By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — The best thing that can be said about the Titans’ season opening game against the Denver Broncos was they won it 16-14. But it’s a sure thing they’ll be looking for improved offensive production when they entertain Jacksonville Sunday in the home opener. The main reason they’ll be facing the Jaguars, who upset the Colts in their first game, with an identical 1-0 record is because their defense played exceptionally well. It also helps that Denver head coach Vic Fangio’s clock management baffled everyone as he allowed the Titans to whittle down the time on their last drive and kick the game-winning field goal with only 17 seconds remaining.
The Titans’ new kicker Stephen Gostkowski can’t be any worse the rest of the year than he was Monday night. He ended up the hero with the 10th game-winning kick of his career. But prior to that, it was his poorest game ever with three missed field goals and a blown extra point. Considering the Titans had the worse kicking statistics in the NFL last season, Gostkowski’s bad start leaves a lot of doubt regarding that end of the offense.
But there were some good things, most notably the return of Corey Davis to top form. He had seven catches for 101 yards. Derrick Henry rushed for 116 yards on 31 carries, while Ryan Tannehill passed for 249 yards, completing 29 in 43 attempts with two touchdowns. Defensively the Titans were solid, though an uncharacteristic loss of composure cost them the services of Rashaan Evans, who was disqualified for throwing a punch in the first quarter.
If winning when you don’t play well is an indication of being a title contender, this one puts the Titans in that category.