Throughout last week the Titans proclaimed they could hang with the Super Bowl champions. They started the game in the exact fashion necessary for victory, get Tom Brady off the field. Marcus Mariota led a 95-yard touchdown drive to stun the Gillette faithful. Rookie wide receiver Corey Davis made a magnificent one-handed catch in the back of the end zone to put the Titans up 7-0 in the first quarter. While the Titans were up, they did suffer a huge loss to their offensive line on their touchdown drive. Titans offensive tackle Jack Conklin was rolled up with two minutes and thirty seconds left in the first quarter. This injury certainly changed the aspect of this game early on.
Unfortunately for Mariota, his 95-yard touchdown drive was the most success they would see for the night. The Patriots fired back with 35 unanswered points to take a commanding 35-7 lead. Bradys’ success against Dick LeBeau led defenses are well documented. Coming into the game, everyone thought that Brady would be the Titans demise. No one informed the Patriots defense of that because they played like they haven’t all season, obliterating the Titans offensive line for 8 sacks. Yes, you read that correctly, 8 sacks for Matt Patricia’s defense. Mariota had very little time to let plays develop, and when they did develop rookie wide receiver Taywan Taylor dropped 2 passes.
And The Ugly
Brady throwing for 337 yards and 3 touchdowns took the Titans out of their game plan, Derrick Henry was a virtual non-factor. With 12 carries for 28 yards, Henry looked nothing like the beast that ran for 156 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs just last week. Losing Conklin undoubtedly hurt the Titans run game. Overall the Titans only managed to have 267 yards of total offense. Digging further, in the second half, the Titans only had 99 totals yards on offense. 80 of those yards came in garbage time late in the fourth quarter when the game was already decided. The Titans added a late score to make the final score 35-14 for a Patriots victory.
Obviously, this game was a major disappointment for the Titans. Clearly, they need changes to their offensive game plans. However, they made the postseason and they managed to secure a win. This provides a positive outlook for the future of this Mariota led team.
Tonight the world learned that the Titans are not remotely close to being able to compete with the Patriots. It’s also time for the media to slow their rolls on this Brady deteriorating narrative as well. Brady looked as sharp as ever as he carved up the Titans secondary. The Patriots will host either the Jacksonville Jaguars or the Pittsburgh Steelers next week in Foxborough, Massachusetts.