The Tennessee Titans’ stunning 34-10 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday was still freshly etched in the consciousness around Nashville on Monday.
And perhaps no play drove home the Titans’ dominance in the game than the “anything you can do, I can do better” double reverse throw back to the quarterback that gained 21 yards as Darius Jennings’ left-handed throw found its way into the hands of Marcus Mariota in the fourth quarter.
The main reason the gadget play made such an exclamation point was that the Patriots had tried the same thing on the series before with Julian Edelman throwing back to Tom Brady and Brady stumbling for just 6 yards before Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard got in a shot on him at the end of the play.
“I wanted to see if it looked any better than theirs,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said, somewhat tongue-in-cheek when asked about it.
Vrabel said the Titans didn’t necessarily call the play to one-up the Patriots, but he didn’t exactly deny it either.
“You know, that’s been in for – everybody’s got a million gadgets. We look at plays we like and guys are making suggestions, and if we get the look that we like, then it gets called,” Vrabel said.
Mariota was asked what went through his mind on the play, and he replied, “Just catch it. Darius (Jennings) did a great job of giving me an opportunity, and we did a good job of executing.”
For his part, Jennings said the Titans have practiced the play, but not necessarily a lot.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say a lot, but we have repped it,” Jennings said. “We’ve had it in the playbook for quite some time. We just waited till the right moment.”
Titans coach Mike Vrabel said running back David Fluellen, who injured his knee in a non-contact carry on Sunday, would miss this week’s game against the Colts, but added that Fluellen did not suffer a torn ACL, which means he will not miss the remainder of the season.
Three key Titans who were out of Sunday’s game are getting closer to returning. Taywan Taylor should be able to practice on Wednesday if he keeps progressing, Vrabel said. Linebacker Derrick Morgan was close to being able to go Sunday, but the Titans kept him out one more week with his shoulder injury as a precaution.
Also, tackle Jack Conklin is better, and needs to pass the concussion protocol after a practice this week in order to return.
Looking like a No. 1
Mike Vrabel was especially complimentary of cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and the job he did shadowing Patriots wideout Josh Gordon Sunday.
Jackson was matched up on Gordon all game, and kept him in check. Gordon had 81 yards on four catches, but 44 of those yards came on one reception. Vrabel had praise both for Jackson and the defensive staff that decided to have him shadow Gordon.
“Adoree’ really played like a No. 1 corner yesterday,” Vrabel said. “I think we thought it was a good matchup. Like we do every week, we’ll look at different things, and feel like who matches up best with which player, whether that be in the pass rush game, the run game, or the coverage game. Give a lot of credit to Kerry (Coombs), and Dean (Pees) for doing that, and making sure that happened.”