This was a rough day for Tennessee Titans fans, so unfortunately it feels like every home game for the Titans over the past two years. Let's take a look back at what I thought would be the reasons to watch this game regardless of a win or loss.
A dominant defensive effort
If there is one person or player in risk of losing their job undeservedly, it is Dick LeBeau. All he has done this year is turn a mediocre (at best) defense into one of the most dominant units in the NFL. They are currently sacking QBs at the highest rate per pass attempt in the league, and they already have 31 sacks, which is just 8 shy of last year's total.
LeBeau needs to defense to keep playing at a high level so the next Head Coach/GM that comes in will know that he can't be replaced. He's schemes have given everyone from Brian Orakpo to Wesley Woodyard career years, you can't lose that guy.
Was it a dominant defensive effort? Not especially. There weren't really any turnovers that were actually caused by the defense. There were some rain issues and a special teams turnover, but it was really a mediocre day by the defense. However, if not for a garbage penalty at the end of the game to give the Raiders a new set of downs, the Titans would have won this game.
So it was an average performance by this team, which is still much better than anything they showed last year.
Marcus Mariota's success
Everyone already knows that Mariota is going to be the guy in Tennessee. He is already one of the most accurate passers in the league and he has worked without any proven receivers for a large part of his early career. It would be great to see him get a nice 3 TD, 0 INT game where he uses his legs a little and looks in complete control of the offense.
It was sort of a successful day for Mariota. While he broke the rookie franchise record for passing yards in a single season, it was two blunders by wide receivers that killed this team today. Mariota ended the day with a 218 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs. Again, the INTs were on the WRs in my eyes so that statline should look a lot better, but it is what it is at this point.
Antonio Andrews or David Cobb stepping up
There is nothing Titans fans are more conflicted about that than the current running back situation. There are games like the matchup against the Falcons where Andrews was a wrecking ball that we got away from. There are other games where there are some holes to run through and none of the running backs make the right choices and prove themselves. There is a third scenario where the offensive line fails to block correctly (often) and the running game just can't get going.
No matter what the situation is, the Titans haven't figured that out yet and some clarity would go a long way when planning out the future for this team's personnel.
This is a firm no. No one stood up today and the Titans offense only had 7 rushing yards in the first half. If I were a fan I would be worried that the Titans are going to spend a high pick on a running back next year, ignoring other needs.