The Tennessee Titans improved their record to 2-1 after a 33-27 defeat of the Seattle Seahawks in Nashville on Sunday. The score was a lot closer than the actual game indicated. Marcus Mariota threw for two scores and no interceptions.
Seattle had their hands full with a hungry Titan team. The Hawks had to travel east for the matchup and Tennessee was waiting for them with open arms.
Midway through a dull first half, Mariota scampered toward the sideline. There, he was met by Richard Sherman who tagged Marcus slightly out of bounds. Sherman was flagged for a NFL-record three fouls on one play but remained in the game.
Mariota’s lineman Taylor Lewan came to his rescue to assault the Pro Bowl cornerback with insults and death threats.
Nevertheless, that play woke up the Titans offense. Tennessee went on to score 21 straight points in the third quarter before Seattle even knew what hit them.
The former Heisman Trophy winner was seen on more than a few occasions with “escorted runs” for play calls. The Titans have implemented these this season to eliminate the danger of consistent naked bootlegs and individual runs by Mariota after surgery.
Marcus finished his extremely efficient afternoon 20-of-32 for 225 passing yards and two touchdowns without a turnover. He also had seven carries for 27 rushing yards. Impressively, the Titans did not allow Mariota to be sacked or pressured on Sunday.
DeMarco Murray provided a boost to Mariota and the Titans. The former Sooner had 115 rushing yards and a score on 14 carries. His 75-yard run in the third quarter capped the 21-point outburst.
If it wasn’t for the heroics of Russell Wilson, Seattle loses by 30 points. The Virginia native threw for a career-high 373 passing yards, including four tallies.
Tennessee dominated the clock with 32:41 to 27:19 for the Seahawks. Regardless, both teams faced similar problems to the Ducks with their failures on third down. Both the Titans and Seahawks were 4-of-14 (28 percent) on the day.
The story of the game came from penalties, sound familiar? The Titans received a first down on six separate occasions following a Seattle penalty. It’s not very difficult for an opponent to control the clock when their opponent remains undisciplined.
Honestly, the stats in this game were very close. Some would think the Seahawks played great or the Titans were awful when comparing the numbers.
Tennessee ran just 67 total plays while recording 420 total yards on 14 drives in which they averaged 6.3 yards per play. Seattle ran 72 total plays while recording 433 total yards of offense on 13 drives in which they averaged 6.0 yards per play.
The Titans play ball-control football with the best of the league. Meanwhile, that is Seattle’s style but they have been unable to run it the last few years with a subpar offensive line. It’s starting to catch up with them in the loss column (1-2).
Next up for Marcus in Week 4 is a meeting with their division rival the Houston Texans (1-2). Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson will provide yet another test for Tennessee after almost upsetting Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Kickoff is slated for 10:00 a.m. PT from NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday, October 1. We’ll have the complete recap here on Monday!