Monday Night Observations

What a crazy game. The Titans were on the ropes, down 7-0 with the Cowboys 1st-and-goal on their four-yard line, but a run for a loss and a crushing interception later, suddenly the Titans were back in it. I was happy to see it because I had the Titans plus 6.5, and I had basically written it off.

• Marcus Mariota played a good game, his first since he removed the glove he used when he had lost feeling in his hand. He threw for 240 yards (8.3 YPA), two TDs, no picks and took four sacks in the face of a strong pass rush. He also ran for 32 yards and a score, but lost two fumbles.

• Dion Lewis had a big game – 19 carries for 62 yards and another four catches for 60 yards and a score. The rushing efficiency wasn’t great, but the Cowboys were often on him in the backfield, and he made some nice moves to get the most of it. Derrick Henry (6-25-1) also ran well, but Lewis is the primary ball carrier for now.

• Corey Davis (10-6-56) bounced back from a terrible game in London. It wasn’t much, but he made good catches in traffic, some of which converted key third downs. It was uncanny how many third-and-longs the Titans converted.

• Dak Prescott’s cosmetic stats were okay – 243 passing yards (7.8 YPA), two TDs and one pick – but he took five sacks (a couple of which were from holding the ball too long), his interception was the turning point in the game, and he also lost a fumble. Unlike Mariota, Prescott had decades to throw, but had trouble finding open receivers. The sacks mostly came late when Dallas was down and forced to throw. Prescott also committed the inexcusable sin of throwing the ball out of the end zone on 4th and 10, sealing the game. You have to throw it up for grabs there.

• Ezekiel Elliott (17-for-61)  ran hard as usual but saw the holes disappear in the second half as the Titans read the Cowboys predictable playcalling. He also caught four passes for 51 yards.

 Amari Cooper (8-5-68-1) had a successful debut, but not much of it was downfield. Still, he’s their No. 1 WR until further notice. Michael Gallup (6-3-51) looks like the No. 2 and Cole Beasley didn’t have any role under the final garbage-time drive. Allen Hurns caught a TD on a nice double move, but it was his only target.

• Ryan Succop’s missed 28-yard FG that would have put the Titans up 10 in the fourth quarter was ugly. Luckily for him, the defense had taken over the game at that point, and they didn’t need it.

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