The Titans beat the Raiders, 42-21, after an offensive explosion. The Titans had 552 total yards, 391 passing and 161 rushing. Derrick Henry totaled 103 yards and ran for 2 touchdowns while AJ Brown lead the team in receiving with 153 yards and 2 touchdowns. The defense also provided 7 points after Tye Smith hit the ball out of the hands of Darren Waller and it was picked up and ran in by Jayon brown.
Here are some keys stats from the game:
QB Ryan Tannehill: 21/27 391yds 3 TD 1 INT 0 SACKS
RB Derrick Henry: 18 CAR 103yds 5.7yd avg 2 TD LONG 24yds
WR AJ Brown: 5 REC 153yds AVG 30.6yds 2 TD LONG 91yds
FB Khari Blasingame: 2 REC 47yds 2 tgts
TE MyCole Pruitt: 1 REC 42yds
TE Anthony Firkser: 1 REC 29yds
WR Corey Davis: 2 REC 34yds 4 tgts
TE Jonnu Smith: 3 REC 29yds 1 TD
WR Tajae Sharpe: 4 REC 25yds
CB Logan Ryan: 9 TOT 3 SOLO
DT Jefferey Simmons: 5 TOT 3 SOLO 2 TFL
CB Tye Smith: 8 TOT 5 SOLO 1 FF
3rd down efficiency: 8/11
Total Yards: 552
Passing Yards: 391
Rushing Yards: 161
Yards per pass: 14.5
Yards per rush: 5.0
QB Derek Carr: 25/34 263yds 2 TD 0 INt
DeAndre Washington: 14 CAR 53yds 1 TD 6 REC 43yds 7 tgts
TE Darren Waller: 6 REC 73yds 1 FUM
WR Rico Gafford: 1 REC 49yds 1 TD
LB Tahir Whitehead: 11 TOT 6 SOLO
CB Daryl Worley: 8 TOT 6 SOLO 1 PD
3rd down efficiency: 4/10
Total Yards: 356
Passing Yards: 259
Rushing Yards: 97
Yards per pass: 7.2
Yards per rush: 4.0
Amazingly, the game was tied 21-21 headed into halftime. The game should not have been tied and it was clear that the Titans were dominating the game. If it were not for an odd Tannehill interception that was batted up in the air, the Titans would have been leading heading into halftime.
In the first half, the Titans had multiple great offensive drives. In the first quarter, the Titans had an 8 play, 74 yard drive that eventually lead to a 12 yard Derrick Henry run. The second quarter brought two touchdowns by rookie of the year candidate, AJ Brown. Brown’s first touchdown was an incredible 91 yard touchdown which Brown caught around midfield and ran in the rest of the way. It was a very good throw by Tannehill and a fantastic job by Brown to run after the catch. The second was a 16 yard touchdown which capped off a 77 yard drive. On Brown’s second touchdown, he beat three tacklers and made a good play.
The second half brought another three touchdowns. The first was a near flawless 89 yard drive which ended with Derrick Henry’s second touchdown of the game. The second was a misdirection where Tannehill rolled to the right and threw to the left to Jonnu Smith. Smith made a great play to jump over a defender and catch the ball. The final score of the game came after Tye Smith, who returned the blocked field goal for a touchdown last week, hit the ball out of the hands of Darren Waller. Jayon Brown picked up the ball that somehow stayed in bounds and returned it for a 46 yard touchdown.
This Titans offense looks unlike any other Titans offense in recent seasons. I still do not see why Tannehill is peaking now, at age 31, but he is. Tannehill is now 6-1 as a starter and he is among the leagues best in many passing categories. This was Tannehill’s best performance as a Titan. The Titans strong passing offense has also really helped the run game. It appeared that Derrick Henry was not 100% for a lot of the game on Sunday due to a hamstring injury but he still played a good game. This was Henry’s 4th straight game with 100+ yards and at least one touchdown. Derrick Henry is the best running back in the NFL right now and he is key to the Titans success.
What went well in this game:
1. Being aggressive on Offense
Unlike last week in Indianapolis, the Titans took many deep shots. It was good seeing Tannehill take shots even inside his own half. The long ball to AJ Brown traveled a good distance in the air and it was a result of the Titans aggression. Tannehill did a great job of distributing the ball and many players caught passes. The tight ends were very involved and all 3 caught passes. Additionally, new full back, Khari Blasingame, caught two passes.
2. The Run game and Pass Protection
The run game was consistent throughout the game. While Derrick Henry did not have an incredible amount of yards, he played a solid game. Offensive Coordinator, Arthur Smith, established the run early and stuck with until the 4th quarter. The run game has been successful as of late in part due to the play of the offensive line. The line played a good game and they had just one penalty which was on Nate Davis. Taylor Lewan had a solid game and he has greatly improved his penalty problem.
3. The Secondary
The Titans signed CB Trumaine Brock this week after he was cut by the Cardinals. This came after injuries to Malcom Butler, Adoree Jackson, and LeShaun Sims. In addition to those injuries, Kenny Vaccarro left Sunday’s game with a concussion. It is hard to expect much from such a banged up secondary but they played a pretty good game. One miscommunication between Logan Ryan and Kevin Byard did result in a 49 yard touchdown but outside of that, the secondary had a good game. Unfortunately, I did not like the way that Trumaine Brock played in his first game as a Titan. I may be over critical but it appeared that he did not give enough effort and he missed easy tackles.
Overall, the Titans played a good game, in large part due to the offensive outbreak. My keys in my game preview were run the ball, bring the pressure, and don't mess it up. The Titans executed on all these keys, despite not pressuring the quarterback too much. Landry, Casey, and Simmons all brought good pressure but it was not always consistent.
The Titans now sit at 8-5 and they are in prime position to make the playoffs. The Titans are now 6-1 in their last seven and on a hot streak. Next week will be a huge game against the Texans, who lost to the Broncos on Sunday, and it will decide who will be first in the AFC South. Even if the Titans were to lose and fall to 2nd in the AFC South (currently tied for 1st), they have another shot at beating the Texans in Week 17. The Titans now have two back to back home games against the Texans and Saints. The Titans now control their own destiny and they control if they get into the playoffs.
At 8-5, I feel good but the 2 biggest games of the season are yet to be played.