Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee Titans’

Derrick Henry rushed for a season-high 114 yards and one touchdown and Tennessee’s defense held up late Sunday to preserve the Titans’ 24-17 victory.

Tennessee (2-2) has won a franchise-record four straight in the series and improved to 11-2 against AFC South opponents since 2020.

Indy (1-2-1) has one win in its past six games and blew late three scoring chances that could have cut the deficit to less than seven.

The Titans followed a familiar script by leaning heavily on the two-time NFL rushing champ early and held on despite scoring no second-half points for the second consecutive week.

Henry broke a bone in his right foot during last season’s trip to Indy and hadn’t looked like himself in the first three games.

But on Sunday, his bruising style was back with a bang. Against the league’s No. 3 run defense, Henry topped the 100-yard mark for the fifth time in six games against Indy and he only needed one half to do it as the Titans took a commanding 24-3 lead.

Tennessee converted Matt Ryan’s fumble on Indy’s opening drive into a 7-yard TD pass from Ryan Tannehill to Robert Woods and Henry made it 14-0 when he made a defender miss in the backfield and sprinted 19 yards to the end zone.

After trading field goals, Tannehill found Chig Okonkwo on an 8-yard TD pass to make it 24-3.

The Colts answered with Ryan’s 14-yard TD pass to Mo Alie-Cox and cut the deficit to 24-17 when Ryan and Alie-Cox hooked up on another TD pass midway through the third quarter.

But a sack knocked Indy out of field-goal range on the final play of the third quarter, Jonathan Taylor lost a fumble on the Colts’ next series and Chase McLaughlin missed a 51-yard field goal with 1:58 to play.

INJURY REPORT

Titans: Starting linebacker Zach Cunningham (elbow) and starting safety Amani Hooker (concussion) missed the game. Linebacker Bud Dupree returned but reinjured his hip in the first half. Rookie receiver Treylon Burks did not return after being carted to the locker room in the second half with a right foot injury.

Colts: Three-time All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard (back surgery) made his season debut but it didn’t last long. He went to the locker room after colliding with a teammate in the second quarter and was diagnosed with a concussion. Taylor, the defending rushing champ, left late with an injured ankle.

UP NEXT

Titans: Head to Washington next Sunday.

Colts: Visit Denver on Thursday night.

Ryan Tannehill threw for 264 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score and the Tennessee Titans never trailed Sunday, holding off the Las Vegas Raiders 24-22 for their first victory this season.

Derrick Henry also ran for 85 yards and a touchdown. Henry also added 58 yards more receiving as the Titans (1-2) avoided their worst start since 2009 when they lost the first six games that season.

The Raiders (0-3) are off to their worst start since 2018. A week after blowing a 20-point lead in losing to Arizona in overtime, the Raiders had every chance to get back in this game in the second half as they blanked Tennessee after halftime.

Two-time All-Pro safety Kevin Byard celebrated his 100th regular-season game by picking off a Derek Carr pass in the end zone with 9:22 left.

Kristian Fulton broke up a pass to Raiders receiver Mack Collins in the end zone with 3:33 left.

Trailing 24-16, the Raiders converted a fourth-and-15 and a fourth-and-10 to keep their final drive alive. Carr then hit Mack Hollins with a 9-yard TD pass on fourth-and-goal from the Titans 9. But Carr’s 2-point conversion pass to tie the game was broken up by linebacker Dylan Cole.

Austin Hooper then recovered the onside kick for Tennessee, which knelt down for the win.

Carr was 26 of 44 for 303 yards and two touchdowns. Hollins finished with eight catches for 158 yards, and five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Davante Adams was held to five catches and 36 yards with a TD.

Coach Mike Vrabel said the Titans would get back to their bread and butter on offense. They made sure their two-time NFL rushing champ touched the ball six times on a 12-play drive to open the game. Henry ran four times for 16 yards, including 19 on back-to-back carries. He also had two catches for 26 yards.

