Buck Reising, Tennessee Titans reporter and host of Tackling Music City, provides three observations from the team’s 26-23 Week 4 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Wow, what a game. After dropping the season opener against the Miami Dolphins on the road, Tennessee has overcome all manner of adversity to win three straight to close out the first quarter of the 2018 season. Here is what else stood out in the Titans upset of Philadelphia:
- Fast and, you guessed it, AGGRESSIVE
- Quarterback Marcus Mariota found wide receiver Corey Davis for a 10-yard touchdown pass with under a minute remaining in overtime to seal a victory over the visiting Eagles. Tennessee converted three fourth downs on that game-winning drive, including a 19-yard pass to Taywan Taylor on fourth-and-15 and a gain of 17 by Dion Lewis on a fourth-and-two.
- Prior to the gain by Lewis, the Titans had the field goal unit on to tie up the game at 23 pending a 50-yard make by kicker Ryan Succop. But after taking their second timeout of the overtime, coach Mike Vrabel and Co. decided to leave the offense on the field.
- “I just appreciate the fact that he has trust in us and the confidence in us as an offense,” said Mariota of Vrabel. “These last few weeks have kind of been a roller coaster ride for us. To have that confidence instilled in us as players is huge. I’m grateful for it. I’m thankful that he decided to do that and we just made a play.”
- Mariota To Davis FTW & Much More
- The 10-yard score from Mariota to Davis to put their team over the top was the most impactful play of the contest but the two worked in concert effectively throughout the day.
- Davis finished with a career high 161 yards on nine catches and his first career regular season touchdown while Mariota laid waste to the Philadelphia defense while still dealing with the elbow injury and grip issues, passing for 344 yards on 30-of-43 completions, 46 yards rushing on 10 attempts, two touchdowns through the air and one more on the ground.
- “Phenomenal,” said Vrabel of the connection between his leading receiver and quarterback. “The last thing I told Marcus was, ‘I can’t wait to watch you play today.’ I didn’t know it was going to be five quarters; I got extra football to watch. He threw an interception before halftime, defense held them to three points, and he was great in the second half. He was great when it mattered the most and I think that that’s the key. It’s how you perform in the most critical situations. We know that we’re going to play close games, we’ve said that, and I think they are embracing that and understand that and they know that these games are going to be close and we’re getting used to it. My heart pills come in, I got a prescription, big bottle. I’m just proud of him to execute in the most critical situation in the game.”
- Comeback Wins…FOR THE BOYS
- With the win, Tennessee is now 3-1 and off to its best start since 2013 due in part to a consistent ability to come back late from deficits. Against the Eagles, the Titans trailed by 14 points in the fourth quarter before rallying to a three-point win. The “Clutch Gene” may not be quantifiable, but Mariota seems to have a knack for responding to the moment.
- “I mean, he’s proven it multiple times,” said Davis of Mariota. “I would say he’s definitely clutch.”
- Sunday was Mariota’s seventh game-winning drive dive since the start of last season, including a Wild Card win against the Kansas City Chiefs in the post season. For his career, the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft has overseen 11 game-winning drives.