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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Pharoh, May 1, 2015.
What a lovely day. Hell of a start to the season
the offense getting explosion plays is pretty big. obviously the game is completely different and almost certainly a loss without cleveland's excessive penalties, though.
the OL with Lewan might be okay (though probably not good) and brown looks like he can be dangerous. surprised at the lack of humphries today; figured quick routes to him would've been a winner considering the lack of a pocket.
Henry’s ponytail is scary looking
these crowd shots of Cleveland fans are glorious
This has been fun.
We're just big dick swinging at this point
Cameron Wake is fucking ageless
Derek Henrys hair looks like some soft serve chocolate ice cream
Been at the beach with my folks but wow 3 picks and 5 sacks
What a job by the D and Mariota has an excellent stat line
Nice win today guys.
You guys whipped our ass in every phase, good luck the rest of the year, except to that smooth brained idiot DaveGrohl.
10 observations from the Titans’ Week 1 rout of the Browns
Here are 10 observations from the Titans’ 30-point victory:
1. Fifth-year frolic
The biggest question surrounding the Titans coming into this game was how quarterback Marcus Mariota would fare in his fifth — and potentially final — season.
Things were a little sketchy in the early going, as Mariota finished the first half 8 of 18 for 105 yards and zero touchdowns. But Mariota and the offense came alive in the second half, as the former Heisman Trophy winner completed 6-of-6 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns.
It marked the first time Mariota had thrown three touchdowns in a game since he threw four against Green Bay on Nov. 13, 2016.
Mariota completed passes to five different receivers, though he didn’t connect with Corey Davis on three targets.
It had to be a confidence-boosting way to start the season for Mariota, who threw only 11 touchdown passes last season (and eight interceptions).
“We got ‘8’ back there,” Titans running back Derrick Henry said. “You give ‘8’ some time, he’s going to make something work. He going to make something shake. He did a great job.”
2. Big-play offense
In 16 games last season, the Titans produced just six passing plays of 40 yards or more. Only five teams had fewer, and the lack of explosive passing plays was a major reason this team averaged fewer than 20 points per game in 2018.
But in just one afternoon in Cleveland, the Titans posted three passing plays of 40 yards or more — passes of 47 and 51 yards to A.J. Brown, as well as the 75-yard touchdown screen pass to Henry.
The first long pass to Brown set up a field goal, one that answered Cleveland’s opening touchdown drive. The second long pass to Brown came on the first play of the third quarter, and featured Brown delivering a wicked stiff arm before weaving through two more Cleveland defenders. It also led to a Titans field goal.
“Whenever I get the ball in my hand, I try to be physical,” Brown said. “I’m trying to score touchdowns.
“I was joking on the sideline (after the 51-yard catch). I was like, ‘In college, man, I would have scored.’ I realized these guys are fast.”
Henry’s 75-yard touchdown was the perfect answer to a Cleveland touchdown that had trimmed the Titans’ lead to 15-13. Mariota hit Henry in the flat, guard Rodger Saffold buried the nearest defender and Henry sprinted down the sidelines untouched.
“It all started up front,” Mariota said. “We knew we had a tall task up front. Our guys did a great job of handling that. From there, I know that if I can distribute the ball and let those guys run and make plays, they’re going to do it.”
3. Arthur Smith delivers like FedEx
One of the unknown quantities for the Titans was how offensive coordinator Arthur Smith would fare in his first season.
Consider Smith’s debut a highly successful one.
The Titans were so-so in the first half, scoring just 10 points and totaling 151 yards.
But the second half was a different story, as the Titans totaled 24 offensive points and 188 yards. The 34 offensive points alone were more points than the Titans scored overall in any of their 16 games last season.
The Titans’ offense threw haymakers in the second half, scoring on four of the team’s first five possessions.
By the time the contest ended, Smith’s offense had run the ball 28 times and thrown it 24 times. The Titans averaged 6.1 yards per play and scored 34 offensive points on just 56 plays.
“Art did a great job,” Mariota said. “Along with the composure amongst (our) players, I think they had that across the coaching staff as well. Art did a great job of keeping calm and telling us to stick to the game plan. Guys just made plays.”
