AFC

The OT Miracle in Tennessee

The Miracle at Nissan Stadium

It was a game like none other, defending Super Bowl Philadelphia Eagles came into town to take on the Tennessee Titans. The end result was not what many expected but they were in for a treat.

It all started with everyone taking the Eagles over the Titans. That’s no surprise the Eagles on paper have a superb roster compared to the Titans and well being the defending champs helps earn the favors. The Titans were hungry, they wanted to send a lot of the traveling Philly fans back home upset.

What happened a few hours later would only be a shock to the NFL world. Being from Tennessee but not a Titans fan, it’s amusing watching these fans prep for a game they know they are going to lose. However, after the win against Jacksonville heads were rolling.

The first half saw what everyone was expecting. The Eagles were able to move the football enough for a 10-3 halftime lead. The Titans continued to rely on the field goal for their only score of the half.

After the Eagles took a 17-3 lead, it looked like the game would get away from Tennessee. Not to be, as the Titans took the ensuing kickoff and drove 75-yards on eight plays capped off by a Marcus Mariota two-yard run to cut the lead to 17-10.

The next Eagles possession would bring about the biggest play of the game. Philly QB, Carson Wentz was in the shotgun and was sacked and stripped by rookie Harold Landry, one of four sacks on the day for the Titans. The fumble was picked up by Derrick Morgan and Tennessee was in business at the Philadelphia 35. The drive ended with a Ryan Succop 33-yard field goal to make the score 71-13 with 9:18 to go in the game.

The Titans go the ball and drove 75 yards on five plays to take the lead on an 11-yard pass from Mariota to Tajae Sharp. Just like that, it was 20-17 Titans and Nissan Stadium was as loud and crazy as it had ever been.

The Eagles would eventually tie the game with 16 seconds left to send the game into overtime. Philly got the ball first and scored on a field goal to take the 23-20 lead. It was now do-or-die for Tennessee head coach Mike Vrabel.

Tennesse got the ball at their own 25-yard line to start the drive and Mariota started it with a seven-yard scramble off right end. On fourth and 15 from the 31, Mariota would throw one of the biggest passes of his young career when he hit Tewan Taylor deep down the left side of the field for 19 yards. It was first down at midfield with 4:51 to go and the fans screaming in a frenzy.

Another fourth down conversion was successful when an incomplete pass was overturned on a pass interference. One more shot at on a fourth and two produced a screen to Dion Lewis that he would take down to the Philly 15 with 30 seconds left. It was now decision time for Vrabel. Go for the tie, or go all out for the win.

He would opt for the latter and it paid off when Mariota hit Corey Davis from 10 yards out to give the Titans the win. Mariota would have what looked like his best game going 30-43 for 344 yards and 10 rushes for 46 yards and another score.

The Titans stunned the Eagles in OT winning 26-23 in what many say is the best game ever at Nissan Stadium. I personally did not attend the game but what a game that would’ve been worth paying for. This Titans team might not look great on paper, but they have a chemistry unlike many. Coach Mike Vrabel has them playing with a chip on their shoulder. The team believes in him and he believes in his players.

After the news broke out days before that Rishard Mathews would no longer be on the team, Corey Davis knew it was his responsibility to step up and be the draft pick he was picked to be. He did that and more this past Sunday with the Eagles resulting in nine catches for one hundred and sixty-one yards and one touchdown. It’s definitely was his best game as a Titan and fans hope he can continue that.

There is still not much going with the run, especially against that strong Eagles defensive line. If I’m being honest, my expectations were high with Derrick Henry this year and he’s done nothing but let me down. Dion Lewis hasn’t seen the running number as much, but he’s still very effective with his pass catching.

The Titans and this very underrated defense should be prepared as they take on the Buffalo Bills this week. Never sleep on a team, but Titans should take this game fairly easy.

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Preston Bostain
Preston covers the Tennessee Titans and the AFC South for NGSC Sports. He also covers Nashville Predators hockey.
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