After being held without a tackle or a sack at all last week against the Vikings, outside linebacker Brian Orakpo came up with two key sacks on Sunday, including one on the final drive against Lions QB Matthew Stafford.
Orakpo had half the Titans sack total in the game. Rookie Kevin Dodd got the Titans first sack of the season on the final play of the first half. Later, Karl Klug had a sack of Stafford as well.
But it was Orakpo, who helped lead the charge as the Titans played without Derrick Morgan, who was inactive due to a hamstring injury.
“I think he’s a game wrecker. He didn’t do anything different than he has been. He still brings it every down,” Mularkey said. “He’s going against a rookie tackle (in Detroit’s Taylor Decker) today, who’s going to be pretty darn good in this league.”
Orakpo was most satisfied with the victory, rather than his two sacks.
“I know it’s one game, but this is the type of game the Titans normally lose. This is one step closer to getting where we want to be, and that’s a tough, physical football team,” Orakpo said.
Marcus Mariota had cramps in his legs at the end of the game, leaving veteran Matt Cassel to come in and take the snap or the kneel down in Sunday’s come-from-behind 16-15 win over the Lions.
Mariota was being treated in both calves on the sideline following delivering the game-winning 9-yard touchdown pass to Andre Johnson with 1:13 left to play.
Linebacker Avery Williamson was also shaken up in the game. Once he was seen on the sideline holding his right arm. He returned after that, but was injured again suffering a strained back and left the game in the second half.
Mularkey takes blame
When Titans running back DeMarco Murray was stopped for a safety to give the Lions the first two points of the game, it appeared that the right side of the offensive line with tackle Jack Conklin and guard Chance Warmack was blown up.
But Titans coach Mike Mularkey said the blame was instead on him.
“I’m gonna take the blame on the safety. I changed the play. I put them in a situation to fail, and it failed,” Mularkey said. “That’s not on them. That’s not on the o-line. That’s all on the clock because of what I did.”
Mularkey said that by changing the play, he didn’t give the team adequate time to make the necessary adjustments.