4. The OL holds steady
The Titans played without Lewan and starting right guard Kevin Pamphile, replaced by Dennis Kelly and Jamil Douglas, respectively.
It was no small challenge for the Tennessee offensive line, facing a ferocious Cleveland front-four consisting of Myles Garrett, Olivier Vernon, Sheldon Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi.
But the Titans did a respectable job protecting Mariota. He was sacked four times, but one was a gimme, as Mariota slid down well behind the line of scrimmage while trying to run out the clock in the late going. It certainly could have been much worse, considering the Browns — in the third preseason game — sacked Tampa Bay starter Jameis Winston five times in the first half.
The Titans also managed to run at times, even if they didn’t put up huge numbers on the ground. Tennessee ran 28 times for 123 yards (4.4-yard average), led by Henry’s 84 yards on 19 carries.
“We knew the strength of their defense was up front,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “They have really good players. I think that (the offensive line) battled, and they competed, and they finished.”
5. Shutting the defensive door
The Browns began the day as if they were going to push the Titans straight into Lake Erie, driving 73 yards on eight plays for an opening touchdown. Cleveland posted six gains of 10 yards or more on that drive, the big play being a 35-yard pass from Mayfield to Rashard Higgins that set up first-and-goal.
But that was easily the highlight drive of the day for the Browns, who would only score one other touchdown. The Titans wound up holding Cleveland to 1 for 10 on third-down attempts, sacking Mayfield five times, scoring nine defensive points (a Cameron Wake sack for a safety and a Malcolm Butler pick-six) and intercepting Mayfield three times.
Had there been any concern on the Titans’ part after that first Cleveland drive looked so good?
“We weren’t concerned at all,” Titans safety Kevin Byard said. “That’s one thing, we play with great poise. We knew those guys were going to make plays. That’s a talented roster over there.
“But we knew it was going to be a long game. It’s a four-quarter game. … We were able to come to the sideline, settle down, understand that we just do what we do and we’ll get back in this game.”
6. Discipline the difference
The Browns put on a spectacular display of poor discipline and poor composure, as they were whistled for 18 penalties that accounted for 182 yards. Starting left tackle Greg Robinson got himself ejected for kicking Titans safety Kenny Vaccaro, while defensive end Myles Garrett earned a 15-yard penalty for hitting Walker in the facemask with a right cross.
“It’s always frustrating when you’re losing,” Ryan said. “You work too hard to not play well. I am sure they had expectations to play better. But I think we did a good job of neutralizing that and making them make mistakes.”
The Titans weren’t mistake-free on the penalty front, as they were flagged six times for 54 yards. But the Titans did an excellent job of not returning fire when the Browns lost their discipline.
“We didn’t get caught up in it,” Byard said. “We knew coming into this game, talking about it, we were going to play super-aggressive, but penalty free. We had a couple penalties, but at the end of the day, it was not an enormous amount of penalties.”
The Titans picked up six first downs thanks to Browns penalties.
“If they going to give it to us,” Walker said, “we’ll gladly take it.”
7. Welcome back, Walker
Walker, who hadn’t played a game since suffering a gruesome leg/ankle injury in the 2018 season opener, rebounded with a team-high five receptions for 55 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Walker celebrated the first touchdown by taking out an imaginary shovel and digging in the Cleveland end zone.
“Oh man, we get in that zone, it’s called paydirt — the offense digging away,” Walker said. “We got a little thing where we give out a shovel for people that getting that paydirt. So that was all I was worried about, getting the shovel. I just started digging. I expect to be digging a lot of holes this season.”
Mariota, who’s always shared a special connection with Walker, couldn’t have been happier to see his favorite target return.
“It was awesome,” Mariota said. “He’s another guy that whenever you get the ball in his hands, he makes plays. I appreciate the fact the journey he’s had and how long it took for him to get back. I’m glad he got a little redemption today.”
8. Wake-up call
Outside linebacker Wake played sparingly in the preseason — he was on the field for just 10 snaps. But the 37-year-old looked rested, fresh and ready in the opener, as he recorded 2.5 sacks — one for a safety that put the Titans up, 12-6.