The Titans also got the ball to some of their other top players. As a result, they scored touchdowns on each of their first three possessions with drives of at least 75 yards for just the third time since 2000 and led 24-10 at halftime.

It also was the first time the Raiders allowed three straight such TDs since a 44-7 loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 11, 2009.

The Raiders tried switching gears in the third quarter. But they had to settle for a second field goal by Daniel Carlson, this a 32-yarder after using up 8:03 of the third. Even after safety Duron Harmon picked off the pass and returned it 11 yards to the Titans 31, the Raiders wound up punting.

A holding call on right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor wiped out a 29-yard pass by Carr to Darren Waller. Adams couldn’t get both feet down on a catch, then they were flagged for delay backing them up even more. Carr’s pass to Brandon Bolden was stopped for a 2-yard loss.

INJURIES

Raiders cornerback Rock Ya-Sin went down on Tannehill’s 41-yard pass to Robert Woods that set up Henry’s first TD. Ya-Sin returned quickly, but went down again in the fourth quarter. Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs was evaluated for a concussion.

Titans linebacker Zach Cunningham, who was on the injury report with an injured knee, went straight to the locker room with an injured elbow in the third quarter. Titans cornerback Kristian Fulton went down with 1:22 left.

UP NEXT

Raiders return home to host Denver on Sunday.

Titans visit Indianapolis on Sunday.

Josh Allen threw four touchdown passes, including three to Stefon Diggs, and the Buffalo Bills rolled past Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans 41-7 in their home opener on Monday night.

The Bills followed a season-opening 31-10 rout of the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams by throttling an opponent that has been their nemesis in each of the past two seasons. Fullback Reggie Gilliam and linebacker Matt Milano, with a 43-yard interception return, also scored touchdowns for Buffalo.

Allen topped 300 yards passing for the 15th time of his career, completing 26 of 38 attempts for 317 yards, and sat out the entire fourth quarter. Diggs had 12 catches for 148 yards. He has exceeded 100 yards in each of his first two games, a feat accomplished previously for the Bills only by Hall of Famer Andre Reed.

The Bills have topped 30 points twice after doing so nine times last year. And their defense limited Tennessee to 182 yards of offense and 12 first downs, while registering two sacks and forcing four turnovers.

The Titans, coming off a 21-20 season-opening loss to the New York Giants, opened 0-2 for the first time since 2012.

The two-time defending AFC South champions face numerous questions about a defense that gave up 313 yards passing a week after allowing 238 yards rushing. Meantime, Henry and their offense continue to sputter.

The two-time rushing champion was limited to 25 yards on 13 carries while scoring on a 2-yard plunge.

Injuries affected both teams, the most serious involving Bills cornerback Dane Jackson, who hurt his neck in a troubling collision with a teammate and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. The Bills said Jackson had full movement in his limbs.

Otherwise, the two-time defending AFC East champion Bills continued making a splash in their second consecutive prime-time appearance, while at the same time easing frustrations of the past, including a 42-16 loss to Tennessee in 2020.

Still stung by memories of Allen being stuffed for no gain on fourth down near the goal line in the final seconds of the last season’s loss 34-31 loss in which Buffalo squandered a seven-point fourth-quarter lead, the Bills scored on their opening drive and never looked back.

Up 10-7, Allen and Diggs took over by connecting for two touchdowns spanning halftime. Faking left, Allen found Diggs in an opening for a 4-yard touchdown with a minute remaining in the second quarter.

Allen and Diggs then blew the game open by connecting on a 46-yard touchdown on Buffalo’s first possession of the second half. Given time in the pocket, Allen threw a perfectly placed pass to Diggs, who reached out to catch the ball before tumbling head-first into the end zone.

The wheels fell off for the Titans, who were outscored 24-0 in the third quarter. Tennessee rookie Kyle Philips muffed a punt for a second consecutive week, and Ryan Tannehill threw interceptions on consecutive possessions.

