Tennessee Titans crush Falcons in preseason opener: 4 Takeaways
2. Two areas provide a sigh of relief for Tennessee Titans
Defense and kicking were undoubtedly the two weakest areas on the Titans last year. The former was a mess all throughout 2020, and the latter struggled with consistency and caused the team to leave ten points on the board in Week 1. In this game, they were easily the team’s greatest strengths.
The defense, particularly the pass rush, wreaked havoc all night and repeatedly got the Falcons off the spot. The Falcons’ offensive line was absolutely awful, and AJ McCarron especially looked awful whenever he had time to throw the ball. Regardless, this was still a welcome sign for a group that was an absolute liability the year prior.
The one player who particularly stood out was rookie Rashad Weaver, who recorded 1.5 sacks and had two tackles for loss. He was everywhere, from attacking off the edge, eliminating run plays behind the line of scrimmage, and he even had a pass deflection.
David Long was responsible for the team’s only turnover, as he made a great interception against McCarron, who never saw him. Long is a player Titans fans should be excited about, as he made some nice plays last year when coming in for the injured Jayon Brown, and appears to only be progressing upward.
As for the kicking game, Tucker McCann was 2/2 with a long of 42 yards, and Sam Ficken was 1/1 from 44 yards, and 2/2 on extra points. McCann would have been 3/3 with a long of 47 yards, but the Falcons got a personal foul for roughing him and subsequently injuring him.
The Titans have recently struggled to gain stability at this position and were still holding a competition for the starting job in training camp. While it is still unclear which kicker is better, at least the coaching staff can feel better about knowing that they do not have to replace either guy, at least for now.