There’s a lot of positives the Tennessee Titans can take into their final preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. The offense was balanced, the offensive line dominated at the point of attack and the defense survived the big play as they defeated the Raiders 27-14 in the Oakland Coliseum. Let’s dive into our Four Keys!
- Exotic Smashmouth Football – Saturday, the Titans ran for 132 yards on 32 carries, averaging 4.1 yards per rush. Due to the effective running game, they were able to mix in play action pass, run second year QB Marcus Mariota out on bootlegs and even utilize the option. According to Titans Head Coach Mike Mularkey, balance was the key:
“Offensively we were very balanced in the first half, 20 runs, 16 passes and I liked what we did offensively. We were making first downs and second downs. We weren’t getting into third down situations.”
- The O-Line Keeps Making Progress – Coach Mularkey really heaped praise on the offensive line after Saturday’s win against the Raiders. He was pleased with the fact they had a lot of one-on-one matchups especially on passing plays and each man held their own against a front consisting of All-Pro Khalil Mack.
- What is Tajae Sharpe’s Ceiling? – Sharpe caught one pass Saturday, however it went for 60 yards on the Titans opening drive of the game. Mariota was more than pleased with the rookie receiver’s route running:
“I thought I put it away enough that the DB couldn’t get it. He made a great play. He was breaking on it pretty fast. I don’t think he got ahold of it. It didn’t look like he did, but great play by Tajae [Sharpe] to keep his concentration and finish downfield.
- Injuries – Wide-reciever Kendall Wright and safety Perrish Cox both practiced Monday. However, Wright re-injured his hamstring. His status for Thursday is uncertain. Cox looks to regain his starting spot and will most likely play in Miami.
Finally, the Titans cut 12 players to bring their roster down to 75 before the 4pm Eastern deadline. The players cut:
- Defensive end Ropati Pitoitua
- Safety Lamarcus Brutus
- Tackle William Campbell
- Wide receiver Donte Foster
- Linebacker Amarlo Herrera
- Wide receiver Reece Horn
- Linebacker Deiontrez Mount
- Cornerback Tyler Patmon
- Offensive lineman Nick Ritcher
- Defensive end Mike Smith
- Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson
“(General manager Jon Robinson) and I have spent a lot of time going through this roster,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. “We’ve made some additions, especially in the secondary, with the draft and with our free-agency signings. We just felt like for this cut right now and where we are with the 75 and some of the new faces we have, this was the best decision to make — give some other guys some opportunities in this last game.” — Titans Head Coach Mike Mularkey