Titans struggle in preseason loss to Steelers

Titans struggle in preseason loss to Steelers

If Sunday night’s preseason game against Pittsburgh was the regular season dress rehearsal, then the Tennessee Titans could use a script rewrite.
There was very little positive in the Titans’ 18-6 loss to the Steelers in front of a prime time audienace.
That was especially true of the Tennessee offense, which allowed a safety when Marcus Mariota was sacked in the end zone on the second offensive series. Probably not wanting to risk injury, due to sloppy field conditions and poor pass protection, Mariota sat out the rest of the game.
“That’s not the way we wanted to come out and play. There’s a lot to learn from, but at the same time, we’ve got to continue to build. We can’t hang our head. We’ve just got to move on,” said Mariota, who was 0-for-3 passing. “We need better consistency. It’s not the way we wanted to finish the preseason, if it is the last series or two (of the preseason).”
Tight end Delanie Walker said he is sure the Titans coaches will have concerns about the offense’s breakdowns.
“You’re always going to have concerns when you play a game like that,” veteran tight end Delanie Walker said. “At the end of the day, I’m just a player but I’m pretty sure the coaches are going to have some concerns about that. I’d say the third preseason game is where you see the starters play the most and you want to try to get things done and we didn’t do that.”
Things got no better for the Titans after Mariota exited. After the free kick, the Steelers drove downfield and scored the game’s first touchdown on a 17-yard TD toss from Ben Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Shuster.
“Anytime we step on the field, we want to win ballgames,” safety Kevin Byard said. “We don’t want to be giving up big plays. I feel like our first team kind of game out and played pretty good. We have to play complementary (football). We can’t give up a safety and then give up a touchdown. We have to stop the bleeding a little bit.”
Pittsburgh added another TD after Mason Rudolph took over at quarterback, as he fired a 41-yard touchdown to James Washington to make the score 15-0
Tennessee’s offensive line allowed three more sacks of Ryan Tannehill in the first half and managed their only points of the half when Amani Hooker picked off an errant Mason Rudolph pass that Tennessee could only manage a 24-yard Ryan Succop field goal.
As for the offensive line struggles – the Titans allowed seven sacks altogether, including three from the starting line, those are issues that need to be corrected, the players said.
“We can’t have our quarterback getting hit,” right tackle Jack Conklin said. “He shouldn’t have been touched nearly as many times as he did. It’s definitely things we can get fixed. Unfortunately we didn’t do it the right way tonight, but we’ll get to it and get it fixed.”
Things didn’t get much better to start the second half, as Logan Woodside took control of the offense, only to be sacked and lose a fumble when Austin Pasztor was beaten on a rush by Tuzer Skipper.
Tennessee added a 22-yard Succop field goal in the fourth quarter to account for the final margin.

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