Man, what a game that was, huh?
In a match-up that most thought would have been a run-away game for the Chargers following the Titan’s recent shut-out against the Ravens, Mike Vrabel and his team did everything in the name of exploiting the Chargers’ weaknesses before falling to the Bolts by a score of 20-19.
In hindsight, I’m not sure if I would have wanted them to go for two or one prior to the decision. With the way the Titans were able to move the ball up and down the field with a flurry of 4-8 yard gains, it had me worried that going for two was actually their best chance to win by a mile.
But of course the close score the entire game wasn’t enough of a stress on my well-being, it had to end with not one, but TWO attempts at a two-point conversion. Thanks to an extremely ill-advised penalty by Casey Hayward, the Titans got one more shot to pull off the comeback but the battle of grit and determination was painted in powder blue, not navy.
It was also a fairly odd game to watch because, when the final seconds were ticking off the clock, it didn’t feel like we got to see much of the Chargers offense. In the first half, the Chargers had the ball for just nine minutes meaning the Titans had it for a whopping 21. That just speaks volumes about the defense that they were able to retain a lead going into halftime.
Although the offense had their fair-share of highlights, the defense played their “bend but don’t break” defense to perfection, which was actually scary as hell when Mariota kept guiding his team into the redzone more frequently than we all would have liked.
Three more cheers for all that grit the Chargers displayed when they needed it the most because, again, what an ending and what a contest.
LB Denzel Perryman
The former University of Miami Hurricane was the sparkplug to a Chargers defensive effort that saved the team time and time again from kicker Michael Badgley’s consistent attempts to give the Titans the best starting field position possible.
Perryman ended up tied for the team-lead in tackles with Derwin James at 8 a piece. He played a large factor in bottling up the run game during the first half while adding a huge, momentum-shifting interception in the red zone. The pick was also historic in its’ own way as it was the first interception thrown by Mariota in the red zone in his entire career.
WR Tyrell Williams
For the second week in a row, Williams showed everyone just how dangerous he can be on any given play.
On the first play from scrimmage for the Bolts, #16 took an outside release on the cornerback before blowing by him for a 75-yard touchdown. It helped that the defender hesitated at an out-route coming his way but it just goes to show that you can’t give Tyrell an inch of space. The craziest part about the play was that it was his third touchdown in his last four catches. It also happened to give him sole possession of first place with the most deep receiving yards in the league, ahead of Tyreek Hill and Adam Thielen.
Williams currently sits with 428 receiving yards and four touchdowns on the year. One of the crazier stats of his season, which really helps paint the picture that he is a premiere deep-threat, is that Williams has yet to catch more than four passes in a game thus far. On just 20 catches, he averages a robust 21.4 yards.
DT Justin Jones
If there was ever one of the 2018 draft picks that some may have completely forgotten about already, it is Justin Jones.
The third-rounder out of North Carolina State started the year on a rough note by being sidelined for most of the preseason due to a injury early in training camp. He has been healthy for the majority of the regular season but has yet to do much of anything to stand out at all.
On Sunday, Jones was a non-factor after failing to get in on a single tackle while being pushed around far too easily. Jones was selected as a potential replacement for Brandon Mebane but this has been far from the case through the first seven weeks. The rookie was taken advantage of by the Titans and once the opposing coaching staff took notice, they really started to exploit the weak point of the Bolts’ defensive interior.
K Michael Badgley
In back-to-back games now, the rookie out of Miami hit on all of his kicks. So you’re probably asking yourself, “Why did he make your Static list , Michael?”
Well, my friends, Badgley may have his accuracy going for him when it comes to his field goals and extra points, but the rookie out of Miami was consistently leaving his kickoffs short and low which led to the Titans averaging around 10 to 15 yards of better starting field position than they ever should have.
The return men of the Titans constantly got a running start with their returns and this put the Chargers behind the ball far too often. Even with the offense humming along just fine, the defense was put in a pinch almost from the jump whenever they had to give the ball back following a score.
Of course when the Chargers fix their kicker accuracy issues, some other aspect of the kicking game goes down the tube and fans are forced to suffer as another incomplete kicker puts the team in less-than-ideal situations.
Finger crossed that it was all on purpose....?