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Titans rookie QB Will Levis struggled early vs. Jaguars

Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Will Levis did not put forth his greatest performance vs. the Jaguars

Tennessee Titans v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Will Levis struggled throughout Sunday’s 34-14 blowout defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Levis completed 13-of-17 passing attempts for 158 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Levis spearheaded a putrid Titans offense that produced just 82 yards in the first half and didn’t score a point until the final play of the third quarter.

Levis’ first-half was littered with missed opportunities. After Chris Moore took a reverse for a 38-yard gain into Jacksonville territory, Levis missed an open Chig Okonkwo on 1st-and-10. Levis was then credited with a fumble on second-and-10, but center Aaron Brewer, who fired a high snap, was more to blame. Levis also took a 3rd-down sack in the first half that knocked the Titans out of field goal range. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel burned two timeouts due to operational issues.

Context adds a strange layer to Levis’ performance. How did the former Kentucky standout only attempt 17 passes in a game the Titans were consistently losing by multiple scores? Failure to extend drives, and the defense’s inability to get off the field, didn’t help. The Titans ran 38 offensive plays versus Jacksonville’s 69.

Levis’ EPA (Expected Points Added) and CPOE (Completion Percentage Over Expected) ranked 10th among all quarterbacks that played on Sunday. He also ranked 13th in air yards and 10th in success rate. Levis received little help from his offensive line, running backs, and pass catchers.

Levis averaged a career-high 9.3 yards per attempt, aided by a 43-yard flea-flicker to DeAndre Hopkins. Levis’ quarterback rating was a career-high 143.8, but his adjusted quarterback rating of 18.2 was a career-low mark, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Exactly 107 of Levis’ 158 yards came on two drives when the result had already been decided, presumably against soft coverage shells.

Levis later connected on a deep-shot to Moore in the fourth quarter. Later on the drive, Levis found defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons in the end-zone for a two-yard touchdown. It was a brilliant moment unfortunately overshadowed by Tennessee’s lackluster performance.

Levis’ first-half struggles offered a stark reminder that all young quarterbacks experience ups and downs. Levis made various mistakes throughout a costly first half. He was, at times, erratic and made poor decisions. Levis’ arm talent was then on full display. The rollercoaster continues.