Tannehill finished 11 of 20 for 117 yards and was benched following Milano’s interception with 3:49 left in the third quarter. Rookie Malik Willis took over, and if Tannehill continues to struggle, Tennessee fans will want to see more of the young backup.

REMEMBERING SHOOTING VICTIMS

Bills Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith asked fans for a moment of silence before the game to honor the memory of 10 people killed in shooting spree at a Buffalo supermarket in May.

“We stand united with the victims and the victims’ families,” Smith said.

“No one can erase their pain and suffering. But Buffalo, your acts of love and kindness will never be forgotten,” he added. “The national media, the national activists have all gone. But we are here right now. It is up to us to love these families. To be with them.”

INJURIES

Titans: LT Taylor Lewan did not return after hurting his right knee in the first quarter. … RB Trenton Cannon did not return after hurting his right knee on the opening kickoff. … LB Ola Adeniyi hurt his wrist. … LB Bud Dupree hurt his hip. … The Titans elevated receiver Josh Gordon from their practice squad some three weeks after he signed with the team.

Bills: S Micah Hyde sustained a neck injury. … Milano did not return because of what was termed a stinger. … DT Jordan Phillips hurt his hamstring. … No. 2 WR Gabe Davis was inactive after hurting his ankle in practice on Saturday. … DTs Brandin Bryant and C.J. Brewer were elevated from the practice squad to fill in for injured starter Ed Oliver (ankle) and backup Tim Settle (calf).

UP NEXT

Titans: Host the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.

Bills: At the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Brian Daboll nailed his first big decision as the Giants head coach.

After trailing 13-0 at the break, the Giants found the end zone three times in the second half. The last of those scores was a one-yard pass by Daniel Jones to Chris Myarick and it left the Giants down 20-19. Daboll chose to go for two rather than try to tie the game and Saquon Barkley converted to put the Giants up 21-20 with 1:06 left in the game.

A pair of defensive holding penalties helped the Titans drive the ball into Giants territory with 29 seconds left to play and Ryan Tannehill hit rookie Kyle Phillips for a 21-yard catch. That put the Titans well within Randy Bullock’s field goal range, but the veteran kicker missed wide left from 47 yards as time expired. That made Daboll a winner in his head coaching debut.

The two-point play capped a big day for Barkley. He opened a pivotal season by running 18 times for 164 yards and a touchdown. He broke off 68- and 33-yard runs that were reminiscent of the best parts of his first two seasons and it’s the kind of outing that will have a lot of Giants fans hoping that he’ll stay healthy enough to do the same kind of things all season.

Jones’ day was more uneven. He hit Sterling Shepard for a 65-yard touchdown, but threw a terrible interception in the end zone while staring Barkley down and also lost a fumble. Daboll could be seen giving Jones an earful on the sideline after the interception and the team will be looking for more consistency in the future.

The Titans will likely be looking for some more offensive consistency as well. They scored on three of their first four drives, but punted on five of the next six possessions and only converted 3-of-11 third down chances.

One of those failures came with just over five minutes to play on a third-and-1. The Titans gave ball to rookie tight end Chigs Okonkwo on a sweep that lost four yards while Derrick Henry was in the game. It was a curious call and the Titans will need to pull things together in a hurry because they’re set to be in Buffalo next Monday night.

The Giants will be heading home to take on the Panthers and this result means they’ll be getting a much warmer welcome than they’ve been accustomed to in recent years.

The Tennessee Titans announced Friday that they agreed to a three-year contract extension with safety Amani Hooker. The deal is worth over $33 million, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Hooker was drafted in the fourth round in 2019 and has played in 44 games over his three-year tenure with the team.

The 24-year-old emerged as a starter last season but only played in 12 games after being placed on injured reserve with a foot injury in Week 1. He was activated before Week 6 and finished the campaign with 62 tackles and one interception.

The Titans now have both their starting safeties locked up to long-term contacts, as they signed star safety Kevin Byard to a five-year deal in 2019.

