The Tennessee Titans opened the season by blasting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 42-14 on Sunday.
The Titans scored on their opening possession and were in total control all day long. It was a very solid performance to give the Titans their first win of the season and sole possession of first place in the AFC South with the losses of the other three division teams earlier in the day.
Here's out grades for the Titans on Sunday.
Bishop Sankey had a career day on Sunday, rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries for an average of 6.2 yards per run . He also caught another touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota. Terrance West, who the Titans acquired in a trade with the Browns last week, added 41 yards on 13 carries and lost a fumble.
Mariota became the first rookie quarterback in Oilers/Titans history, and matching Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton in 1961 by throwing four touchdowns in one game. Mariota was so good, he accomplished his record tying day in the first half. He finished the day 13-of-16 passing for 209 yards, the four scores — each to a different target — and a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
The Titans’ early lead can should get an assist, as it forced Tampa Bay to throw more than perhaps they intended. The Bucs were held to just 92 yards on 26 carries. Doug Martin led the Tampa running game with 52 yards on 11 carries with his longest run of the day of 14 yards.
Coty Sensabaugh, who started in place of Jason McCourty- who is still out following groin surgery- intercepted Winston's first career pass and returned it for the Titans second score of the day. Deintrez Mount also intercepted Winston, and there were two more passes that should have been intercepted, but were dropped. Winston finished 16-of-33 for 210 yards, two touchdowns, two picks and a 64.0 rating. It was a very solid day, and would have been better if not for two plays where there were coverage issues that allowed scores.
Phillip Supernaw made a spectacular save on a punt at the 1-yard line to pin the Bucs deep. Ryan Succop was perfecton extra point trys and Brett Kern averaged 46.2 on his punts for the day.
The gameplan worked almost flawlessly as the Titans came out mixing things up to drive for a score on the opening possession. Mariota was put in great positions to to make plays early and took advantage of it. The defense put pressure on Winston bu sacking him three times and confusing him repeatedly while producing great coverage on receivers.