Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is nothing if not consistent. All season he has coached his team aggressively. That trend continued when the Titans scored a late touchdown in the fourth quarter. After scoring the potential tying touchdown with 31 seconds left, Vrabel made the gutsy decision to go for two instead of sending the game into overtime. This sparked debate amongst fans, analysts, and casual viewers alike. Why would you go for two in that situation? That’s how Vrabel coaches his team; that’s how he has coached them all season.
This game had the makings of a blowout early after the Titans impressive opening drive finished with a field goal. Then on the first Chargers play, Tyrell “The Gazelle” Williams got loose for a 75 yard strike. An exchange of field goals ensued the rest of the first half and the Titans were only down 10-6 at the half. Almost like geometric synchronicity, on their first play of the second half, the bolts strike like lightning. This time, the other Williams Bro., Mike Williams sprung a 55 yard strike loose with 13:46 left in the third quarter.
Trailing 17-6 and looking like a blowout was evident, the Titans rally back behind their power running game. Derrick Henry thumped one in from one yard out after big plays by quarterback Marcus Mariota and fellow running back Dion Lewis. Suddenly all of the momentum was with the Titans and they dominated the yardage battle in the second half. The Titans capped it off with a methodical 89 yard drive over the final 4:55 of the game. Mariota pulled a one yard pass to tight end Luke Stocker out of his hat and Vrabel held up two fingers without hesitation. Vrabel believes in his quarterback and believes in his team. Mariota’s magic just ran out.
On the day, Mariota finished with a much improved 24-32 passing for 237 yards and one touchdown and one interception. Lewis ran the ball 13 times for 91 yards and caught six passes for 64 yards. Fellow backfield mate Henry thundered forward 12 times for 33 yards and caught two passes for 32 yards. Despite solid days from the ground game and Mariota, the receivers did everything they could to let the Titans down. Multiple key drops including one by Taywan Taylor that could have been taken to the house plagued the Titans all game. Tajae Sharpe lead all Titans pass catchers with seven catches for 101 yards.
Takeaways From the Game
After a performance last week where the line looked like wet tissue paper trying to catch a cinder block, the Titans offensive line stepped up today. They opened more running lanes and kept Mariota upright for most of the game.
The Titans are on bye next week and can use a much needed rest to regroup and have a second half surge going forward.