The Tennessee Titans offense came alive in the second half for the second straight week, putting up 24 points en route to a 33-27 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
The game had many talking points from the pre-game decision for both teams to stay inside the locker room for the national anthem to Richard Sherman’s hit on Marcus Mariota that started a brief melee and finally back to football, where the Titans offense took control in the second half with three long scores for touchdowns.
“We came in at halftime and made adjustments and we came out and started getting things going,” Titans tight end Delanie Walker said.
Tennessee improves to 2-1 on the season and heads to Houston next week for a key AFC South game.
After leading 9-7 on three Ryan Succop field goals in the first half, the Titans allowed Seattle to take the lead back on the opening series of the third quarter, going up 14-9 on Doug Baldwin’s 4-yard TD catch from Russell Wilson.
During the ensuing drive, the Seahawks jumped offsides and Marcus Mariota used the free play by tossing a bubble screen out to Rishard Matthews, who did the rest. Matthews juked and dodged his way though the Seahawks secondary until he had reached the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown to give the Titans the lead back at 16-14.
“It was just a screen play. I saw the guy jump offsides, and I was just trying to get as many yards as I could out of it. It became kind of a foot race, and I put on the brakes, and Phillip Supernaw came, and they said he cleaned out the pile up for me. I spun out of it, and Eric Decker kind of kept me up and I just landed in the end zone,” Matthews said.
It set off a chain reaction of big offensive plays for the Titans, as rookie tight end Jonnu Smith scored form 24-yard out to push the Tenessee lead to 23-14.
A series later, DeMarco Murray showed no ill effects of his hamstring issue, as he raced 75yards to score the Titans’ third touchdown of the quarter and make the lead 30-14.
Seattle would mount a fourth-quarter rally, but it proved too little, too late and was over when Walker recovered an onside kick and the Titans were able to run out the clock.
The game also had plenty of moments of chippiness, namely over Richard Sherman’s late hit in the second quarter on Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota. The hit touched of a melee and there were four personal foul penalties – two on each team..
“This was a challenge for our team, and we answered. We said all we’ve got to do is play physical football. Don’t talk back and just play physical football, and that’s what we did,” Walker said.
Mariota shrugged off a 1 for 7 start and four consecutive three-and-outs to start the game to finally get the Titans offense rolling. Mariota finished the day 20 of 32 for 225 yards and two touchdowns.
“We had to keep grinding at it, never stray away from our process,” Mariota said of the offense. “I’m happy for our guys. We were able to grind it out and score some points in the second half.”