Titans @ Eagles
Final Score: Eagles 35, Titans 10
Writer: Mario Adamo Jr. (@marioadamojr on Twitter, /u/dotcaim on Reddit)
In a battle of division leaders, the Birds came out on top. Titans won the toss and deferred, giving the best team in football the ball first. A pair of false starts on the opening drive wouldn’t stop Jalen Hurts and the Eagles. Hurts found DeVonta Smith for a 34-yard touchdown putting the Birds up 7-0 early. That touchdown was the first opening drive touchdown the Titans have allowed since Week 2. The Titans were forced to punt on their next drive after a pair of Derrick Henry carries followed by a sack left them nothing to work with. The Eagles had the same three-and-out result following a third-down pass right behind Smith. The Titans didn’t waste their next opportunity which included a Ryan Tannehill scramble on 4th & 7 from the Eagles’ 40-yard line. The drive ended with a Treylon Burks touchdown. Unfortunately, Burks took a hard hit to the head and was out for the remainder of the game.
The Eagles came back swinging on their third drive. The drive featured not one, but two 41-yard touchdown passes to A.J. Brown. After the first was nullified by offsetting penalties, the Eagles went right back to him for his first score against his former team, 14-7. Tennessee did not have the same result on their drive and instead would face another three-and-out highlighted by a sack on third down. The Eagles lasted longer than three plays, but would eventually punt it back themselves.
The Titans finally got some life on their fourth drive thanks to a 40-yard pass to Chigoziem Okonkwo. Their offense struggled in the red zone, however, and they settled for a field goal, 14-10. The Eagles again drove down the field, and with a little help from a pass interference in the direction of Brown were set up in goal-to-go field position. Hurts took it himself to put the Eagles up 21-10.
The Titans had another three-and-out and while the Eagles got the ball back before halftime, they would make nothing of it. On the first drive of the second half, the Titans ended up putting on 4th & 17 as a result of yet another third-down sack. The Eagles scored another Brown touchdown, 28-10. After that drive came three straight punts before the Eagles scored one last time off of a Miles Sanders touchdown, 35-10. The backups took the field for the last couple of drives as the Eagles handled the Titans and moved to 11-1 on the season.
Ryan Tannehill: 14/22, 141 Yards, TD | 3 Carries, 34 Yards
Malik Willis: 2/4, 16 Yards | 1 Carry, 8 Yards
Ryan Tannehill spent most of the game running away from the Eagles’ pass rush. He was sacked six times, with five of them coming on third down. He threw a beautiful pass to Treylon Burks who was unfortunately hurt during the play. He spread the ball well, targeting nine different players throughout the game. He looked banged up after one sack in the second half, but after getting some tape on his ankle was back out there the following drive. He was eventually taken out of the game for Malik Willis, but that was late enough in the game a comeback was never a possibility. Tannehill looked good on his feet, his scrambles for first downs were key to keeping their drives alive. A problem for him, and the offense as a whole, was the Eagles’ run defense made Derrick Henry irrelevant, leading to more passing-down situations the Titans just aren’t built for.
Derrick Henry: 11 Carries, 30 Yards | 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 8 Yards
Dontrell Hilliard: 1 Carry, 2 Yards | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 14 Yards
Julius Chestnut: 5 Carries, 13 Yards
The Eagles’ defense overthrew the King today. Derrick Henry was in the game plan early, but the Eagles never let him get going. With so many three-and-outs his opportunities were limited. His largest gain of the day was only 6 yards. The Eagles had the perfect game plan for the Titans, stop the run early and get to Tannehill on third down. Luckily the Titans play the Jaguars next week for a perfect bounce-back opportunity.
Dontrell Hilliard’s one carry came on the seventh drive, on a third down after Tannehill was sacked for a six-yard loss. Otherwise, he had a pair of catches, one from Willis and one from Tannehill.
