The Tennessee Titans won over the Dallas Cowboys 28-14 on Monday after losing their previous three games.
After two turnovers early in the game, Marcus Mariota ended up throwing two touchdowns and rushing for a third, putting the Titans in second place (behind Houston, who are 6-3) in the AFC South after a rough several weeks. He completed 21-of-29 passes for 240 yards.
“This was an all-out effort by everybody,” said Mariota. “We’ve just got to take it week to week.”
The Titans seem to finally be coming together. Mariota’s receivers are more responsive, and the whole team played better. Jonnu Smith even had a touchdown reception on a shuffle pass, his first touchdown this season.
Tennessee ran for 125 yards against the Dallas defense- they had to keep them guessing in order to make progress.
“It was tough in the beginning, but we just stuck with it,” Dion Lewis said. “It helped the passing game. As an offense, we just have to keep working.”
The offense has been an issue for the Titans, and they’ll be put to the test on Sunday against the New England Patriots, whose defense has been their Achilles’ heel thus far, but has improved.
Not only that, but Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is actually one of New England head coach Bill Belichick’s former players.This is the first time Belichick will be coaching against a former player in his entire 19 years coaching the Patriots. He played for the Patriots from 2001-2008, and then coached for Ohio State and the Houston Texans before landing the job with Tennessee.
Both Belichick and former teammate Tom Brady had kind words about Vrabel. They recognized his talent and success
“I think the game comes fairly easily to him in terms of understanding concepts and situations and things like that,” Belichick said. “He was a great player here, one that hopefully will be recognized into the Patriots Hall of Fame.
Brady, who is astonishingly old enough to have played alongside Vrabel, said they’ve been friends for 20 years and still keep in touch.
“I love hanging with him, and I’m sure those guys in Tennessee love playing for him,” said Brady. “It’s going to be a great game.”
Sunday afternoon’s game will surely be an interesting one. A student has become a master and will go head-to-head against his former instructor.