Tennessee Titans pass-rusher Harold Landry is expected to miss the entire 2022 season after suffering a torn ACL in Wednesday’s practice, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Landry is coming off his first Pro Bowl season after he recorded a career-high 12 sacks in 2021. The Titans rewarded the linebacker with a five-year, $87.5-million contract this offseason.

Drafted in the second round in 2018, Landry had been an ironman over his first four seasons. The Boston College product has played in 64 of 65 games for the Titans since entering the league.

Landry became a full-time starter in 2019, registering nine sacks over 16 appearances. He’s tallied 31 sacks and 41 tackles for a loss over his career.

Tennessee’s depth options behind Landry include Ola Adeniyi and 2021 fourth-round pick Rashad Weaver. Roaming on the other side will be veteran Bud Dupree, who generated three sacks over 11 games last season.

The Tennessee Titans have told three-time Pro Bowl punter Brett Kern that he will be released, a person with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Monday.

Kern had been the Titans’ longest-tenured player, having been picked up off waivers during the 2009 season. The person who confirmed the decision, which was first reported by ESPN, spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the Titans are not commenting on roster moves until Wednesday, a day after the NFL’s Tuesday deadline to trim rosters to 53.

The one-time All-Pro is just four punts shy of becoming the NFL’s 25th player with at least 1,000 career punts. Kern will leave the Titans third in franchise history with 197 games played, trailing only Hall of Famers Bruce Matthews and Elvin Bethea.

The 36-year-old lost the punting job to undrafted rookie Ryan Stonehouse out of Colorado State. Kern said he knew in April that there would be a competition, with the rookie hitting the ball like he had seen only three or four other players do in his lifetime.

Kern had been in the final year of his contract and has only a $550,000 “dead cap” hit. He is from Grand Island, New York, and could be headed back to his home state with the Buffalo Bills needing a punter. The Titans visit Buffalo on Sept. 19.

Last season, Kern ranked third in the NFL of punts downed inside the 20 compared with touchbacks. He placed 59.5% of his punts, 22 of 37, inside the 20 for the best results by any punter with at least 30 punts since 1991. Kern earned his third straight Pro Bowl nod in 2019.

Rookie Malik Willis threw the first touchdown of his NFL career and the Tennessee Titans beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-3 Saturday night in their exhibition home opener.

The Titans (1-1) want to see if the third-round draft pick out of Liberty can develop quickly enough to back up veteran Ryan Tannehill this season. This was Willis’ second straight start, and he showed more patience by staying in and moving around the pocket. Willis still was sacked three times while playing a series into the third quarter.

Willis also had nearly as many runs as completed passes yet again. He ran five times for 42 yards with a long of 24 yards to set up the first field goal and was 7 of 17 for 80 yards passing with a 75.6 passer rating. He capped Tennessee’s final drive of the first half by finding fellow rookie Chig Okonkwo with a 6-yard pass for the first TD of both their pro careers.

Veteran Ryan Succop, trying to hold off Jose Borregales, sneaked a 52-yard field goal over the crossbar late in the third quarter for the Bucs (0-2).

Tannehill, running back Derrick Henry, center Ben Jones, receiver Robert Woods, All-Pro safety Kevin Byard, and Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons all wore ballcaps instead of helmets. Rookie Nicholas Petit-Frere started at right tackle trying to beat out Dillon Radunz for the job, then moved to the left side after veteran Taylor Lewan left.

Tampa Bay had its own lengthy list of starters missing led by Tom Brady out for a second straight preseason game in his personal break from the Bucs. Julio Jones, who took part in both joint practices against the Titans, watched from the sideline along with fellow receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

With so many starters out, the teams failed to convert their first nine third downs combined. The Titans outgained the Bucs 145-95 in total offense with Tennessee scoring 10 points off turnovers by halftime.

