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RECAP: Panthers Beat Titans, 26-16

Carolina takes game two of the pre-season.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panther came to town this afternoon and downed the Titans, 26-16. It was a competitive game between the first string players, but the Titans really couldn't get anything going after Marcus Mariota left the game.

Offensively, the Titans got a rhythm going early. Mariota hit Sharpe a couple of times as they marched down the field, but failed to finish off the drive. Mariota was picked off trying to hit Harry Douglas on a post route. It was an ugly decision as Douglas appeared to be covered up.

After a few stalled possessions from each squad, Mariota got the Titans rolling again. He hit Tajae Sharpe several times, getting the Titans in position. Then he delivered a strike off of play action. It was a 23 yard pass from Marcus and Harry Douglas did a great job of staying in bounds.

Mariota was great today, outside of one terrible decision. He finished 9-10 for 104 yards with a touchdown and a pick. Here's his touchdown strike to Douglas.

The story of this one was Tajae Sharpe. He caught everything that was thrown his way, racking up six catches for 68 yards. He seems to really be in rhythm with Mariota and isn't afraid of contact over the middle.

Defensively, the Titans struggled once again.

The run defense wasn't really tested. The Panthers did all of their damage through the air as the Titans were playing without their top two cornerbacks. The secondary play was... not good -- to put in nicely. Antwon Blake had a poor showing from start to finish, probably placing himself on the bubble to make the final 53. His day started by giving up a 61 yard catch and run to Ted Ginn.

We still have yet to see the Titans at full strength in the secondary, but the only two looks that we have gotten haven't been encouraging. Let's hope that Jason McCourty can stay healthy this season.

David Cobb coughed up the ball inside the Titans' own ten yard line, putting the defense up against the wall. The Panthers were able to punch that in for six, making it a 19-10 game. The third team offense couldn't muster much more, but Joe Webb was able to lead a scoring drive in the middle of the 4th quarter to salt the game away.

Alex Tanney was able to get Tennessee into the endzone, but the Titans fell short 26-16.

Quick thoughts:

  • Alex Tanney had a nice game. He was good negotiating the pocket and getting through his reads. I thought he outplayed Matt Cassel by a good margin.
  • David Cobb fumbled on his first carry of the pre-season, but rebounded nicely. He put up a 6-27 line against the Panther's reserves in the second half. Dexter McCluster played throughout, logging minutes into the 4th quarter. Bishop Sankey entered last and didn't get a lot accomplished. The third running back role is truly anyone's to have.
  • Justin Hunter played well into the 4th quarter. He was productive, but was running with the third team. I'd say his time in Nashville is just about done.
  • Derrick Henry had six carries for 31 yards. He seems to operate best behind the lead blocking of his college teammate, Jalston Fowler.