Titans crush Patriots, 34-10
The best and worst of an unexpectedly tough -- make that disastrous -- afternoon for the Patriots in Nashville . . .
A 58-yard kickoff return by Darius Jennings (pictured) and a 24-yard reception by wide receiver Corey Davis set the tone for a very bleak first half if you were a Patriots fan nursing a hangover in the stands in Tennessee. The Titans picked up a 4-yard touchdown at the end on a flip from Marcus Mariota to tight end Jonnu Smith.
Dion Lewis, who had some very nice runs in the first half while picking up 38, got hoisted off the ground at the end of one run and was walked back in the direction of his huddle by the Patriots Lawrence Guy.
The Tennessee Titans showed how they were going to attack defensively right from the start, playing up in the face of the Patriots receivers and reacting fast. James White was met immediately as he caught a pass from Brady on the Patriots first offensive play and was nearly sawed in half.
GET THIS OUT OF HERE
Tom Brady also seemed unnerved as to where and how much pressure was coming at him from the outset. He threw way behind Julian Edelman in the left flat after not seeing anything open downfield and wheeled to Edelman as his safety valve and flung it inaccurately.
JOSH GIVETH, TAKETH AWAY
The Patriots first drive of the day was extended by a terrific throw from Brady to Josh Gordon on third-and-13. But the drive stalled when, on the next third down play, Brady’s pass went through his hands.
EVERYBODY WANTS A HIGHLIGHT
Two different Titans tried to pluck passes rather than reach up with two hands and catch it securely like football players used to when I was a boy and gas prices were reasonable!
EVEN THOUGH IT DIDN’T COUNT
When Marcus Mariota double-clutched a throw to Corey Davis, the ball arrived late and was deflected high by Stephon Gilmore toward the waiting hands of Duron Harmon who had it clang off his digits. There was a defensive pass interference whistled on Gilmore, but still.
WHATCHOO GOT STEPH
The Titans weren’t going to stay away from their best wide receiver Corey Davis even if Stephon Gilmore was on him. The Titans threw to him seven times in the first half for four receptions and 83 yards
The Patriots tried a sneak with Tom Brady on a long third-and-1 and Brady got nothing at all and actually lost some yardage hurting his chase of 1,000 yards.
JIM IS IN
James Develin plowed in from the 1-yard line for the Patriots only touchdown of the first half. It was a rhinoceros-looking burst.
YOU DIDN'T NOTICE HIM?
When Derrick Henry walked in for the Titans second touchdown of the first half, linebacker Elandon Roberts appeared to have a shot but sprinted past the hole as Henry waltzed in.
Through the first drive of the second half, Tom Brady was 14-for-31 with a fleet of throws that never had a shot. He was hit six times and sacked three at that point.
With Rob Gronkowski down and Dwayne Allen dinged during the game, there was a chance for Jacob Hollister to make a play. He didn’t. He dropped a well-placed pass from Brady on the first third down play of the second half.
CHUNKS OF YARDS
After the Patriots drew a flag for holding on the Titans first drive of the second half, they had Tennessee in first-and-20 at their own 41. That leverage situation was erased rapidly with a 27-yard run by Mariota and a 20-yard completion to tight end Jonnu Smith.
TURNABOUT FAIR PLAY
After the Patriots failed to keep their drive alive with the throwback to Brady, Tennessee ran a throwback of its own as wide receiver Darius Jennings took a double reverse and lobbed a wobbly left-handed balloon to Marcus Mariota who picked up 21.
COME ON IN!
The Patriots’ resistance late to the power running game of the Titans was . . . poor.
Julian Edelman headed to the locker room with a foot injury in the fourth quarter which was not good news for the Pats going forward aside from the bad news it was on Sunday.