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Quick Recaps - Final Score: Titans 24 Falcons 31

The Falcons jumped out to an early lead, but the Titans fought back. A mixed bag from the 1's.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports


The Highlights

Marcus Mariota

After early miscues including a picked screen pass (his only incompletion of the night) and a strip from behind, Marcus Mariota put together some impressive passes to a variety of targets. It's clear that he's not easily rattled, and his accuracy is not a question mark. With some extra exposure (and some vastly improved offensive line play), he can do some serious damage. When he wan't facing quick pressure off the edge (or having Schwenke fall into his lap), Mariota looked sharp and delivered the ball accurately down the field. On his last drive, he was 5 of 5 for 80 yards, and he didn't look at all like the flustered rookie that many analysts expected.

Run Defense

Neither team ran well in the Georgia Dome, but the Titans did a good job of limiting the Falcons gains on the ground. This was good to see after a woeful performance in that department last season. They still need to work on outside containment. That said, the Falcons didn't need to run to keep the chains moving...


The Lowlights

Bishop Sankey

Another offseason of training under his belt...and he still isn't running with any kind of authority. McCluster and Andrews made bigger impacts in far fewer snaps. Sankey needs to pick his gap and get north, because he has a lot of competition behind him itching for snaps. You can't justify making him the work horse if he can't up his performance. All things considered, his offensive line did him no favors tonight.

Offensive Line

They cant run block. They certainly can't pass block. This unit has a lot of expectations to meet that they aren't even close to touching right now. A big time disappointment from them against the Falcons, giving up early pass pressures that led to a turnover. This offense won't get far off the ground if they can't improve things up front. Levitre, Poutassi, Bell, and Schwenke in particular struggled. Ruston Webster and the FO didn't really address the RT and LG spots this Summer. Let's hope that Mariota and the Titans don't pay for that all year long. There are some options still on the market that are worth a shot. That, or the team can just run to the left all game...

Pass Defense

The first drive looked like something out of 2014. Big cushions, and big pass completions, ending in seven points. That said, this isn't what this scheme will look like in week 1, where the defense will show more than the basic packages and looks they did tonight in Atlanta. That said, Perrish Cox, Michael Griffin, and Coty Sensabaugh were worked on the opening drive in a big way. They didn't fare much better against TJ Yates, before they too were subbed out. Daimion Stafford suffered a bit in the 2nd unit as well. After giving up a bad foul, Coty Sensabaugh bounced back with a nifty pick off of a bobbled pass, so it wasn't all bad. Having McCourty back should help some as well.


Top Performers: Harry Douglas, Marcus Mariota, Taylor Lewan, David Cobb.

Other Notes:

- Mettenberger looked pretty good too. You really can't undervalue a solid backup after what the Titans have gone through the past few years. He did throw a pick into double coverage in the 2nd quarter; the throw behind Hunter. You'd like to see Hunter fight a little more for that ball though.

- Ropati Pitoitua had some nice plays out there tonight. He isn't a dynamic player, and doesn't get much love, but he is a solid rotational piece for Tennessee.

- I want to see more of Green-Beckham. He made a nice grab against the Falcons; a burner deep down the right side of the field.

- David Cobb had some nice runs in the second half of the game, exceeding 5 yards per carry. He and Andrews looked like much improved over what fans were subjected to in the first period. FB Jalston Fowler also was in for some snaps, and made some nice blocks.


What to look for next week?

- How the running backs snaps change, if at all. The Titans would be remiss if they did not give Andrews and Cobb some added workload with the first unit.

- Can the offensive line get it together? Mariota will have a hard time staying healthy behind this group if they don't.

- The Titans secondary. Can they cover the deep middle of the field? Matt Ryan had his way with the first team unit, and the real estate was found behind the linebackers.


The biggest issues facing the team at this juncture are the offensive line and the running back situation. The two issues are obviously married to one another, but there are question marks all over the place. I'll look for game three to see actual scheming before I judge this new defense.