The Tennessee Titans (0-1) suffered a tough loss to open the season, falling to the Oakland Raiders (1-0) 26-16 in their home opener at Nissan Stadium.
While the loss was disappointing to a fan base with playoff aspirations this season, there was a silver lining…
The play of the Titans’ top two rookie picks.
Wide receiver Corey Davis and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, the 5th and 18th overall picks in this year’s draft, played with a poise and confidence today that should put a smile on general manager Jon Robinson’s face.
Davis, the 5th overall pick, made his NFL debut…and I mean that literally.
After missing the majority of training camp and all of the preseason with a hamstring injury, Davis went out today and hauled in 6 receptions for 69 yards, with one coming in spectacular fashion in the first quarter.
So basically, with one week of full-speed practice and no game-speed experience, Davis still made his presence felt against one of the favorites to win the AFC this year.
And he did so on a team-high ten targets. So much for adjusting to the speed of the game.
And speaking of adjusting, rookie cornerback Adoree’ Jackson did just that after a dismal preseason performance with the starters against the Chicago Bears.
Jackson registered four tackles and two crucial pass deflections against arguably the best wide receiver group he’ll face all season…in his first career start.
A stark contrast from his performance as a starter two weeks ago.
Leading up to the game most thought that second-year corner LeShaun Sims would start today, but an injury forced the Titans’ hand in starting Jackson.
And for my money…Jackson should remain the starter when Sims returns…but I digress.
To put things in perspective, last season Oakland’s receiving trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and Seth Roberts combined for 191 receiving yards with Perrish Cox and Jason McCourty as the starting corners. With Jackson and Logan Ryan, the trio combined for 154 yards and a td.
Enough hidden yardage to have made a difference in this contest if the Titans’ offense hadn’t stalled in the red zone today.
In addition, Jackson took his lone returnable kickoff 35 yards in the second half when the Titans were behind and in desperate need of good field position. With more chances, you should expect several game-changing plays in the return game from the rookie out of USC this season.
As for the present I caution Titans fans to relax. Tennessee fought tooth and nail with a team considered by most to challenge for the AFC conference title this season.
The goal is to win the division, and a road victory over the 1-0 Jaguars next week will go a long way in accomplishing it.
But as it relates to the future, if Davis and Jackson continue on the trajectory of their regular season debuts then the future looks bright in Tennessee.