NASHVILLE- From the weather, the injuries, and the on-field performance, Sunday was a historically poor performance from the Tennessee Titans (3-3), who fell at home to the Baltimore Ravens (4-2).
It was a historically good performance from the Ravens defense, who sacked quarterback Marcus Mariota 11 times on the day, falling one sack short of the NFL record.
“There’s no excuse for it,” said Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, “we have to better on all levels. It starts with me, we have to do a better job.
“We’re right back to where we started at 3-3, so we’ll get back to work here in a few minutes and try to improve.”
Tennessee started the game with the ball, and managed to get to midfield before being forced to punt. The Ravens then marched down the field to complete a 17 play, 94-yard drive capped off by a 4-yard toss by Joe Flacco to wide receiver Michael Crabtree for the 7-0 lead.
The offensive struggles continued for the Titans, being forced to punt again. Baltimore marched down the field on the ensuing possession, this time it was running back Alex Collins running it in from 13 yards to give the Ravens a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. Any signs of a spark were quickly extinguished. Safety Kevin Byard picked off Joe Flacco at the end of the first half, and the Titans punted again. The score at the break was 14-0.
“I thought that we were ready to play, I was surprised.” Continued Vrabel, “They converted third downs and we really hurt ourselves with penalties in the first half. They’re a good team, give them credit, they came out ready to go.
“They clearly outplayed us and outcoached us today.”
Whatever changes the Titans coaching staff made at halftime were just as ineffective, and the Ravens scored the last points of the game with a 2-yard run by Alex Collins making it 21-0 midway through the third quarter. Baltimore was extraordinarily successful on third down as well, converting 12 of 17 attempts.
Mariota, who was 10 for 15 passing with 117 yards, suffered more sacks than completions. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco finished the game 25 for 37 with 238 yards passing, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
“We didn’t do a good enough job, starting with the plan, starting with the preparation, and obviously today with the execution” said Vrabel.
“We all can be better. That’s the headline. ‘Tennessee Titans didn’t do enough on all levels to make it a competitive football game’.”
Just to add insult to injury with another bit of history, the loss was the first time the Titans have ever been shut out in Nissan Stadium, and the first time they have been shut out anywhere since 2010. Offensive lineman Quinton Spain and linebacker Derrick Morgan both left the game with shoulder injuries, Vrabel said they will be evaluated and their status will be updated on Tuesday.
Despite the loss, Tennessee still sits atop the AFC South standings, as Jacksonville suffered a brutal 40-7 beatdown at the hand of the Dallas Cowboys. Next up, the Titans travel to London to play the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 7.