NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Here’s a look at six things that stood out for the Titans in Sunday’s preseason loss to the Bears:Ugly performance
Yes, it’s the preseason, and the games don’t count in the standings. Still, the Titans turned in a dud on Sunday. The offense went scoreless for three quarters, the defense allowed a 96-yard touchdown drive on a day when Bears QBs posted a 106.7 rating, the Titans missed a field goal and had a punt blocked, and the team committed eight penalties for 69 yards. All is forgiven in the preseason, because there’s still time to correct the mistakes and learn from them. A performance like that in Week One against the Raiders, however, won’t be excused so easily.
Taywan Taylor’s roleThe rookie receiver continues to make plays. Taylor electrified the crowd with a catch across the middle on Sunday, but what he did after hauling it in was most impressive. Taylor squeezed in between three defenders to catch the pass, and in the open field carried tacklers with him for a 48-yard gain on 3rd and 31. Through three preseason games, Taylor leads the team with eight catches for 145 yards. He’s also been handed the ball four times on running plays.
Marcus Mariota’s throws
Not long after the game a fan sent me a message via Twitter asking if he’d missed the reports about Mariota being inaccurate and sailing passes during practice. He didn’t miss it, because it didn’t happen. Mariota made some beautifully placed throws on Sunday, but he admittedly missed on some throws as well. I chalk some of it up to him throwing to receivers he’s still building chemistry with. But I don’t have any concerns with Mariota’s accuracy. He’s completing 62.5 percent of his passes so far, and he’s without two top targets in Corey Davis and Eric Decker.
Wesley Woodyard’s playThe 10th year linebacker has performed well in the preseason, and I thought he really showed up on Sunday against the Bears. Woodyard was credited with four tackles and two tackles for a loss in the contest, including a sack. Woodyard is one of the team’s defensive leaders, and he’s also a guy who helps set things straight in the locker room. I could tell he wasn’t thrilled with some things after the game, and I have a feeling he’ll be making his voice heard on Monday.
Brett Kern’s day
Let’s face it, no one is especially fired up about seeing the punter run onto the field. It means a drive stalled on offense, and the other team is getting the ball. But Titans punter Brett Kern made the punting game fun to watch on Sunday. He hit some towering punts that went out of bounds at the 4, 6 and 9-yard line, and on the day averaged a 38.0 net. The Bears got so tired of seeing it, they busted through the line and blocked one.
Adoree’ Jackson’s learning experience
Adoree’ Jackson stood at his locker and faced the music after the game. After struggling in coverage – and making a poor decision to field a punt inside the 5 – the Titans rookie cornerback didn’t sneak out of the locker room that houses the rookies on game days during the preseason. He was critical of himself for his performance, and vowed to get better. Jackson wasn’t great on Sunday, something he freely admitted. But I have no doubt he’ll learn from the outing and use it to help him improve moving forward.