in Week 7 over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Wow, what a difference a week makes for the Tennessee Titans, as after hitting rock bottom in Week 6, the Titans beat the Los Angeles Chargers with a HUGE goal line stand at the end of regulation in a game that looked like the Titans would lose after nearly blowing a two-score lead in the fourth quarter.
Take a minute to breathe and let this process…
OK, let’s get to the analysis, shall we?
-There’s no question this Titans offense looked much better with Ryan Tannehill behind center. The new Titans starter was accurate, decisive, and stayed in the pocket long enough to make plays with his arm, while showing great pocket presence. Tannehill also trusted his arm, throwing the ball into traffic on several occasions with great success. His lone interception came on a pass attempt in which he was hit on the throw. Tannehill finished 23-of-29 for 312 yards and two touchdowns to one pick.
-The offensive line played much better in Week 7, although it was also helped by Tannehill getting rid of the ball quickly. We even saw Jamil Douglas make a positive play on a Derrick Henry run! Tennessee’s offensive line allowed two sacks in total.
-While criticism of the offensive line has rightfully focused on pass protection, the Titans’ group upfront isn’t doing enough to help get the run game going. Tennessee has to start establishing the run earlier in the game. At least Henry got going when the Titans grabbed the lead in the second half.
-After being non-existent for much of the season, the receiving corps. came alive in Week 7. Four different pass-catchers totaled 40 yards or more, with Corey Davis leading the way for Tennessee with six catches for 80 yards and a score. Tajae Sharpe was responsible for the other passing touchdown. A.J. Brown finished tied for the team lead with his six catches, and he was tied for second with 64 yards receiving. Jonnu Smith, who also had 64 yards through the air, played a big role in filling in for Delanie Walker.
-After getting consistent pressure during the first half, the Titans pass-rush slowed down mightily in the final quarter and allowed Philip Rivers to throw the ball all over the field. The Titans were getting beat on dump offs on the regular, which showed how much this team missed Jayon Brown, who was out with a groin injury.
-Despite the defense nearly blowing a two-score lead in the fourth quarter, all is forgiven. The Titans defense made a huge goal line stand at the end of regulation to save what would have been a crushing defeat. LA had four cracks at a touchdown from inside the five-yard line, but were unable to convert, and Melvin Gordon’s fumble that was recovered by Jurrell Casey sealed the deal for Tennessee.
-Big Jeffery Simmons is already looking like a difference-maker for Tennessee. Big Jeff totaled four tackles (all solo, two for loss) and his first-career sack in his debut. Simmons was regularly pushing around his blocker and looks as advertised. We figured he’d be limited in his debut, but Simmons got plenty of run in this game. It looks like the D-line combination with Simmons playing will be him, DaQuan Jones and Casey moving forward.
-Arthur Smith did a much better job of not being so predictable. Too many times this season we’ve seen the usual run, run, pass, leading to three-and-outs. Smith called a different, better game on Sunday, and was certainly helped by a better performance at quarterback with Tannehill starting.
-With the Titans up 23-20 late in the game, Vrabel decided to go for it on fourth down to try and secure the victory instead of punting. While I didn’t have an issue with the play call to go for it with the Chargers having just driven down the field at will, I did take issue with Vrabel not challenging a poor spot by the officials. Thankfully it didn’t end up costing the Titans, but it damn near did.