After a wild week 2, the Titans find themselves sitting at 1-1, and 1-0 in the AFC South. It was indeed an unusual game for the Titans. They had 3 different people throw a pass in this game, none of them named Marcus Mariota. If Mariota was to miss this game, we knew the Titans would have to have someone step up on offense to secure the win. Stepping up has many definitions, and sometimes it just means playing your game and not trying to do too much.
Player of the Week
Brace yourselves, this one came straight out of left field. Blaine Gabbert is your offenisve Titan week two player of the game. Did he do anything spectacular? Absolutely not. He played his game though, and if the Titans were going to have a chance at this game, he needed to protect the ball. He did just that, with a measly 117 passing yards on 13/20 passing and a touchdown. The most important number was zero. Zero turnovers are what Gabbert needed this week to be successful. Sure, it helps when your All-Pro safety throws a 66-yard touchdown pass for you. That was just icing on the cake though, as Gabbert played the type of football that was needed to grind out an important divisional win.
A gameplan engineered around Gabbert and 3 missing offensive lineman is precisely what the doctor ordered. Using the Wildcat formation, 3 step drops and double running back chips, the Titans orchestrated a well thought out gameplan. All of this coming against a very tough Texans defense makes it even more impressive.
Play of the Game
The play of the game may surprise you, and you may still be confused as to what actually happened. With 2:37 left in the fourth quarter, Gabbert may have saved the game-winning field goal drive. At first glance, it may have seemed like a boneheaded decision. Gabbert had his ball knocked back to him at the line of scrimmage, as he began running towards the sideline he threw it out of bounds. This drew the ire of Titans fans everywhere as a flag was thrown for an illegal forward pass. Think about it though, a five-yard penalty and replaying the down or a loss of down on a 10-yard sack? Gabbert’s quick thinking kept the Titans in good field goal position and may have been the deciding factor in the game.
Blaine Gabbert made all the correct decisions, for the most part. This helped the Titans take an important divisional game early in the season. That doesn’t mean we should be comfortable if Mariota is out an extended amount of time. Blaine Gabbert has proven himself a serviceable backup, let’s keep him as such though. That’s not a shot at Gabbert at all, that’s just reality, and I think he’d understand that. Thank you, Blaine, for helping us get win number one on the season. Do you all smell that two-game winning streak on the horizon? #TitanUp