The Tennessee Titans started slow and was unable to get on track in their 7-3 loss to the New York Jets. It was the preseason opener for both teams.
Let’s recap the good…the bad…and the ugly from tonight’s performance.
While the offense put up a dreadful performance tonight we must remember that it’s just the preseason, and the main objective is to leave the game as healthy as you entered it.
The Titans accomplished that tonight, and more importantly, quarterback Marcus Mariota looked as nifty and mobile as ever in his return to the field. He also got his first hit out of the way since his gruesome injury last Decemb and bounced to his feet just fine.
Tennessee’s second ranked run defense from a year ago picked up where they left off, holding the Jets to 1.8 yards per carry and zero touchdowns on 31 attempts.
Rookie third round pick Taywan Taylor looked good in his NFL debut, hauling in 4 receptions for 56 yards. He showed his speed and athleticism on a 42 yard grab in the third quarter, but his go-ahead touchdown was called back after touching a defender on his way to the ground.
The backup defense played well, allowing zero points and forcing a turnover. Placed in bad situations the entire second half, they responded with timely stops and gave the offense multiple opportunities to win the game.
The starting units were lethargic at best on both sides of the ball. The defense allowed New York to march down the field and score a touchdown on their opening drive. A Jurrell Casey sack that would have forced a punt was wiped away with a penalty, and cornerback Logan Ryan was beaten on a deep ball shortly after.
The offense was unable to move the ball, at all, in the two drives with Mariota and the starting offense on the field. Penalties kept the Titans in third and long situations, and miscommunication caused Mariota to burn two time outs in the first two offensive series.
Third down defense was a problem for the secondary last season, and was no better tonight after allowing Christian Hackenberg to keep multiple drives alive in the first half.
The offensive line’s performance was flat-out ugly, from the starters to the guys at the bottom of the depth chart. The starters failed to open holes for Derrick Henry, and as a whole the unit allowed an astonishing eight sacks…to eight different defenders.
That’s abominable, even for a preseason opener.
And speaking of abominable, quarterback Alex Tanney’s performance certainly qualified as that. The third-stringer completed just 40% of his passes while throwing an interception and no touchdowns. He looked uncomfortable in the pocket and missed on several passes that would have extended the drive.
Tanney also turned the ball over twice deep in Jets territory in the second half when the Titans were in position to take control of the game.
Tennessee looks to bounce back with a better performance next Saturday afternoon when they host the Carolina Panthers at Nissan Stadium.