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Game Notes: Titans at Jets

Posted Aug 12, 2017

Things that stood out in Tennessee's preseason opener Saturday night against the New York Jets.

DEFENSE BOUNCES BACK: The Titans defense gave up 73 yards on the Jets’ opening touchdown drive, including a 53-yard pass completion.  But after that series, the defense allowed only 178 total yards, and the longest play by the Jets for the remainder of the game was 14 yards.  The Jets did not score in their next 13 possessions.

JETS LIMITED TO SEVEN POINTS: The Titans allowed the Jets to score only seven points.  It was the lowest point total by a Titans preseason opponent since the fourth game of the 2012 preseason, when the Titans limited the New Orleans Saints to six points at Nissan Stadium.

DEFENDING THE RUN: The Titans defense was consistently tough against the Jets ground attack.  The Jets totaled 56 rushing yards, averaging 1.8 yards on 31 carries, and tallied only one rushing first down.  The Titans recorded seven tackles for loss to help their cause.  

DEFENSE NOTCHES TWO SACKS: The Titans defense got an 11-yard solo sack by safety Brynden Trawick, who was signed in the offseason as an unrestricted free agent from the Oakland Raiders.  Additionally, linebacker Aaron Wallace and defensive end Mehdi Abdesmad shared a nine-yard sack in the fourth quarter.  Wallace finished second on the team with five total tackles and shared the team lead with safety Kevin Byard with two tackles for loss.

STAPLES RECORDS TAKEAWAY: In the third quarter, third-year linebacker Justin Staples recorded the Titans’ first takeaway of the preseason.  Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg fumbled the snap, and Staples fell on the ball to give possession to the Titans.

WOODS STARTS: First-year nose tackle Antwaun Woods notched a start at New York.  Woods spent 15 games on the team’s practice squad in 2016 after signing as an undrafted free agent.

MARIOTA RETURNS: Quarterback Marcus Mariota saw live game action for the first time since injuring his right fibula in Week 16 of the 2016 campaign.  He started and led two series (nine plays), completing two of three passes for 15 yards.

TANNEY TAKES MAJORITY OF SNAPS: Alex Tanney took the majority of reps at quarterback for the Titans.  He entered the game early in the second quarter to begin the team’s third offensive series, only to take a sack on his first play and leave temporarily due to the hard hit.  Undrafted rookie Tyler Ferguson (one completion for four yards) was brought on to finish the drive, but Tanney returned the next possession and finished the contest.  He completed 11 of 27 passes for 132 yards with an interception. 

TAYLOR STANDS OUT: In his first NFL preseason game, rookie wide receiver Taywan Taylor made several plays for the Titans.  The third-round pick led the offense with four receptions and 56 receiving yards.  

JUDD PROVIDES SPARK: In the fourth quarter, undrafted rookie running back Akeem Judd provided a spark.  His first carry went for 11 yards and a first down, and then he followed on the next play with a 40-yard carry.  Judd ended the evening with six carries for a team-high 66 yards.

DECKER BACK AT THE MEADOWLANDS: Titans wide receiver Eric Decker started in his return to MetLife Stadium after spending the last three seasons with the Jets.  From 2014-2016, he totaled 163 total receptions for 2,183 yards and 19 touchdowns in New York.  He joined the Titans as a free agent late in the 2017 offseason.

PLAYING TIME: The majority of the Titans’ defensive starters played two series. On offense, quarterback Marcus Mariota was on the field for two series, but the starting offensive line played the majority of the first half.

THREE NEWCOMERS START: Three of the Titans’ veteran free agent acquisitions started in their preseason debut with the team: wide receiver Eric Decker, cornerback Logan Ryan and safety Johnathan Cyprien.

RARE PRESEASON MEETING: The Titans and Jets met in the preseason for the first time since 1996, when the two clubs appeared in Jackson, Miss.  The Titans now are 8-7 all-time against the Jets in the preseason. 

SCRATCHES: Titans players who were listed as scratches against the Jets included running back DeMarco Murray, wide receiver Corey Davis, defensive tackle Karl Klug, wide receiver Tajaé Sharpe (PUP), wide receiver Mekale McKay and cornerback Demontre Hurst.