- Accepting All Charges – Tennessee Titans Week Two Recap - September 19, 2023
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Nashville — Tennessee entered their home opener against the L.A. Chargers looking to tally their first win of the season after a loss in week one.
There were questions about the Titans’ secondary as they had two of their best player out due to injury. Cornerback Kristian Fulton (hamstring) and safety Amani Hooker (concussion protocol) were ruled out, leaving Trey Avery and Elijah Molden to play in their stead.
Early in the game you could see there was no back down from the Titans’ defense, forcing punts on two of L.A.’s first three drives. The Chargers came into the game boasting one of the league’s most electric offenses but only managed three points in the opening quarter.
Tennessee would punt on their first drive of the second quarter after just three plays. The Titans had all of their first three drives end in a Ryan Tannehill sack. L.A. would get the ball at the Tennessee 47 yard line for their first drive of the second quarter. Tennessee’s defense would stiffen and force a fourth down and what looked like another field goal for the Chargers. L.A. would go for it and convert, while also getting a boost from a horse collar tackle penalty on Titans linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair. The Chargers would get down to the Tennessee eight yard line after two plays, and Justin Herbert would find Josh Palmer on third and Goal in the back of the endzone.
The play was reviewed after being initially ruled incomplete and would be upheld. Herbert would find veteran Keenan Allen on the ensuing play for an eight yard touchdown, and would get the two point conversion to go up 11-0.
The Titans would come out and answer on their second drive of the quarter. Tannehill would deliver a deep pass to a streaking Treylon Burks down the left side for 70 yards to set the Titans up at the Chargers five yard line. Tennessee would go one to score on a diving attempt from Derrick Henry to make the game 11-7.
The Titans and Chargers would trade field goals to end the half. L.A. would hold the lead, 14-10.
The Titans came out in the third quarter on a mission. Tannehill would go 3-5 on the drive and cap it off with a 12 yard run to put the Titans up 17-14.
L.A. and Tennessee would punt on their next drives. The Chargers would score on the last drive of the third quarter on a seven play drive that ended with a 12 yard receiving touchdown by Keenan Allen, his second of the day. Chargers lead 21-17 going into the fourth.
The teams would trade punts on their first two drives respectively in the fourth quarter. Tennessee would then score on their third drive to go up 24-21, highlighted by a 49 yard pass to Chris Moore. L.A. would drive down and kick a tying field goal to end regulation at 24-24.
The Chargers would win the coin toss and receive the ball first in overtime.
Herbert would open the drive with a deep attempt to Mike Williams, but the pass would be broken up by Sean Murphy-Bunting. Hebert would go 0-3 on the drive, resulting in a Chargers’ punt.
Tennessee would start their drive from their own 29 yard line. Tyjae Spears would take the first snap on the drive off the right side for a 14 yard rush. Derrick Henry would get the next three touches, totaling 10 yards. DeAndre Hopkins would catch his fifth target for 14 yards to get Tennessee to the L.A. 23 yard line. Tennessee would run two more plays for a net gain of 0 yards. Nick Folk would g on to make the game winning 41 yard field goal.
The Titans would get the victory in overtime, 27-24 at home.
The Titans had a lot of things to cleanup coming into their week two matchup, mainly the turnovers that plagued them against the New Orleans Saints just a week ago.
Tennessee played a fairly clean game, having no turnovers. Tannehill bounced back in a major way after one of his worst games as a pro. He had 258 total yards and two touchdowns on the day with a 123.3 passer rating. He was helped out by Tim Kelly, who decided to go with a heavy dose of Derrick Henry throughout the game. This helped the Titans set up deep shots downfield and allowed Tannehill to utilize play action effectively.
Tannehill also spread the ball around rather than forcing it to DeAndre Hopkins. This made the Chargers defense have to defend the entire field rather than concentrate on where ever Hopkins was.
The defense came to play again on Sunday. The pass rush was formidable for a second straight week, totaling three sacks on Sunday. The secondary, which didn’t have the greatest showing, had another tough game. They gave up 305 yards through the air, and seemed to lose receivers while in zone coverage. This could have been due to Fulton and Hooker both being absent from the lineup, or just inexperience, but it needs to be addressed. They did make some good plays late in the game and overtime, but they need to find a way to tap into that level of play for 60 minutes.
-Ryan Tannehill’s Ball Security: Titans’ QB did not commit a turnover.
-Your Weakness, Is My Strength: Tim Kelly took advantage of the Chargers’ run defense.
-The Rod And The Spear: Derrick Henry and Tyjae Spears are a dynamic tandem (150 combined yards).
-Going, Going, Gone: Tennessee threw the deep ball effectively (2-3, 66.6%).
-Conversion Rate Trending Up: Titans converted 6 of their 13 3rd Downs on Sunday (46%).
-From Inside The Line: The offensive line gave up interior pressure.
-Anti-Anti Air Defense: Secondary had communication issues for a second straight week.
-Foul Call: The Titans had 7 penalties for 45 yards.
The Titans travel to Cleveland in week three to face the Cleveland Browns. They have a chance to keep add to the win column, and gain some momentum in the first month of the season.