That safety just happened to be the 100th sack of Wake’s NFL career. He joined Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs as the only two active NFL players with 100 career sacks.
“Wake is a better person and teammate than he is a player, and we think he’s a really good player,” Vrabel said. “That’s a big reason why he’s here.”
This was the first season outside of Miami for Wake, who spent his first 10 seasons with the Dolphins.
“It was crazy offseason, but I think I landed in the right place,” Wake said. “This organization has welcomed me with open arms and obviously I want to do my part. They brought me to get after the quarterback, me along with the other guys up front. We did it today as a group.”
9. Lake Erie monster
When Byard picked off Mayfield, it marked his fourth interception against the Browns in the past two games. Byard snared three interceptions in a 12-9 overtime win over the Browns in 2017, picking off DeShone Kizer twice and Cody Kessler once.
Byard’s pick was one of three the Titans produced against the Browns on Sunday. Ryan snared his first interception in his third season with the Titans, while Butler took one to the end zone to account for the Titans’ final score.
“I kind of understood in that situation, I was going to make a big play to kind of get everything jump-started,” Byard said of his interception. “I was able to make a play. We scored a touchdown. I think after that, man, and then it was just kind of raining cats and dogs a little bit.”
All three of the Titans’ picks led to touchdowns.
10. Injury developments
The Titans came out of Sunday’s contest in good shape injury-wise, but the news continues to be bad for Tennessee’s AFC South rivals.
Jacksonville quarterback Nick Foles suffered a broken clavicle on Sunday, meaning the Titans will likely face backup quarterback Gardner Minshew in Week 3.
Already, Houston had lost starting running back Lamar Miller for the season.
The Titans also know they won’t be facing Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck this season, following Luck’s surprise retirement. Is it possible things are falling right for the Titans in pursuit of a division title?
“I’m excited — we’re starting tomorrow (to think about Indianapolis next Sunday),” Mariota said. “That’s our main focus. We’re getting back in and learning what we can do better from this game.”
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Looks like Conklin graded out very well on Sunday, best among Titans OL
If he is back, this is gonna be a fun year
never do that again marcus holy shit
Fucking Colts man. Just following the box score because Bengals/49ers is on here, might be better this way
Two calls have fucked us. Ghost PI on Butler that extended a drive on third, and then a ghost hold on Conklin on a first down conversion from Marcus.
TD Henry. Text updates from my dad are great
Someone teach Mariotta how to throw the ball away please.
Someone explain the purpose of wasting clock and taking the delay of game when you were gonna punt anyways.
Tajae Sharpe is a fucking moron and I don’t know why he is still on this team.
Every time he touches the ball something bad happens.
If we lose its 100% on the offense and playcalling.
Trying to get the D to jump offsides and get a free first down. Calling a timeout would have been dumb.
And the kicker missing a kick that would have given us 20 points.
Either go for it or punt it. That was stupid.
Less of a problem then the offense shitting the bed.
FG wins it don't play for the TD
We're never going to be anything other than a middle of the road team with Mariota. Great guy but he's just never going to take the next step
I'm sick of losing to the Colts
what a terrible loss
Dumb to put this on Mariota
Losing at home vs a luckless colts is sad
His refusal to throw the ball away today was baffling.
What a horrible final drive.
Maybe not but it’s clear our offense is never going to be dynamic enough with him
Should have known it was gonna be a bad day when the field caught on fire before the game.
I mean, they didnt play that well. But 20 points in the NFL wouldnt be "shitting the bed". That last minute drive was a disaster of coaching and/or Marcus depending on who was calling the shots.
You can put it on plenty of things. Still doesnt change the fact that after 5 years Marcus is a completely average NFL QB with problematic decision making
He shouldn’t have thrown that first dump off near the middle to Delanie.
The scramble almost got us in FG range.
AJ made a rookie mistake by not fighting to get out of bounds.
Spiking it on 3rd is always dumb (guessing that was coaching though).
The last pass was about as good as it gets and hit AJ in the hands.
Get out of here with your level-headed objective analysis.
I’ll agree with that but it’s not like that’s an insult or there’s an easy solution.
Maybe after years of watching Vince and Locker I’m just happy to have an average QB because they’re hard as hell to find.