Julius Chestnut checked in during the last couple of drives when the game was effectively over.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Treylon Burks: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 25 Yards, TD
Chigoziem Okonkwo: 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 68 Yards
Austin Hooper: 5 Targets, 3 Receptions, 22 Yards
Robert Woods: 5 Targets, 1 Reception, 6 Yards
C.J. Board: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 6 Yards
Geoff Swaim: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 4 Yards
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 4 Yards
Treylon Burks looked great while he was on the field. He caught a 25-yard touchdown pass in traffic, but unfortunately took a hard hit (unnecessary roughness was called on the hit) and he was out for the rest of the game. Keep a close eye on his health going forward. Chigoziem Okonkwo led the team in targets, receptions, and yards. His one incompletion was almost picked off by Bradberry for a touchdown the other way. His 41-yard reception was the largest on the team. He and Austin Hooper both looked like focal points of this offense. Hooper also had five targets, but only brought in three of them. Robert Woods was only able to bring in one of his five targets, a third-down pass on the Titans’ fifth drive that was short of the first down. C.J. Board caught his one target from Willis. Geoff Swaim caught his one target from Tannehill. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine was targeted once by each quarterback, catching the ball thrown by Tannehill.
Jalen Hurts: 29/39, 380 Yards, 3 TD | 5 Carries, 12 Yards, TD
Gardner Minshew: 1/2, 11 Yards
I know why you came to this section and I’m happy to deliver. The reason you came to the Eagles QB section was to hear about Gardner Minshew. He looked great, completing one of his two passes to Zack Pascal (targetted him on both throws) and handed the ball off like no other.
The real reason is to brag about how Jalen Hurts probably won your matchup for you. Four total touchdowns, just shy of 400 yards, Hurts could not be stopped. In the last few games, the Eagles were all ground and people were questioning whether or not Hurts could throw when needed. Today he silenced those doubters as he put on a master class of passing. He made sure to feed his best friend A.J. Brown in light of his revenge game, but also spread the wealth by having two other receivers with at least six targets and at least one target to each running back. Hurts looked calm in the pocket and unstoppable on the run. He had good decision-making when it came time to throw the ball away and the Eagles were back to their unstoppable self on QB sneaks.
Miles Sanders: 10 Carries, 24 Yards, TD | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 14 Yards
Boston Scott: 6 Carries, 16 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 5 Yards
Kenneth Gainwell: 3 Carries, 15 Yards | 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 38 Yards
Last week was all about the ground game, this week they weren’t needed with the way Hurts was dicing up the defense. Miles Sanders only carried the ball 10 times today, but he brought one of them in for a touchdown. The run was never really a factor as Hurts seemed to do what he pleased with his arm. Sanders looked good in the opportunities he had, but the Eagles focused on the pass all game and it worked for them. Kenneth Gainwell was more involved with the passing attack than the ground game, including receptions for 14 yards and 10 yards. Boston Scott was mostly utilized in the last two drives when the backups were in. He also had a carry and a catch right before the end of the first half.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
A.J. Brown: 10 Targets, 8 Receptions, 119 Yards, 2 TD
DeVonta Smith: 8 Targets, 5 Receptions, 102 Yards, TD
Quez Watkins: 6 Targets, 5 Receptions, 37 Yards
Zach Pascal: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 16 Yards
Jack Stoll: 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 41 Yards
Grant Calcaterra: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 19 Yards
In A.J. Brown’s first game against his former team, he showed them he has moved on to greener pastures. Brown led the team in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns. On the Eagles’ third drive he had back-to-back 41-yard touchdowns. The first was nullified by offsetting penalties, so he did it again. Brown was unstoppable today, you can tell he had this game circled on his calendar. DeVonta Smith was targeted three times on the opening drive to help the Eagles start the scoring early. His 34-yard touchdown was a thing of beauty. One of his incompletes was ruled a catch on the field but was overturned after a Titans challenge. Smith was targeted throughout the game. Quez Watkins continued to be a speedy third option, his longest catch was 16 yards. He got banged up at one point and Zach Pascal filled in for him. Jack Stoll filled into Goedert’s shoes nicely, catching all three of his targets for 41 yards while Grant Calcaterra caught his one target for a big gain of 19 yards on the Eagles’ ninth drive.