With Brady out, Blaine Gabbert started and played the first two series going 3 of 5 passing for 13 yards. Kyle Trask finished the game and threw for 105 yards. But he was intercepted just before halftime for a second straight week.

GREAT RETURNS

The Titans have their punt returner in Kyle Philips. The fifth-round pick out of UCLA looked to make a rookie mistake by stepping back into the end zone to field his first punt, then slipped through for a 26-yard return. He went 15 yards on his next opportunity. On his third chance, Philips made the first defender miss on his way to a 35-yard return.

REAL COMPETITION

Rookie punter Ryan Stonehouse is pushing three-time Pro Bowler Brett Kern thanks to his impressive hangtime on his punts. The Titans stepped up the competition by having Stonehouse hold on field goal attempts, and the rookie held for the two field goals and one extra point by Bullock. Kern handled the first two punts. Stonehouse also had a 68-yard punt on his first attempt and averaged 47 yards on four punts.

When Stonehouse bobbled a snap in the fourth quarter, the rookie picked up the ball and ran 24 yards for a first down.

INJURIES

Tampa Bay guard Aaron Stinnie, a former Tennessee player, was carted off the field late in the third quarter after hurting his left leg. Titans safety Joshua Kalu hurt a groin muscle earlier in the third and didn’t return.

UP NEXT

Bucs: visit Indianapolis on Aug. 27.

Titans: wrap up the preseason hosting Arizona on Aug. 27.

Rookie Titans are due to report for training camp on Saturday. The quarterback Tennessee traded up for in the 2022 NFL Draft will arrive under contract.

The Titans have agreed to terms on a multi-year rookie contract with third-round quarterback Malik Willis, the team announced Saturday. The Titans’ entire nine-player draft class is now under contract after the signing of Willis.

Willis was selected with the No. 86 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft by the Titans, who gave up a fifth-round pick in order to move up four spots and select the QB out of Liberty. Seen by many as the most physically gifted QB in the ’22 class, Willis may’ve fell into the third round but he enters the NFL as a dual-threat prospect with high upside.

Willis shined his senior season to drum up his prospective status by completing 207 of 339 passes for 2,857 yards and 27 touchdowns through the air and adding 878 yards rushing with 13 more scores on the ground. Needless to say, Willis was a one-man show for the Flames and he accounted for 65.9% of Liberty’s offensive production in 2021. Appearing in 38 total games in college, which included a two-year stint at Auburn, Willis completed 388 of 618 passes for 5,176 passing yards and 48 TDs.

Though going unsigned through the Titans’ offseason program, Willis has been there every step of the way. The 23-year-old isn’t expected to be rushed as a rookie with incumbent QB Ryan Tannehill having a firm grasp on the starting QB role for a team that won the AFC South last season and has reached the playoffs in each of the past three seasons with the veteran at the helm.

Following consecutive first-round exits in the playoffs, however, Tannehill’s seat is expected to get warm if he cannot effectively turn the tide in 2022. The Titans went ahead and selected Willis as a contingency plan of sorts, knowing the rookie will have time develop in their system for a year before potentially becoming the QB of Tennessee’s future.

Veteran defensive back Jason McCourty called it a career after 13 NFL seasons, he announced Friday on Instagram.

The 34-year-old began his career with the Tennessee Titans as a sixth-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He played eight seasons in Tennessee before enjoying stints with the Cleveland BrownsNew England Patriots, and Miami Dolphins.

McCourty retires with one Super Bowl ring, which came as a member of the Patriots’ 2018 championship team. He spent three years in New England’s secondary (2018-2020) alongside his twin brother Devin.

The former defensive back tallied 18 interceptions over 141 career starts. His best performance came in 2012 when he picked off a personal best four passes.

McCourty finished his NFL journey with seven appearances and four starts for the Dolphins in 2021. He was a free agent at the time of his retirement.

A media opportunity could be in McCourty’s future. He’s considered the favorite for Nate Burleson’s role on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” according to Ryan Glasspiegel and Andrew Marchand of The New York Post.