This afternoon in Atlanta, the Titans started quickly for the first time in 2019. A.J. Brown caught a pass from Marcus Mariota, turning on the jets to outrun the entire Atlanta secondary for the score. It was a 55 yard touchdown for the rookie receiver, giving the Titans a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Falcons didn’t wait long to answer. Matt Ryan put together a seven play drive that went right down the field. Ito Smith capped the drive with two consecutive carries, finding the endzone on the second to tie the game.
Mariota came out on the next drive and stayed hot. Third down conversions to Adam Humphries and Corey Davis were key plays on the next drive ahead of yet another touchdown for A.J. Brown. Mariota found the rookie once again to take a 14-7 lead on the Falcons.
After the Titans added three more to make it a 17-7 game, Atlanta chose to go for it at midfield, looking for a spark. Dean Pees’ defense stood tall, getting the ball back to the offense.
Mariota went back to work, finding Corey Davis to add to the lead. It was Mariota’s third touchdown pass of the half, which powered Tennessee to a 24-7 lead at halftime.
Atlanta came out of the break looking for a spark. They seemingly found one, moving quickly into Titans’ territory, but they were unable to add seven points. Matt Bryant added three instead, cutting the Tennessee lead to 24-10.
The Falcons got a stop on the following drive, opening the door for them to re-enter the ballgame. Ryan found Austin Hooper down the seam for a chunk of yards to find Titans’ territory, but back to back negative plays set up a 3rd and 16, which the Falcons could not convert after getting 15 yards.
Dan Quinn chose to go for it — and it backfired in a big way. Ryan was sacked on the play by Harold Landry, handing the ball right back to the Titans around midfield.
After trading a couple of punts, the Titans finally put something together to open the fourth quarter. The Titans moved into Atlanta territory, looking to put the nail in the coffin with just about any kind of score.
Mariota scrambled to set up a 4th and 1 from the ten yard line, which Mike Vrabel opted to go for. Instead of choosing to go up by three scores, the Titans were stuffed after lining up in the gun and handing off to Derrick Henry.
Atlanta had to capitalize, but getting through this Titans defense proved to be a chore for Matt Ryan all day. The Titans forced 4th down to start the series, but the Falcons chose to go for it from their own 20. Ryan converted, keeping the drive alive.
Ryan kept it going, finding Devonta Freeman and Austin Hooper to cross midfield. But an Atlanta penalty halted any progress Ryan made. 3rd and 23 turned into another 4th down attempt from Dan Quinn, this time coming up empty once again.
The Titans got the ball back with a 14 point lead with just seven minutes to play. They went on to put this one on ice, improving to 2-2 on the 2019 season.
It was a game they needed to get after dropping two straight AFC South games to Indianapolis and Jacksonville. We got the good version of Marcus Mariota today, who threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns. The defense turned in another outstanding effort, suffocating the Falcons after the offense failed to score in the second half.
Next up for the Titans is a date with the Bills in Nashville next Sunday.