Mariota On Point In Loss
It is preseason, so the Tennessee Titans saw a little bit of good as well as a little bit of bad in Saturday’s 26-16 loss to the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers.
Bad showed up first for the Titans on Carolina’s first possession. The Titans were behind almost from the outset, giving up a 61-yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton to Ted Ginn, Jr., on the opening drive. Ginn made cornerback Antwan Blake, who had already been targeted for two completions in coverage on the drive, miss and strode into the end zone, outracing the Tennessee defense.
“We take pride in trying to make sure we make stops and put our offense in the best situation. To put them behind like that to start the game was very unacceptable for us as a defense. … We can’t allow things like that to happen,” defensive lineman Jurrell Casey said.
On the Titans first possession, there was more trouble, as Marcus Mariota was intercepted by Panthers defensive back Bene Benwikere when he did not get enough loft on a pass intended for Harry Douglas. That turnover perhaps kept the Titans from scoring, as Tennessee had reached the Carolina 27-yard line.
After giving up a field goal late in the first quarter, the Titans offense found a nice rhythm in the second period on the last of Mariota’s three series at quarterback. The second-year pro directed a nine-play, 81-yard touchdown drive, finishing it with a 23-yard touchdown to Harry Douglas following a rollout to the right.
“The safety bit on the run, and Harry was able to get behind him and made a great catch,” Mariota said.
It capped what was a solid day for the second-year QB, other than the one blemish of the interception. Mariota ended his day 9 of 10 for 104 yards.
I Don’t Want To Look Like A NFL Rookie ….
Tajae Sharpe doesn’t play like a rookie.
Nor does he want to.
Sharpe had another strong game in preseason, with six catches for 68 yards in the Tennessee Titans’ 26-16 preseason loss to Carolina on Saturday.
“I don’t want to look like a rookie. I just want to look like an NFL receiver, and I just want to continue to work hard. Preparation is key,” Sharpe said.
Sharpe has quickly earned the trust of Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, catching all passes that were thrown his way by Mariota on Saturday.
“He makes it easy. He’s a very versatile athlete, and he’s done a lot for us already. He creates separation in his routes,” Mariota said.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey said the chemistry between Mariota and Sharpe has developed quickly.
“I think it’s a big trust level,” Mularkey said. “What you’re seeing is what he basically does in practice. He’s made some bigger catches today, some big catches that we haven’t had here in a while.”