On what was already an ugly Sunday weather wise, the Tennessee Titans didn’t do much collectively to make it better as they suffered a tragic 21-20 loss in the season opener against the New …
On what was already an ugly Sunday weather wise, the Tennessee Titans didn’t do much collectively to make it better as they suffered a tragic 21-20 loss in the season opener against the New York Giants, but a few rookies offered some light on the gloomy day.
Let’s go back to a couple weeks ago when the Titans released longtime punter Brett Kern, and shocked the fanbase.
Yes, the Titans signed undrafted rookie Ryan Stonehouse from Colorado State back in May, but there wasn’t any inclination of him getting the nod over Kern – a consistent punter for over a decade.
But that was exactly the case, and Stonehouse proved himself on many occasions against the Giants.
It’s not the best thing for your punter to be on the field, but every team needs a consistent punter to help their defense on the backend.
Stonehouse saw the field six times Sunday with those punts flying for a total of 342 yards which is a 57.0 average per punt.
Three of his punts went for 60 plus yards and three were downed inside the 20 yard line.
While it’s just one game in a season of 17 or more, the future looks to be bright for the rookie punter.
Another topic of discussion for the Titans coming into this season was their rookie receivers, Kyle Phillips from UCLA and Treylon Burks from Arkansas.
Both players saw their fair share of action against the Giants and made the most of it.
Phillips couldn’t reel in one of his three targets in the first half, but he connected with quarterback Ryan Tannehill six times for 66 yards in the second half, three of which were on the final drive to set up the final field goal.
Tannehill spoke positively of Phillips after the game.
“Kyle has made a bunch of plays for me since training camp. We built up that relationship, and he’s shown that he can win consistently in practice and that translates to the game,” Tannehill said.
“There were some more opportunities where I thought we had a shot down the field, but we weren’t able to connect. I’m looking forward to continuing to take advantage of those situations.”
Burks had the longest reception of the two rookie receivers when Tannehill found him crossing the middle for a 27 yard pickup.
For the game, he caught three passes for a total of 55 yards.
The duo were the top two targeted receivers for the Titans and accounted for 45% of their passing yards.
There are a few things that are true from the Titans’ performance Sunday.
Did the Titans allow the Giants to mount a second half comeback?
Was that probably the Titans easiest game on their schedule for the foreseeable future?
Should they have run at least one more play before setting up for the field goal?
Probably, but that’s hindsight.
But that doesn’t mean it’s panic time in Nashville.
More truth out of the Titans’ is that they always bounce back from a loss like that because of head coach Mike Vrabel’s “blue collar” mentality.
There is also a lot of potential in the new additions to the team, so dwell on the loss for the time being but don’t count the Titans out yet.