If the Titans wanted anything to do with the postseason race, this was a game that they absolutely had to have. The Bears came into the contest down Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffrey, clearly one of the worst teams in the NFL. No excuses today.
They didn’t disappoint, but man oh man did they try.
The Titans did, however get off to their typical slow road start. Jordan Howard ate the Titans up on the ground, accumulating 50 yards from scrimmage in a blink. Matt Barkley cashed in first, hitting Daniel Brown for a touchdown.
Tennessee didn’t stay quiet long. Robiskie and Mularkey fired up Derrick Henry today in an extended role, which paid off in the first half. Henry was able to kick start the offense and get into the endzone to tie the game at 7-7.
Then Mariota got rolling. He started the game 7-7, pumping out a touchdown to Delanie Walker to take the lead. He followed that up with a gorgeous touchdown to Rishard Matthews, who went full extension in the back of the endzone.
The Titans carried a 21-7 lead into the half.
The third quarter was a bit of a snoozer. The Titans stood tall, adding two field goals to extend their lead to 27-7.
Matt Barkley finally put something together in the fourth quarter. He was able to find Marquess Wilson (who beat Perrish Cox) for the touchdown. This cut the lead to 27-14.
Barkley wasn’t done. He ripped the Titans apart in the 4th quarter, making things interesting down the stretch. He was able to throw a touchdown to Cameron Meredith with 3:06 to go to cut the lead to 27-21.
The Bears chose to kick it deep and pin the Titans back in their own territory. It did not go well. The Titans went three and out, following a questionable shovel pass call to DeMarco Murray on 3rd and 2.
Barkley immediately went back to work. He had the Bears in the redzone in no time. He picked on LeShaun Sims all the way down to the goalline. He hit Bellamy in the endzone for a score, but the ball was dropped. The Titans were still breathing.
It all came down to a 4th and goal play, for all the marbles.
Matt Barkley looked Perrish Cox’s way, but Deonte Thompson dropped the ball. It was an easy score, but Thompson couldn’t hang on.
The Titans escape.
That was a totally unnecessary ending to what looked like a blowout victory. Thankfully, the Titans finally have their bye next week to rest up. Sitting at 6-6 with the Texans at 6-5, anything is possible.
However, the Titans have to work out their secondary issues if they want to contend over the next month.