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Tennessee Titans

Titans’ offensive woes showing little improvement

September 11 2016: Tennessee Titans Quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) during game action. The Tennessee Titans were defeated by the Minnesota Vikings 25-16 at LP Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tn. (Photo by Greg McWilliams/Icon Sportswire)
Greg McWilliams/Icon Sportswire

After three weeks of games, the Tennessee Titans need to be worried about their offense.

For the third straight week, the Titans failed to score more than 16 points and lost for the second time in three games, falling to the Oakland Raiders 17-10. Tennessee has scored just 42 points in three games, giving them an average of 14 points a game.

On Sunday, the Raiders’ defense, who gave up a combined 71 points in the first two weeks of the season to New Orleans and Atlanta, picked off two Marcus Mariota passes and held the Titans to just a field goal and a touchdown. Yes, tight end Delanie Walker and wide receiver Kendall Wright were out for Tennessee, but that doesn’t excuse how the Titans have looked the entire season up to this point.

Mariota had an abysmal afternoon, completing just 17 of his 33 passes for 214 yards and no touchdowns. Mariota did, for the most part, look better in the second half than he did to start, but he still had a sloppy game and failed to connect with receivers on multiple occasions.

Not to mention that the Titans converted just two of their 12 third-down attempts on offense against the Raiders, a defense that came into Sunday’s matchup allowing teams to convert 42.9 percent of their third downs.

The one piece of good news on offense the Titans can take away from their loss to the Raiders is that their run game looked solid for the second straight week. DeMarco Murray turned in his first 100-yard game as a Titan and scored his first rushing touchdown with his new team as well. The Titans combined to run for 181 yards on 29 carries as a team, with both Murray and rookie Derrick Henry looking sharp.

But other than that, the positives have been few and far between for Tennessee’s offense in this game and on the season.

Mariota has yet to turn in a truly stout performance in three games. The best he looked was against Detroit in Week 2, when he helped Tennessee secure their one and only victory thus far this season. But he’s been far too inconsistent so far.

Delanie Walker’s absence hurt Tennessee against the Raiders. Walker is a big part of what the Titans like and want to do on offense, and third-year player Jace Amaro filled in admirably. But Amaro is no Walker, and that element of the Titans’ passing game was sorely missed against Oakland.

Once again, however, that doesn’t explain away the issues Tennessee has had in their other games this season.

Tennessee’s defense has been a surprise so far this season. The Titans have limited the damage done by opposing offenses thus far, but the Titans’ offense isn’t rewarding them. On Sunday, the Titans’ defense contained Oakland quarterback Derek Carr and held the Raiders scoreless in the second half.

Aside from their third-quarter touchdown, though, the Titans’ offense couldn’t execute and complete the comeback.

Tennessee has a golden opportunity on their last possession of the game to tie it up. Mariota completed a pass to Tajae Sharpe down to Oakland’s three-yard line, but a penalty on lineman Taylor Lewan after the play pushed them back 15 yards. Then a few plays later, Mariota found Andre Johnson for a touchdown. But that play was called back on offensive pass interference.

Poor execution and inconsistent play have plagued the Titans through three games. And that should concern the coaching staff moving forward.

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