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Opinion

Titans on a roll despite Derrick Henry's absence

(Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
16th November, 2021
0

The Tennessee Titans have defeated the New Orleans Saints by two points in a game that came right down to the end.

Both sides were certainly not at full strength, the Titans without their superstar running back Derrick Henry plus their wide receiver Julio Jones, while the Saints were missing the incredible Alvin Kamara.

Their first-choice quarterback, Taysom Hill, did take the field, however was still hurt and only involved in two plays.

The game began with the first five possessions resulting in punts before Titans kicker Rand Bullock slotted the ball between the middle of the posts to get the scoring started.

The next possession, New Orleans recorded the first touchdown of the day as their six-play drive ended in an 11-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Siemian to Tre’Quan Smith. The extra point was missed and off the back of this the Titans scored their second straight field-goal, plus opened their touchdown account through a Ryan Tannehill one-yard quarterback sneak into the endzone to end the half with a 13-6 lead.

The Saints fumbled the ball from the kick-off and Tennessee’s Mycole Pruitt recorded his third touchdown of the season.

However New Orleans’ Mark Ingram then scored on an 11-play, 87-yard drive. Another field goal from the Titans’ kicking team was able to give them some more breathing room, although around nine minutes later New Orleans had scored a field goal plus a 15-yard throw into the end zone.

Out of timeouts, the Saints were forced to go for the two-point conversion to try and tie the game up with just over a minute remaining. Siemian tried to find Mark Ingram but the pass was incomplete and the onside kick was unsuccessful, which eventually led to the end of the game.

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The Tennessee Titans have not stopped rolling through teams in the first half of the seasons, despite the loss of Derrick Henry. Their offence hasn’t been anything spectacular, neither has their defence, however they’ve come up with the big plays at the right time.

Marcus Johnson had five receptions for 100 yards, including a vital 50-yard reception and run up the middle of the field. Ryan Tannehill had an average day as he threw for just over 200 yards, one touchdown and two sacks, which ranked 15th in the league for quarterbacks.

The rushing department showed how badly Tennessee is missing Henry, as back-up D’onta Foreman rushed for only 30 yards after 11 carries. His poor performance was not even ranked in the top 30 rushing games this week. Lately the Titans are playing like one of the best teams in the league, despite being without their superstar.

New Orleans, on the other hand, are now 5-4. Kamara’s absence had a strong effect on them, as Mark Ingram ran for 47 yards from 14 carries, although did have a touchdown.

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The Saints have had a mix of quarterbacks, as Hill hasn’t started a game, although has been announced active. Back-up quarterback Jameis Winston was nothing amazing, averaging 167 yards before getting injured against the Bucs in Week 8. Since then, Siemian has taken over and averaged 235 yards, which was better than Winston this season.

It will be a battle between Hill and Siemian for the starting quarterback spot and Siemian should stay in the role as he’s doing a great job and is settled in.

Hill needs to keep playing that role of coming on the field and sparking something, which we have seen him do recently. They need to look at their kicker because his two missed PAT attempts put them in the position to go for two points to tie the game.

Little things like this can’t be in the Saints’ game if they want to make the playoffs.

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