Winners No. 7: The Defense
The defense played absolutely lights out after early struggles, managing to shut out the Raiders in the second half, and preserving a big win for the Titans.
Things looked grim for the Titans’ defense heading into halftime. They had given up 21 points to a Raiders offense missing three key starters in halfback Josh Jacobs, wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, and tackle Trent Brown, and took another hit to their secondary when Kenny Vaccaro left the game early due to a concussion.
The Titans were unfazed, however, and ended up shutting down the Raiders after a promising opening drive to the second half. The Raiders would then go three-and-out on their next two drives, and the Titans soon jumped out to a 35-21 lead.
Then, the Titans would make a huge play on defense, as Tye Smith would strip tight end Darren Waller of the football early in the fourth quarter. Jayon Brown would scoop it up and return it 46 yards for the touchdown, effectively putting the game out of reach.
Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees did an amazing job making halftime adjustments, and the defense really stepped up when they needed to. If the defense continues their level of play from the second half of the game through the next three games, making the playoffs will be an absolute cake-walk for the Titans.