GAME REVIEW: TENNESSEE TITANS VS. ST. LOUIS RAMS

August 26, 2015

 

QUICK NOTES:

FISH OUT OF WATER

This game marked the return of Jeff Fisher, who hasn't been back to Nashville in a professional setting since he was dismissed in 2010. The Titans honored Fisher with a montage before the game.

 

DONALD PLAYING WITH PORPOISE

As good as Aaron Donald looked like last year, he looks even better this year in limited action. Donald may have the quickest first step in the NFL and has the power to match. Some in the NFL community were comparing Donald to Warren Sapp, and that notion may be starting to mature in front of our very eyes. Look at how he throws 323-pound RG Chance Warmack out of the Club in this play.

 

 

This is the stuff of nightmares for opposing offensive linemen. Do not let this picture fool you, Aaron Donald is a bad, bad man.

 

SNAKEY SANKEY

After a disappointing showing in the first preseason game, Sankey flashed the speed and elusiveness that made him the top running back selection in the 2014 Draft. It helped that Whisenhunt re-shuffled the offensive line in front of him, but Sankey showed more promise to be the RB1 in Nashville this year. Look at the balance he displays after taking a big pop to spin around and keep running.

 

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

Andy Levitre has been bad in 2015. He has been so poor, in fact, that the Titans had to move free agent OT Byron Bell to LG, where he actually played quite well for the most part. Levitre is in the 3rd year of a 6 year, $46.8 million deal and has been a major disappointment since moving from Buffalo. Levitre is in danger of not making the roster.

 

FOLES & O-LINE HOLES

Nick Foles. Nick Foles... Hm. 3/7 18 yards 1 INT doesn't instill a ton of confidence, and watching the performance was as cringe-worthy as the numbers suggest. The interception looked like a miscommunication between he and Britt. The Rams offensive line is going to be a major liability this season, especially if Rodger Saffold cannot stay healthy, and I believe that it's a big reason why Foles struggled. The majority of Foles' throws were quick slants and Tavon Austin screens, and the Titans defense sniffed it out each and every time. 

The Rams offensive line is going to be a major liability this season, especially if Rodger Saffold cannot stay healthy. It's a big reason why we included Ameer Abdullah over Todd Gurley in our Top Rookie Fantasy Impact post. We will cover the line in more detail in Rookie Watch.

 

COX IMPACT

While Titans fans may have been over the moon about bigger-name player Brian Orakpo, CB Perrish Cox will be one of the most underrated free agent acquistions this year. Cox led the 49ers with 5 INTs last season, and with a tissue injury that will keep Jason McCourty out for the first quarter of the season and may nag on later, Cox may have the biggest impact this year.

 

WOODS NOSE BEST

Through the first two preseason games this year, Titans NT Al Woods looks like he is having a renaissance. Woods has shown unreal strength and leverage in the trenches and has the inside track on starting over Sammie Lee Hill. Look at what he does to Rams C Demetrius Rhaney in this play to blow the play up for a loss.

 

METTENBUSINESS

Mettenberger followed up a solid week 1 by going 7/9 for 91 yards and 1 TD. On his touchdown, Mettenberger displays outrageous confidence to thread the ball through a window the size of a pocketwatch:

The Titans have two good quarterbacks. Only one can play, and we all know that Mariota wasn't taken with the 2nd overall pick in the draft to sit. While it's important to have a contingency plan in the event of an injury, Charlie Whitehurst has shown he can be a more than serviceable back up. What does that mean to the Titans? They're open for business.

 

ROOKIE WATCH

-Titans QB Marcus Mariota continued to feed off the positive momentum from the end of last week's game vs. Atlanta. Mariota showed outstanding composure and poise in the pocket, proving that just because Oregon didn't ask him to play in the pocket and under center last year, doesn't mean he can't.

 

-While Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher thinks that his RG Jamon Brown can be a Pro Bowler, we think that he has to pump the breaks. Brown did some nice things, but is extremely raw and needs to show more consistency, especially in the run game. He had a nice lead block in the first quarter that was called back by for holding fellow RT Rob Havenstein. Havenstein needs to continue to add strength if he is going to start. I fear for Todd Gurley's knee with this Rams offensive blocking unit.

 

-Following up an impressive debut, Titans RB David Cobb showed vision and patience, constantly keeping his feet moving and picking up yards after contact. Cobb is what the Titans were hoping Shonn Greene to be. 

 

-Supplemental draft pick LT Isaiah Battle played well with the third team offense, minus one sack allowed where he showed a lack of awareness and didn't even see the rusher. I would love to start seeing Battle move up with the second team to face some better competition so that the Rams can figure out who their best five guys on the OL are. I still think Greg Robinson makes an All-Pro LG, whereas he is just average outside at LT.

 

-One of the sexiest picks in the draft were the Titans taking troubled ex-Mizzou and Sooner WR Dorial Green-Beckham. Despite not having played a competitive game of football in almost two years, he looked crisp in his routes and was a go-to guy in the two minute drill for Mettenberger. I wouldn't be surprised if DGB hops Justin Hunter on the depth chart before week 1.

 

-Titans CB Cody Riggs has played more snaps for the Titans than any other player in preseason. Riggs has shown a willingness to tackle and has been decent in coverage. Than corner depth for the Titans is weak, so Riggs' chances of making the squad are very real.

 

-Rams undrafted free agent RB Malcolm Brown was a long shot to make the roster before camp started, but he is starting to stack some nice performances. The only problem is that Todd Gurley, Tre Mason, Benny Cunningham, Isaiah Pead and Trey Watts are still ahead of him, and Watts especially has looked good. If Brown doesn't make the final 53, practice squad isn't out of the question, and worst case scenario, he is putting a nice resume together for himself elsewhere.

 

PARTING SHOTS

PLAY OF THE GAME

Marcus Mariota's roll out completion to TE Craig Stevens may be one of the nicest throws you ever see at any level. Mariota orchestrated a nice drive that should have led to a Dexter McCluster TD, but was egregiously dropped in the end zone. Because of this, the stat line won't show it, but Mariota gets the Titans game ball.

 

RAMS GAME BALL: Umm.... I suppose RB Malcolm Brown (4 carries, 23 yds, 4 recs, 78 yds, TD)

 

TITANS GAME BALL: QB Marcus Mariota (5/8 59 yards)

 

NOTABLE INJURIES:

None to report.

 

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