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Recap: Titans lose in London to the Chargers, 20-19

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A wild game.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans lost in dramatic fashion this morning in London, failing to convert a two point conversion that would have won them the game. That’s a call that’s going to be debated for some time.

Here’s how we got to that point.


Game Summary

The Titans got things going with points on Sunday in London, putting up three points on their opening drive against the Chargers. It was a decent drive for a team that scored exactly zero points in the previous week, but sputtered in the redzone.

Those baby steps of progress were quickly dashed though, as Phillip Rivers found Tyrell Williams to answer and take the lead. It was a 75 yard bomb that saw Logan Ryan get turned around and torched deep.

Offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur did appear to tweak his approach early on. Derrick Henry was worked into the passing game, particularly on first down. Marcus Mariota found Henry a couple of times in space for decent gains to begin drives. Still, at least through the first few drives, it didn’t result in a touchdown.

The Chargers took a 10-6 lead into the second quarter as the Titans’ defense found their footing.

LaFleur pieced together another impressive drive at the end of the first half. It was a 16 play drive that took nine minutes off of the clock, which ended in a Marcus Mariota interception in the redzone. It was the first career pick in the redzone for Mariota, who rushed what looked to be an RPO play. His pass was tipped and picked, taking us to halftime with the Chargers leading 10-6.

Out of the break, Phillip Rivers and Mike Williams extended the Chargers’ lead over the Titans. It was a busted coverage that saw Kendrick Lewis leave Williams wide open deep, and Rivers didn’t miss.

However, the Titans actually had an answer this time. A couple of big plays from Dion Lewis got the Titans in the redzone again and it was Derrick Henry punching through for the score to bring things back to 17-13.

Dean Pees’ defense got the stop on the next drive, giving the Titans a shot to take the lead. But a Corey Levin clipping penalty derailed the drive immediately. The Titans punted back to the Chargers, who put a drive together once again. Phillip Rivers dissected the Titans and slowly moved into the redzone, but he missed Mike Williams over the middle in the endzone on third down. The Chargers added three, but the Titans kept it a one score game.

Marcus Mariota got the football down 20-13 with 12:29 to play in the 4th quarter. The drive was jumpstarted with a pass to Dion Lewis, who pushed the ball close to midfield. But then key drops from Taywan Taylor and Corey Davis caused the drive to stall, which was a shame because Mariota was dealing.

To make matters worse, Ryan Succop failed to convert the field goal attempt. One more time, Dean Pees and his defense got the stop they needed. Mariota — and his receivers who stalled the last drive — would get another shot to tie this thing.

They got rolling with the ground game, as Derrick Henry and Marcus Mariota moved the sticks. Then it was Dion Lewis who broke off a 36 yard run, bouncing off of defenders left and right.

All of a sudden, the Titans were in the redzone with two minutes to play.

Mariota converted a third down pass to Tajae Sharpe to get inside of the five yard line. That catch put Sharpe over 100 yards for the day. Mariota scrambled into the endzone just two plays later, but after review he was ruled short.

That set up a 4th down from the one, which Mariota converted on a play-action pass to Luke Stocker. Mike Vrabel opted to go for two — and the win.

That decision came up empty. Mariota overthrew Taywan in the endzone and the score stayed at 20-19. The Chargers recovered the onside kick, which ended the game.

The Titans fall to 3-4, but showed plenty of fight. What are your thoughts on the decision to go for two?