Miami’s storm knocked the sense of direction from the Titans.
A game in which lasted nearly all day due to weather delays and saw the Titan’s three best offensive players get sidelined to injuries, it will surely be one quick to forget as my offseason dreams come to a crashing halt. Replacing them are the stormy nightmares that rolled into Miami yesterday and made Mariota and Co. shit the bed. A nightmare so bad I thought I’d never see in Mariota, Lewan, and Walker all being hurt, with Delanie’s snapped ankle serving as sheer torture in my eyes, it became a struggle to finish watching this one. First though, let me take you back to about 1:30 p.m. yesterday when my eyes were still full of optimism that my Titans could come out in style in Miami.
Up until the first delay, I honestly thought we had look pretty solid. The game was fairly conservative while the rain steadily fell, but Mariota had already driven the field twice resulting in the first three points of the game. A dropped touchdown pass could have laminated our production a little better, but still a game in which both teams were struggling to string together much of anything. Miami found a groove in the second quarter as Tannehill stomped 98 yards down the field for a touchdown, 7-3 Dolphins. The first weather delay would hit right before halftime but this score would hold for a minute.
The third quarter starts and suddenly I can hear a slow lurk creeping in the background. A few off target throws and a following hard hit on the hand and I could sense the problems coming in Mariota. I start to worry more, especially when Miami starts driving the field again. They reach the red zone, then boom my only flash of hope shoots down when Malcom Butler intercepts a poorly thrown ball by Tannehill. Maybe the defense that had been previously nonexistent could bring some spark into Mariota. Another weather delay suddenly zapped the energy. The momentum quickly rose, then slowly flattened as this delay would last another several hours.
Once the sun had left the sky and play resumed, a complete feeling of tragedy struck over me. I exerted a pitiful laugh and a truly reckless “fuck you” to the TV as Mariota misguided a Dion Lewis screen pass by a mile for an interception. That was the first mile of this downward spiral that hit our team, never allowing us to capitalize on the window the Dolphins tried to leave open for most of the game. There wasn’t much good at all I could take from this game. Our offensive line and Dion Lewis played sneakily well, but there wasn’t much of anybody else. The entire defense looked rusty, getting gashed for runs up the middle the entire game. It became very clear how important a role Avery Williamson had on this team, and how big a role Harold Landry and Rashaan Evans will have for this squad once healthy. For a healthy secondary though, I expected much more from this supposed “elite” group of backs. Hell, every time I looked up Adoree Jackson was getting burned by his receivers, with one costing a touchdown at a crucial point in the game. This entire defensive unit will need to step it up, especially if it wants to be able to match the defensive prowess of the Houston Texans, who we face next week.
Definitely disappointed but I think the weather really did hinder our ability to manifest any of the momentum we created. Expect a big bounce back next week, and pray that Deshaun Watson continues to miss the broad side of a barn with his throws.
P.S. Big S/O to Darius Jennings for the Return TD, we actually did have one player show up in style to south beach!