It was ugly. Really really ugly. But the Titans got it done, coming from behind in dramatic fashion to get past the Jets and move to 6-6 on the season. Here are the winners and losers from Titans 26, Jets 22.
Evans was all over the place again, leading the team with 8 tackles. He’s making an impact consistently at this point and the future looks very bright for the middle of the Titans defense.
The backup tight end had an amazing one handed grab and then followed it up with his first career touchdown catch to get the Titans on the board late in the first half. He would later add a big grab over the middle during the Titans game winning drive. He finished with 3 catches for 42 yards and a touchdown.
Firkser continues to make the most of his limited opportunities and should continue to get more targets moving forward.
The Titans really missed the speed of Taylor and we were reminded of how valuable it truly is today. In his first game back from a foot injury he suffered against the Cowboys, Taylor came up with two huge catches down the stretch as the Titans tried to fight their way back in to the game and nearly had another one if not for an overthrow from Mariota. He finished with 3 catches for 104 yards for his first 100-yard receiving game of his career.
The ability to stretch the field with speed is something that the Titans have needed and it looks like Taylor might be ready to provide that threat.
Butler has been bashed by Titans fans all season — often for good reason — but he turned in yet another solid performance in this game, providing good coverage and sure tackling to go along with his game-clinching interception — the Titans first turnover since Dallas. Butler needs more days like this to justify his contract, but he’s gone from liability to asset in recent weeks.
I had Mariota penciled in to the Losers category for most of this game — and I’m still not sure he doesn’t belong there — but when you lead a game-winning drive in the final two minutes you can’t be a loser regardless of opponent. The stat line wasn’t great — 20 of 35 for 282 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception — but he did enough to win at the end of the day.
It’s really hard to know where to put this performance from Mariota honestly. He was mostly atrocious in the first half besides a late scoring drive and then had a few miscues in the second half too — an overthrow on a sure TD to Taylor and a fumble at the end of a long run on the final drive being the biggest two — but he also was clutch when it counted. This game was essentially a microcosm of his 2018 season to this point.
Davis wasn’t great in this game as a whole, registering just 3 catches for 42 yards, but he caught his second game winning touchdown in Nissan Stadium on the season and that’s worth something.
Say what you will about the Titans, but they have really put on a great show for their home fans in 2018 (besides that awful Ravens game). The Eagles, Patriots, and Jets games have all been dramatic and memorable for different reasons. The Titans are now 4-1 at home with 3 of their last 4 contests in Nissan Stadium.
This win also buys another week of intrigue as the Titans avoided a potential playoff knock out blow. They still need some help from the Ravens and Broncos down the stretch but they have a chance with four weeks left and will continue playing meaningful football for at least another week.
The Titans started the game with yet another conservative gameplan and quickly fell behind. Things started to click for the offense only when the team was way behind and running out of time. Tennessee is clearly at their best when they open things up and attack downfield, but LaFleur insists on trying to establish the run every game despite the fact that they’ve rarely been successful early with that approach.
Titans Special Teams
Blocked punt? Check.
Blocked extra point? Check.
Long kick return allowed? Check.
Bad fair catch calls? Check.
The Titans special teams have been good most of this season, but this was one of the worst special teams performances that I can remember.
Spain was benched midway through the first half as Ben Jones moved from center to left guard and Corey Levin came off the bench to play center. Spain had an early false start, but I didn’t notice any particularly egregious errors on his part. It’s curious to see Spain being the player who hits the pine when he’s largely been among the Titans best offensive linemen this year while right guard Josh Kline has been actively bad for much of the season. To be fair, the Titans offensive line largely played better after the switch. It will be interesting to see if they decide to stick with this alignment on Thursday against the Jaguars.
Lewis almost lost what would have been a back breaking fumble late in the 3rd quarter when he appeared to not know that he was supposed to get the handoff. Lewis continues to be outpaced by Henry.