Sunday afternoon at Nissan Stadium felt like it was shaping up to be a stress-free day, but thinks quickly got interesting after the halftime break. The Titans had chances to put the Giants away in the second quarter, but settled for field goals instead. That set up a fight to the end — and eventually, heartbreak.
Ryan Tannehill came out dealing, working Treylon Burks and Robert Woods. He capped off an early drive with a touchdown pass to Dontrell Hilliard, who proved to be very involved in the offense despite the return of Derrick Henry.
The Tennessee defense suffocated the Giants in the first half, putting up a shutout. Jeffery Simmons got home with two sacks, making life tough on Daniel Jones. New York couldn’t get anything established on the ground, either.
Meanwhile, the Titans failed to find the endzone on the next few drives, but did add two field goals.
Tennessee took a 13-0 lead into halftime.
Finally, Saquon Barkley found some space to open the third quarter. He flipped the field position, providing the Giants with their only big play of the day to that point. Barkley punched it in a couple of snaps later, but the extra point was botched.
Not too long after that, the Titans lost Sterling Shepard deep, and Daniel Jones found him for a long score.
Suddenly, we had a tie game at 13.
The Tennessee offense needed to wake up, and Tannehill did just that. He found Treylon Burks over the middle for big play to cross midfield. Then Dontrell Hilliard found the endzone once again.
It was a really nice response from the Titans, who took back control at 20-13 entering the fourth quarter.
Jones couldn’t make anything happen on the following drive, and the Giants punted. However, Kyle Philips muffed the punt, and the Giants took back control inside of the ten. Gifted with a new opportunity, Jones threw a pick in the endzone to the newly-paid Amani Hooker.
The Titans, once again, failed to put the Giants away.
Barkley went back to work, breaking another long run to flip the field once more. With under four minutes to play, New York was suddenly threatening again, sitting at the 25 yard line.
Faced with a fourth down at the two-minute warning, the Giants dialed up a bootleg run for Jones to convert. Barkley inched closer, with time getting tight. With one minute to play, Jones delivered on a play-action for the score, and Daboll opted to go for two and the lead.
He dialed up a shovel pass to Barkley, who was able to avoid a tackle for the conversion.
Suddenly down 21-20, Tannehill went to work with 1:06 to play. He found Philips twice, then Austin Hooper to get to midfield. Tannehill hit Philips again on a good looking out route to get in field goal range.
They set up Randy Bullock for the win, and Randy misfired.
The Giants pulled it out, 21-20.
It’s a game the Titans will look back on and have plenty of regrets. Stagnant offense, a couple of big plays from Barkley, a blown coverage, and a missed kick at the end. Tennessee blew this one, and it won’t get any easier next week.
The Titans will travel to Buffalo next Monday night to face the Bills.