One step forward; two steps back. The Tennessee Titans have shown some improvement in this young season but continue to be done in by their own costly and avoidable mistakes. The loss drops the Titans to 2-16 in their last 18 contests within the friendly confines of Nissan Stadium.
On Sunday, the Oakland Raiders were in Nashville for a match between two of the AFC’s bottom-dwellers with up-and-coming second year quarterbacks. Oakland QB Derek Carr played solid, completing 21 passes on 35 attempts for 249 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota was less than stellar, completing 17 of 33 for 212 yards, no TDs and 3 turnovers.
Both teams’ defenses played admirably; bending at times but not breaking. After getting torched through the air in their first two games, the Raiders pass defense stiffened allowing just 212 yards passing from Mariota. The ground attack of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry did lead the Titans in rushing for 181 yards with 6.2 per rush average and Tennessee’s only TD for the game.
With due respect to Jack Del Rio, Derek Carr and the Raiders; it was Mike Mularkey, Marcus Mariota and the Titans that kept themselves from winning this one. From booting a kickoff out of bounds to poor clock management to the unforced turnovers to the horribly ill-timed penalties that all-but-prevented a game-tying touchdown, this game was Tennessee’s to lose and they did just that. The good news is that all of these miscues are correctable and heading into Houston next week, the Titans will have the roadfield advantage on their side.
But all is not lost, with their much improved running game and defense, if the Titans can iron-out some of these problems, there is no reason that they still can’t make a little noise in the AFC.