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Titans-Packers Game Notes

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FIRST PRESEASON GAME FOR VRABEL: Mike Vrabel made his preseason debut as Titans head coach. He was named the 19th head coach in franchise history in January. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees and offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur were among the assistants who also participated in their initial game with the team. LaFleur coached from the sideline, while Pees was in the coaching booth. 

MARIOTA LEADS TOUCHDOWN DRIVE: Quarterback Marcus Mariota started the game and was successful in his one series. On the opening drive, he engineered a nine-play, 71-yard touchdown march, using 4:38 on the game clock and tossing a four-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Darius Jennings. Mariota completed two of three passes for 42 yards (149.3 passer rating), including two completions for third-down conversions.  

BIG CATCH BY WILLIAMS: On the opening possession of the game, the Titans faced a third-and-seven, when wide receiver Nick Williams caught a short pass from Marcus Mariota and turned it into a 38-yard reception. Williams was signed during the offseason after spending the previous three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. 

GABBERT DEBUTS WITH TITANS: Titans backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert played his first preseason game with the Titans since signing as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, entering the contest to begin the offense’s second possession. He played through most of the third quarter and completed nine of 15 passes for 76 yards with a passer rating of 73.2.  

TOUCHDOWN FOR JENNINGS: Second-year wide receiver Darius Jennings capped the first series of the game with a four-yard touchdown catch. Jennings has 14 career receptions for 117 yards in the regular season. 

FOURTH-DOWN CONVERSION: Early in the second quarter, the Titans faced a fourth-and-four situation, and head coach Mike Vrabel decided to keep the offense on the field. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert found undrafted rookie running back Akrum Wadley for a seven-yard gain, and the Titans later finished the drive with a field goal. The Titans converted two of their three attempts on fourth down. 

FALK PASSES FOR TOUCHDOWN IN FIRST NFL EXPERIENCE: Sixth-round quarterback Luke Falk entered the contest with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter. The former Washington State Cougar completed 10 of 19 passes for a team-high 105 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tim Semisch late in the fourth quarter.  

SEMISCH SCORES: First-year tight end Tim Semisch caught two passes for 17 yards, with both receptions coming during a late touchdown drive. He converted a fourth-and-goal from the nine-yard line with a touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter.

SACK BY LANDRY: In the first quarter, Titans rookie outside linebacker Harold Landry recorded a sack and forced fumble, stripping the ball from Packers quarterback Brett Hundley, although the Packers recovered the ball. Landry was the lone Titans rookie to record a start in the preseason opener. The second-round draft pick (41st overall) finished his career at Boston College ranked second in school history with 26 career sacks.  

PRESIDENT, BROWN COMBINE FOR TAKEAWAY: In the second quarter, first-year outside linebacker Gimel President and second-year inside linebacker Jayon Brown combined for the team’s first takeaway of the preseason. President rushed from the left side and made contact with Brett Hundley as the quarterback was in his throwing motion. The ball floated high in the air, and Brown came down with the interception.  

VACCARO STARTS: Less than a week after signing with the Titans, veteran safety Kenny Vaccaro started the game alongside Kevin Byard. Vaccaro, a former first-round pick entering his sixth NFL season, was signed on Aug. 4 as a free agent after spending his first five seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He was credited with one assisted tackle against the Packers. 

FOURTH-DOWN STOP: Late in the first half, the Packers went for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the four-yard line. Quarterback DeShone Kizer lofted a pass into the end zone for wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but Titans cornerback LeShaun Sims broke it up to preserve Tennessee’s 10-7 lead entering halftime.   

SACK BY FINCH: Undrafted rookie outside linebacker Sharif Finch recorded his first sack of the preseason in the third quarter. The former Temple standout took down quarterback DeShone Kizer for a loss of nine yards. Finch also was credited with a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits during the game. 

SPILLANE LEADS IN TACKLES: Undrafted rookie inside linebacker Robert Spillane led the defense with eight tackles, including a sack for zero yards. 

RETURNERS: A pair of rookie free agents handled the team’s kickoff return duties. Wide receiver Cameron Batson returned three kickoffs for 67 yards, and running back Akrum Wadley returned a kickoff late in the fourth quarter 64 yards to set up a touchdown on the ensuing possession. Veteran wide receiver Nick Williams handled punt return duties, fair catching one punt and fielding another for no yards on the return.  

CAPTAINS: The Titans captains at the coin toss were quarterback Marcus Mariota, running back Derrick Henry, center Ben Jones, safety Kevin Byard and linebacker Daren Bates.

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