The much anticipated return of Marcus Mariota was a success in that the Tennessee Titans starting quarterback played the first two series, absorbed his first hit – courtesy of the Jets’ Leonard Williams – and got back into game action for the first time since a broken fibula last December.
Other than that, the Titans’ preseason opener didn’t carry a lot of excitement nor a lot of solid play on offense in a 7-3 loss to the New York Jets on Saturday night in the Meadowlands.
Mariota completed 2 of 3 throws for 15 yards, but the Titans failed to score on either of his drives. He rolled out and hit Rishard Matthews for a first down on the first play of the game. And of Williams’ sack, Mariota got up, was unfazed and went back to work.
After two offensive series, Mariota gave way to third-stringer Alex Tanney, who played the rest of the game, save for a couple of plays he was out of the game to ensure that he did not suffer a concussion on a sack. Rookie Tyler Ferguson played those plays.
Tanney and the Titans offensive struggled mightily, as he was sacked six times, including one lost fumble. Tanney also had an interception on a pass at the goal line that was picked off by Jets defensive back Ronald Martin.
Overall, Tanney was 10 of 26 for 128 yards, but he did team with rookie Taywan Taylor to provide one of the few offensive highlights for the Titans in the game. Taylor made a diving catch of a Tanney pass on a go route for what appeared to be a 67-yard gain, as Taylor got up following the catch, thinking he had not been touched down.
Replay showed that Darryl Roberts of the Jets had made contact with Taylor as he complete the catch. The Titans then settled for Ryan Succop’s 36-yard field goal as the drive stalled.
Tennessee’s starting defense gave up the only touchdown of the game, as the Jets’ Robby Anderson beat new cornerback Logan Ryan catching a Josh McCown pass for a 53-yard gain that set up a McCown to Charone Peake 4-yard touchdown pass.
The Titans return home this week and will face the Carolina Panthers for two days of joint practices on Wednesday and Thursday before facing off in preseason action at Nissan Stadium on Saturday at noon.