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Week 4 Game Recap: Tennessee Titans 24, Atlanta Falcons 10


What you need to know

Tennessee Titans

This was the week of the tight end with the Saints throwing over 1/3 of their passes to the position. Unfortunately, Cook only caught 3 of his 6 targets and continues to struggle in the offense. His longest catch of the night went for 9 yards and he was out played by Josh Hill on the other side. Hill is normally a blocking tight end and has no business surpassing Cook in receiving yards. Cook has struggled in this offense both with and without Brees. If the Saints ever commit to using Taysom Hill at a single position, Cook could lose all of his value at tight end. He is going to need a big game in the coming weeks to regain trust in the Saints offense.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons defense missed tackles or good angles to the ball carrier on multiple first-half passes that resulted in big plays—touchdowns to A.J. Brown and Corey Davis. Starting right guard Jamon Brown suffered a concussion early in the second quarter and the line was forced to go with third-string guard Wes Schweitzer. Atlanta failed to convert three fourth-and-short plays in the game. Despite these issues, Austin Hooper thrived up the seam and in the flats on play-action passes. He routinely made the first man miss or broke the first tackle. Calvin Ridley didn’t earn a catch until the third quarter and Jones only had one catch in the second half. Devonta Freeman was active but his production was as inconsistent as his line play, which either opened big creases or allowed penetration behind the line of scrimmage.

Tennessee Titans

QB Marcus Mariota, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 27 - 227 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 22 - 0
Mariota had an incredible start to last week as he completed 14 of 19 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone. The vast majority of his throws were on target while Mariota looked poised in the pocket. His first touchdown came off play-action where Mariota threw a strike over midfield to A.J. Brown, setting up Brown to make a play as he took it to the end zone from 55 yards out. Mariota put an incredibly delicate touch on the second touchdown pass as he lofted the ball only where Brown could get it on the right side of the end zone, allowing Brown to haul in his second touchdown of the day. Mariota would complete another deep ball to Brown before hooking up with Corey Davis for his third touchdown of the day. The throw to Davis was well done, leading him perfectly towards the left sideline for Davis to make a move back to the right and power into the end zone. Mariota had a very quiet second half as the Titans leaned on Derrick Henry to protect a big lead.

RB Derrick Henry, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 27 - 100 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (2 targets)
Derrick Henry had a heavy workload from a favorable game script this week, rushing a season-high 27 times for 100 yards. This performance was predicated mainly on volume, as Henry sifted through a few negative gains and 0-5 yard runs. He did finish with a few chunk runs of note, including a 16-yard run late in the first quarter where Henry found the edge and accelerated down the sideline. Henry picked up 15 yards out of the wild cat late in the third quarter, highlighted by a big stiff arm and broken tackle as Henry found the edge. He followed that up with another big gain of 13 yards right up the middle on the very next play.

RB Dion Lewis, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 16 - 0, Rec: 4 - 4 - 0 (5 targets)
Dion Lewis finished with four receptions from five targets, but only four total yards. He is being used almost exclusively on screens which went absolutely nowhere. Three of his four receptions were for negative yardage, while his longest catch went for an 11-yard gain.

WR Corey Davis, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 91 - 1 (6 targets)
Davis hauled in the first catch of the game on a simple five-yard out route where he stiff-armed a defender to create a gain of 14 yards. His second catch came wide open underneath zone coverage. His third catch was a nice come-backer where Davis hauled it in despite tight coverage from Desmond Trufant. He then broke away from Trufant’s tackle attempt to pick up another five yards after the catch. Davis found the end zone on his next reception a few plays later on that drive as he made a nice cut after the catch on an out route, speeding around the Falcons defender before sprinting up the sideline for a 23-yard touchdown. His last reception came in the third quarter as Davis again found space in zone coverage to haul in a 16-yard gain over the middle.

WR A.J. Brown, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 94 - 2 (3 targets)
A.J. Brown had a big day where he would find the end zone for the first and second time in his NFL career. His first reception of the game was the biggest play of the day for any Titans player as Brown caught the ball in the middle of the field, made a slight fake to the right, then turned on the burners as he accelerated down the left side all the way to the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown reception. Brown’s next catch would also find the end zone as Mariota lofted it above the Falcons defender so Brown could jump up from the fade route and snag it on the right sideline of the end zone for the score. Brown’s final reception came near the start of the second quarter as he was wide open deep over the middle of the field, catching the pass in stride for a 30-yard gain.

WR Adam Humphries, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (3 targets)
Humphries made a critical catch on third down near the end of the first quarter, hauling in an eight-yard out route to keep what would end up being a Titans touchdown drive alive. His only other catch was a relatively inconsequential six-yard gain in the second quarter.

TE Delanie Walker, 20 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (2 targets)
Delanie Walker was held to just one reception for four yards as the Titans offense leaned on their wide receivers in this one.


Atlanta Falcons

QB Matt Ryan, 80 offensive snaps, Pass: 35 - 53 - 397 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 18 - 0
After moving Atlanta past midfield on a pair of drives, Ryan lost the ball while trying to avoid interior pressure during the Falcons’ third series. Starting right guard Jamon Brown suffered a concussion early in the second quarter and the line was forced to go with third-string guard Wes Schweitzer. He moved Atlanta up and down the field but all but one drive stalled out in Titans terriotyr in the first half. He dealt with consistent pressure early in the third quarter but a screen pass to Devonta Freeman and an over route to Mohamed Sanu got Atlanta into the red zone. Calvin Ridley and Sanu dropped red zone passes and forced another field goal attempt. Ryan was sacked for the third time on a 4th and 1 play-action pass late in the third quarter.

