Sloppy. Slick. Shaky. There are a lot of descriptors for the game between the Titans and Texans this past Sunday. One word it wasn’t especially for the Titans? Smooth. Their offense couldn’t get out of its own way in big moments, while the Texans capitalized on their mistakes. The defense played very well once again, regardless of the final score.
Defensive Dominance Continues
Nonetheless, the defense for the Titans certainly was not the issue. In reality, they dominated for most of the game. Turnovers by the offense simply put them in too many difficult positions in their own territory. It took a downpour of rain and Ryan Tannehill interceptions to give Houston any shot to win the game.
Those happened, though. They will absolutely overshadow a performance from the Titans’ defense that continued a streak of elite play by the unit. The Titans outgunned the Texans in yardage 420-190 for the game. The Texans averaged a measly 3.1 yards per play.
Harold Landry shined again with a couple of tackles for loss, and rookie cornerback Elijah Molden flashed often with some impact plays in both the rushing and passing game. It may have been his best game so far this season.
Elijah Molden laying the wood 💥 @ElijahMolden24
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) November 21, 2021
Costly Turnovers from Tannehill
Like I mentioned earlier, the only times they showed chinks in the armor were when they were put in tough spots by the offense.
One turnover resulted in a Tyrod Taylor rushing touchdown. Another gave the Texans a chip shot field goal late in the fourth quarter to seal the game. Those two were the most costly. Alas, the entire defense played a phenomenal second half, overall.
Texans had 13 points (of 22) off turnovers & only gained 1 total yards on those scores.
Without the 5 turnovers we’d be focusing on another great defensive performance.
— Austin Stanley (@AustinStanley81) November 22, 2021
Stats like these are important because they provide context. It is context that a casual watcher may not catch because a game like this can be infuriating for fans. Even in a disappointing and somewhat embarrassing loss, the part of the team that has carried them for parts of the season continued to do their thing.
Plus, it seems like even more reinforcements are on the way soon. CB Jackrabbit Jenkins was a late scratch, but his injury does not seem to be a long term one. Additionally, the return of David Long Jr. only evaluates the talent in the front seven. That unit is one of the best in the league right now.
The defense’s longevity and consistency should be the biggest takeaways for Titans fans even after this type of loss to an inferior foe.
Featured Image via USA TODAY-Sports