The third game of the preseason is a dress rehearsal for the regular season. This showing by the Tennessee Titans on Sunday was not one that would be met with much applause as the Bears won 19-7.
Tennessee Titans Preseason Week 3 Takeaways
Play calling was a little bland as the unit was hampered by injuries. Likely starting receivers Eric Decker and Corey Davis were both inactive due to injuries. This left the receving duties to Rishard Matthews (last year’s leading receiver), Tajae Sharpe and rookie Taywan Taylor.
Taylor is an interesting player. He reminds me a little bit of Dexter McCluster (well, what he should have been) as a guy who can carry the ball out of the backfield and make guys miss as well as line up as a receiver. All three of them looked like they will be contributors this season and could give the Titans some good depth at receiver.
The biggest thing that stood out from this game was Marcus Mariota. He looked wildly inaccurate, overthrowing many of his targets. While missing some of his starters could have played some role, he simply has to be better. However since it is preseason I won’t say the sky is falling just yet.
Derrick Henry looked alright in the second half. DeMarco Murray did not have a very good day running the ball with just 16 yards on six carries, but Henry was able to make a couple good runs in the second half; including the only score of the game for the Titans. Even though the stats between them aren’t good, I don’t think there’s much of a reason to be concerned about them going into the regular season.
This side of the ball was the most disappointing part of the game. The front seven generated little pass rush and let Mike Glennon tear the secondary apart. A handful of times in the first half former Titan Kendall Wright got open in the flat and moved the chains. Covering the short routes was an issue all day. That was only made worse by the fact when the blitz was on the pressure didn’t get to Glennon and he would find the hot route and move the chains.
Adoree Jackson looked like a rookie in this game. He got beat on a couple plays, one resulting in a pass interference in the end zone. The other being a long first down reception to Cameron Meredith. On the first drive, Glennon hooked up with Meredith for a 28 yard gain into the middle of the field. While Jackson was in coverage on the play, he couldn’t have covered Meredith much better than he did. It was a perfect throw he could do nothing about.
Jackson also made some good tackles after the catch throughout the game. As often is the case with rookie corners they are not finished products. It will take some time for Jackson to be the player he was drafted to be.
Ultimately, Chicago was the better team on Sunday and it showed. They controlled the line of scrimmage (something the Titans pride themselves on) and look like they could give a lot of teams fits this year. Tennessee was not sound in their execution and committed too many stupid penalties–eight for 69 yards in the game.
For the Titans, this cannot be seen as the finished product of the team. They were missing crucial players on offense at receiver (and then at left guard after the ejection of Quinton Spain for throwing a punch in the first half). But they will be better by the time Oakland comes to town in a couple weeks.