RB Devonta Freeman, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 28 - 0, Rec: 8 - 72 - 0 (9 targets)
He began the game with a patient run when his pulling guard was late to work around the line to his assignment, earning four on the play. Freeman earned three two series later on a play he bounced outside right end to the boundary. A few plays later, he earned two yards up the middle on 1st and 10. Freeman lost six yards when the left guard missed his pulling assignment early in the second quarter. He earned five yards on a check-down to the opposite side of the field in the middle of the second quarter and on the next play, found a big crease off left guard for a 10-yard gain. Freeman caught a check-down for a gain of five yards before exiting to the boundary. Freeman opened the third quarter with a screen pass for 22 yards, thanks to a good block to seal the inside so Freeman could work up the flat. On the next play, he got snowed under by multiple defenders after bouncing off two hits at the line and trying to bounce outside to open space. He earned eight yards off left guard from deep inside Atlanta’s territory in the middle of the third quarter and followed up with a short run for a first down. He earned nine yards on a check-down up the middle early in the fourth quarter. He earned a similar route for another nine on the next play. Freeman earned more opportunities in garbage time with a pair of check-downs.

RB Ito Smith, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 11 - 1, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (4 targets)
He took an I-formation, inside zone run for 10 yards up the middle to the Titans’ 1. He followed up with a score off right guard to tie the game. Ryan overshot Smith in the left flat on 1st and 10 with a lot of room up the left flat in the red zone. Pressure forced Ryan to hurry the throw. Smith earned a pair of check-downs in garbage-time.

WR Mohamed Sanu, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 91 - 0 (12 targets)
He drew a 32-yard pass interference penalty against the defense on a play-action throw-back early in the second series and put Atlanta across the 50 yard-line. Two plays later, Sanu earned nine yards in the middle of the field to reach the Titans’ 11 yard-line. Sanu came up a yard short in the middle of the field against zone coverage in the middle of the second quarter, which led to a 4th and 1 situation just past midfield. Ryan overshot Sanu up the middle on a vertical shot late in the second quarter. Good extension by Sanu on a 3rd and 5 later in the drive to earn the first down on a 3rd and 5. Sanu earned another target in the flat for six yards late in the half. He opened the third quarter with an over route in the open zone for 28 yards and got Atlanta into the red zone. Sanu dropped a post route in the end zone on 3rd and 20 and the ball bounced off Sanu’s hands. Sanu earned a 3rd and 16 pass for 15 over the middle late in the third quarter. Sanu begin another late-third-quarter drive with a seven-yard gain in the flat. Sanu converted a fourth down in the fourth quarter on a flat route in a tight window between zone defenders.

WR Julio Jones, 63 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 4 - 52 - 0 (7 targets)
Ryan was high of target on a comeback against Malcolm Butler during the opening possession. He earned 20 yards on a well run out route to begin the third series and got Atlanta near mid-field. He dropped a deflected pass on a crossing route in the middle of the second quarter. He followed up on the next play with a catch at the right sideline against tight coverage plastered to his back for the first down. The Titans stuffed Jones for a short gain on an end-around a few plays later. He made a catch of a lowtarget against tight coverage at the two-minute earning. Jones’ first catch of the second half came in the middle of the fourth quarter on a busted zone up the flat.

WR Calvin Ridley, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (6 targets)
Adoree Jackson tightly covered Ridley on a third-down target at the boundary and forced the incompletion and a subsequent punt. Ryan overshot Calvin Ridley on a deep post early in the second quarter. Ridley dropped a 2nd and 20 pass in the third quarter on a route breaking inside and back to the quarterback. He toasted Malcolm Butler for a dee pout in the middle of the third quarter. He caught an off-target receiver screen in the middle of the fourth quarter. He earned an eight-yard hook route deep in their territory with less than two minutes left.

WR Justin Hardy, 14 offensive snaps
He missed a block of the safety on a 4th and 1 late in the half that led to a turnover on downs.

TE Austin Hooper, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 130 - 0 (11 targets)
He earned a quick five yards in the flat to begin the second series. Ryan found Hooper up the seam a few plays later for 28 yards. Hooper was wide open against theTitans’ zone. Ryan threw the ball behind Hooper on a crossing route that should have been caught but arrived at an awkward angle early in the Falcons’ third series. Ryan went back to Hooper up the middle on third down for 16 yards in the middle of the Tennessee zone. He earned a settle route for 10up the middle just prior ot the two-minute warning. He hurdled a defender and extended for the first down in the flat after the two-minute warning. Later in the drive, Hooper gained nine in the same flat on a pass where Ryan took a hard shot while releasing the ball. He worked up the middle for 24 yards off a play-action pass into an empty zone, gaining 100 yards at that point in the game. Ryan tried to squeeze an over route to Hooper late in the third quarter but underthrew the pass. Hooper earned another 15 yards up the right seam on third down.

TE Luke Stocker, 24 offensive snaps (1 targets)
Stocker dropped a flat route in the red zone during Atlanta’s first drive in the second half.