NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans scored 21 third-quarter points en route to a 2-1 record and a 33-27 home victory over the visiting Seattle Seahawks Sunday.
But the football was truly of little consequence compared to the rest of what happened at Nissan Stadium and around the rest of the league. President Donald Trump’s unprovoked comments at a rally in Huntsville, Alabama on Friday elicited a level of emotion and unity that is unlike anything I have witnessed in my lifetime.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say: ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now, out,'” the president said.
The reaction across the sporting community was visceral and those attending the game between Seattle and Tennessee had a front row seat whether they liked it or not.
Both the Titans and the Seahawks elected to remain in their respective locker rooms during Sunday’s rendition of the national anthem in a powerful show of solidarity and it sent reverberations around the country for both those who follow sports and those who do not.
Now, for the game itself.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota played admirably after a sluggish first half. The third-year pro threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns while completing 20 of his 32 pass attempts. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Mariota had only thrown two touchdowns in his five previous games leading into Sunday’s win.
The passing attack did not appear to miss rookie wide receiver Corey Davis, who was inactive due to a lingering hamstring injury. Eric Decker started in the fifth-overall pick’s place and caught four passes for 49 yards, his biggest on-field contribution as a Titan. Rishard Matthews garnered most of Mariota’s attention. Matthews was targeted 10 times and came down with six balls for 87 yards including a touchdown catch that he took 55 yards to the house.
While Seattle’s offense looked constipated for the majority of the game, quarterback Russell Wilson finished with a career-high 379 yards through the air. Seattle opened up their hurry-up offense in the second half down 13 and brought the score within six on a 12-play, 72-yard drive scoring drive that saw Wilson toss his fourth touchdown of the game.
On the ground, the Titans dominated on both sides of the ball.
DeMarco Murray, who did not practice the majority of the week, started the game and gashed the Seahawks for 115 yards on 14 carries including a 75-yard run that went for a touchdown. That play, per TheRinger.Com, was the longest run given up by Seattle since Pete Carroll became head coach. Derrick Henry contributed 54 yards on 13 attempts in relief of Murray and Mariota ran seven times for 27 yards as well.
As a defense, the Titans only allowed 69 total rushing yards.
Rookie corner Adoree’ Jackson started in place of LeShaun Sims and played admirably yet again both defensively and on special teams. Jackson had an 80-yard punt return for a would-be touchdown, but reserve running back David Fluellen was flagged for a block in the back nullifying the score.
UP NEXT: The Titans will hit the road Octover 2nd to face another AFC South rival, the Houston Texans.