The Titans came out firing on Sunday afternoon, giving us some flashes of what could be with this offense under Matt LaFleur. We really haven’t seen much of it due to injuries up front and to Marcus Mariota.
Early on, that changed today. Mariota is finally getting healthy and it showed. LaFleur dialed up multiple shots down the field to Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor. The connection wasn’t quite there, however.
Mariota missed a wide open Davis, which should have been six, then Jonnu Smith had a key drop to stop the first drive. The Titans settled for three points to open the game.
Mariota came back on the next drive with a good ball to Taylor down the middle of the field deep, but contact forced an incomplete pass. So early on, the Titans missed two opportunities to get into the endzone.
After dominating much of the first half, Tennessee found themselves trailing. A deep strike to Jordan Matthews put the Eagles ahead midway through the second quarter. It was Malcolm Butler once again giving up the deep ball.
With the seconds winding down in the first half, Mariota tossed a pick, giving the Eagles a shot to add to their lead. Luckily for the Titans, that was only three points.
Philadelphia took a 10-3 lead into halftime.
They immediately added to it coming out of the break. A long drive ended with an Alshon Jeffery touchdown, who reeled in a jump ball against LeShaun Sims. Sims was playing for Adoree’ Jackson, who exited the game during the previous play.
It didn’t take Mariota long to strike back, however. An efficient drive brought the Titans right back into this one as Mariota scrambled into the endzone to bring it back to a seven point game.
The Titans needed a big play defensively — and they got one. It was Harold Landry with the sack fumble, giving Tennessee another chance to close the gap. They were able to add another field goal, bringing the Eagles’ lead to 17-13.
Nelson Agholor dropped a pass on third and six, forcing the Eagles to punt back to the Titans with eight minutes to play.
A 51 yard Corey Davis catch followed that, setting the Titans up with a golden opportunity to take the lead. And they did just that. Mariota found Tajae Sharpe to go up 20-17 with just five minutes to play.
It was a quick three and out for Carson Wentz, who failed to connect with Zach Ertz on third down. The Eagles punted once more, handing the Titans a chance to put this one on ice with 2:45 to play.
A quick screen to Davis put the Titans in a third and three situation, but the Titans couldn’t convert on the following play. They went back to Davis on another screen, but didn’t get the blocking that they needed.
Wentz got the ball inside Titans’ territory following a big time return on the punt. A screen to Jeffery got them inside of the redzone with just one minute to play. However, the defense held, forcing a fourth and three with 21 seconds to play.
Jake Elliott split the sticks to tie things up, which sent us to overtime.
The Eagles would get the ball to open. It was Jay Ajayi getting things rolling, picking up a first down off the bat. Wentz came back with a pass to Jeffery for another chunk, then it was Ajayi getting down into the redzone.
The Titans bent, but didn’t break. Dean Pees’ group go the stop on third down, forcing another Elliott field goal. The Eagles now led 23-20, meaning the Titans had to answer on their next drive.
Mariota delivered a bomb right on the money to Darius Jennings, who dropped it. That ball would have put the Titans in field goal range at least.
Instead, the Titans were faced with a third and ten. Mariota threw incomplete to Davis, bringing up fourth and ten. A penalty made it fourth and 15. With the ballgame on the line, Mariota converted. It was Taywan Taylor on a 15 yard out, keeping the Titans alive.
They were faced with another fourth down just minutes later, which they were able to convert with the help of a pass interference call. But a negative play on a pitch and a sack set up third and long.
Mariota scrambled for 16 yards — enough for a Ryan Succop field goal attempt. Or so we thought. Vrabel changed his mind after an Eagles timeout and went for it. It was Dion Lewis catching a dump off and barreling down to the Eagles 15.
Time became a factor now with just 20 seconds to go. Mariota fired two incompletions, setting up third down. But he found Corey Davis in the endzone on the next play.
It was a floater that Davis snatched out of the sky to beat the defending Super Bowl champs.
Final Score: Titans 26, Eagles 23