[title_box title=”Paralyzed offense results in another Titans loss”]
The Titans were on a four-game losing streak and had been struggling overall as a team coming into Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons (5-1). Zach Mettenberger got his first start of the year at quarterback as Marcus Mariota was still nursing a left knee injury sustained in last week’s loss against the Dolphins.
Both teams struggled to find the end zone in the first half until linebacker David Bass intercepted Matt Ryan, setting up a 19-yard touchdown reception by Kendall Wright.
The Titans’ defense had a great performance in the first half despite the fact they were missing two starters, cornerback Perrish Cox and safety Michael Griffin, who were injured. Falcons’ running back Devonta Freeman, who has been one of the biggest surprises in the NFL so far this season, rushed for 62 yards on 10 carries in the first half. He was getting touches and still making good plays, but the Titans were able to relatively contain him. The Titans went into the break leading 7-3.
On the Falcons’ second drive of the second half, Julio Jones was able to beat Derrick Morgan around the right side for and eight-yard touchdown to take the lead. The Titans had four more chances with the ball and only needed to score a field goal, but struggled to pick up first downs. Tennessee finished a miserable 1-9 on third down conversions.
The Titans’ defense was constantly called on to make pivotal stops in the second half and it delivered. The defense made great plays in the secondary and even had a goal line stand, where Avery Williamson intercepted Ryan on fourth-and-goal from the six-inch line.
On Atlanta’s next drive, they failed to convert on a field goal which gave Mettenberger and the Titans one last shot to win or at least tie the game with two minutes left in play, down three points.
An interception ended all hope of a comeback, however, making it the third time this season that the Titans have thrown an interception on a possible game-winning drive. The quarterback change did not help the Titans in the slightest, as they dropped their fifth straight game, 10-7.
Mettenberger finished 22-for-35 for 187 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He struggled to hit open receivers and looked sluggish. Antonio Andrews led the Titans in rushing with 57 yards on 10 rushes and Delaine Walker was once again the Titans’ leading receiver with 55 yards on seven receptions.
Matt Ryan went 22-for-38 for 251 yards and also had one touchdown and two interceptions. Freeman finished with 116 yards on 25 rushes and Jones led the Falcons in receiving with 92 yards on nine receptions, including one touchdown.
The Titans (1-5) travel to Houston to take on the divisional rival Texans (2-5) next week. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
Featured image by Casey Fleser
Edited by Cody McClure