The Tennessee Titans got a much-needed win against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. The final minute of the game turned out to be a wild finish that kept fans of both teams on the edge of their seats.
Titans Rush Defense Dominates
There was no better example of this than on that final goal-line stand. The Titans held the Chargers on or inside the one-yard line three times to end the Chargers drive.
Austin Ekeler caught a pass from Philip Rivers that was initially thought to be a touchdown but was overturned. The Titans held Melvin Gordon to no gain on the next play. On the final play and after a long review, the Titans once again stopped Gordon by forcing a fumble that was recovered by nine year Titans veteran Jurrell Casey.
The fumble was the only turnover by a Titans defense that just missed on two interceptions and another Melvin Gordon fumble earlier in the game.
The Chargers were held to just 39 total yards on the ground. Gordon rushed 16 times for just 32 yards, his longest run going for six yards. On a day where the Titans passing defense greatly struggled, the rushing defense had a much needed dominant performance to secure the win.
Jeffery Simmons’ Debut Has Immediate Impact
First-round draft pick and Mississippi State Bulldog Jeffery Simmons had a major influence on the Titans. The Titans’ defense was bolstered in a major way by the 6-foot-4 301lb rookie.
Simmons spent the entire day terrorizing San Diego center Dan Feeney. He would record his first stat in the first quarter, burrowing through Feeney on his way to tackling Melvin Gordon behind the line of scrimmage. Nissan Stadium erupted.
The cheers got even louder later in the game as Simmons recorded his first career sack on Rivers. After nearly getting to him throughout the game he managed to pull the veteran down close to their Chargers goaline.
Without Simmons, the Titans likely lose the game. His massive presence in the middle of the first goal line stand led to his first contact and eventual Titans stuff on Gordon. On the second try, he overpowered the blocker and disrupted Gordon’s path, leading to the eventual fumble.
Tannehill Shines in First Titans Start
7-year veteran Ryan Tannehill got his first start as a Titan and made the most of it. His 23/29, 312-yard day led to one of the best offensive days by the Titans this season. Not only did Tannehill throw for the most yards on the season but he also had the offense looking as good as it’s looked since week 1.
Under Tannehill’s leadership, the Titans scored a touchdown for the first time since week 5 against the Bills – 6 quarters without a touchdown. It was also the first multi-touchdown game by the offense since week 2 against the Colts.
The bold switch from Marcus Mariota to Tannehill has head coach Mike Vrabel looking brilliant. Tannehill has a very impressive 80% completion percentage after 45 passing attempts. He does have two interceptions but the two scores as well as opening up the running game again has paid big dividends.
The Titans hope to continue the momentum at home next week against the 2-4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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