It was the 18th time the Tennessee Titans played on Monday night football. Since moving to Nashville in 1998, the Titans have an 11-6 record on Monday night. After their victory over the Dallas Cowboys this past Monday, they make it 12-6. The Titans have now won six of their last seven games on Monday night.
Many eyes were on newly acquired receiver Amari Cooper for the Cowboys and expectations were met in the first quarter. Cooper scored after a turnover from the Cowboys defense sacking Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Again, it was the defense of the Cowboys that would strike and strip running back Dion Lewis of the Titans. That was the second turnover in the first two possessions in the first quarter and everything looked how the Titans have normally played all season. Things appeared to turn when safety Kevin Byard picked off Dak Prescott for the Cowboys in the end zone throwing to Cooper once again. That’s when the tide changed for the Titans. You see what I did there? Cooper, coming from Alabama was the receiver that resulted in an interception that changed the Tide for the Titans. Ahh, classic. Side note, Byard ran to the midfield after the play following the footsteps of Terrell Owens and flaunting on the star.
The Titans then drove down the field resulting in a one-yard touchdown by another former Alabama star Derrick Henry tying it 7-7. This was the only action he would get all game touching the ball six times on the ground compared to Lewis’s 19. Lewis also scored on an 18-yard scamper pass from Mariota which put the Titans up 14-7 in the second quarter. Dallas matched it right before the half from Prescott to Allen Hurns.
The Titans took away the momentum from the Cowboys early in the third quarter with a sack-fumble leading to points. Mariota was able to convert to tight end Jonnu Smith putting them up 21-14 and they never looked back. Mariota scored a nine yard rushing touchdown resulting in the final points of the game. He finished the game 21-29 for 240 yards and three total touchdowns.
The key for the Titans in this game was the ability of the offense to move the football. Until this game, Mariota had a total of three touchdown passes on the year. The ground game still needs work, but Lewis looks like he may be the answer as Henry continues to have a bad year.
The defense also came up big in the second half and shut down Ezekiel Elliot on his last 10 carries. They also had five sacks to keep Prescott off balance the whole game.
It definitely was ugly before it got better for the Titans but it was a win much needed. The Titans ended a three-game losing streak at a perfect time. The will look to knock out Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Nashville this Sunday. That will not be an easy task of course, but if this team stands a chance of winning Sunday, they must get to work right away.