Titans beat Jaguars to go 2-0.
The Tennessee Titans took their time, but they end up beating the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 33-30.
Now, if you didn’t see the game you are probably expecting me to talk about how great Derrick Henry looked and that he had another 200-yard performance. Well, not so fast.
Not only did Henry not have a stellar day, but it was also probably one of his worst days as the starter for the Tennessee Titans. That isn’t to say that he is a bad player, but there were several times where he was tackled by one player where previous versions of Henry would have stiff-armed that guy and run for another 10 yards easily.
With 25 rushes for 84 yards, it is encouraging that he did seem to get better as the game went on and his final two rushes were probably his best in terms of running through contact and willing his way forward.
The real stars on offense were Ryan Tannehill and Jonnu Smith.
Smith ended the day with 4 receptions for 84 yards and 2 TDs, including the first drive where Smith caught Tannehill’s only passes as the QB went 2-2 for 63 yards.
More surprising than his offensive outburst was the fact that Jonnu Smith was a force as a blocker, opening up space in the run game whether that was in a traditional way or lined up out wide clearing up space for Cam Batson on a sweep.
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Tannehill was the player that made the whole thing work though as the QB was calm and collected the entire game despite not getting much help from his supporting cast. Yards after the catch were hard to find, but that didn’t stop him from completing 75% of his passes with 10 yards per attempt and 4 TDs.
He made great decisions under pressure and he never got a play to relax because the defense forgot to show up for most of the second half.
Speaking of the defense, this was a big day for LSU rookies with K’Lavon Chaisson getting his first sack for the Jaguars while the Titans saw Kristian Fulton get his first interception in the NFL.
There wasn’t much positive to talk about on defense aside from a great day from Kenny Vaccaro who finished the day with 1 sack, 2 TFLs and 2 PBUs.
The other big player was Harold Landry who had a good game setting the edge and pressuring the QB, but he was held without a sack on the day. What he did get was a game-winning interception after Jeffery Simmons batted the ball into the air at the line of scrimmage.
The passing offense was good and the defense as a whole was bad, but what made the difference in this game was special teams. Stephen Gostkowski completely redeemed himself today after hitting a 51-yard field goal before the half and then the final score of the day which was a 49-yard field goal to put the Titans up 33-30.
Tennessee played with fire today and the defense has to be better there is just no question about that. However, the Titans got a big question answered by seeing Ryan Tannehill thrive in a game where the team got next to nothing from Derrick Henry on offense.
Without A.J. Brown and without Henry being special like he normally is, the Titans still put up 30 points on a team that beat the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 of the season. That is a very good sign for the Titans going forward.
2-0 is the biggest stat to takeaway from this game as the Titans sit alone atop the AFC South for the first time in a long time, but this team is going to have to figure out how to do more with their defensive talent if they are going to stay on top of this division for the season.