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Lions at Titans: Final Game Grades and Analysis for Tennessee's Week 3 Game

Marlon MaloneyCorrespondent ISeptember 25, 2016

Lions at Titans: Final Game Grades and Analysis for Tennessee's Week 3 Game

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    The Titans did everything they could to win this game. The Titans did everything they could to lose this game. It all depends on how you want to look at things.

    In perhaps the craziest and most entertaining game in recent NFL history the Titans win this incredible game 44-41. With the win, Tennessee improves to 1-2 while the Lions fall to the same record.

    Click through to see the Titans' final post game grades and analysis. 

Jake Locker

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    Overall Game Grade - A

    The Titans offensive hopes rest solely on the second-year quarterback's shoulders for the third consecutive game. This time, Locker responded with career highs in yardage and completions, finishing the day 29/42 378 yards 2 TDs. Let's not forget his four carries for 35 yards rushing to lead the team either.

    Overtime - A-

    Locker put together a strong drive to put the Titans in field goal range after coming up just short of a finding the end zone.

    Q4 - A

    Locker has been great all day, but didn't see a lot of action in the quarter after a fumble by Kendall Wright. A bit of luck goes a long way on a 71-yard touchdown grab by Nate Washington you have to see to believe.

    Q3 - A

    Locker has been decisive on his throws, progressing through his reads quickly and being unafraid to go away from big-play opportunities. There have been very few poorly placed passes, drops are starting to add up though.

    Q2 - A

    Lots of checkdowns for the Titans' quarterback as he looks to complete another big play. Locker threw a 61-yard touchdown pass earlier in the quarter. Locker showed his open-field running on a 31-yard scramble.  

    Q1 - B+

    Jake Locker looks to have returned back to his week 1 form, completing his first seven passes of the game. The Titans' have gotten his confidence up with several short passes. His only real blunder has been a fumbled snap that ends up costing the Titans three points.

Offense

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    Overall Game Grade - B

    The nonexistent running game is what will hinder this offense throughout the season. The loss of Jared Cook took some time to adjust to, but Craig Stevens was able to step up and make several clutch receptions. As long as the receivers and tight ends are able to come up with timely receptions and the occasional big play, this is what we should expect from Tennessee offensively.

    Overtime - B

    The offense went through the arm of its starting quarterback in OT. Chris Johnson was a non-factor throughout the game. 

    Q4 - C+

    The offense has remained stagnant, picking up yards but not putting points on the board. A fumble by Wright cost the team early, but a huge touchdown by Washington swung things back in the Titans favor. The two plays end up canceling each other out as they both resulted in touchdowns.

    Q3 - C+

    The Titans offense has stalled out a bit in the third quarter after an injury to Jared Cook. The Lions have changed their defense to add an eighth man in the box and are playing man coverage. The Titans have been forced to go for field goals instead of tacking on touchdowns.

    Q2 - A-

    Not much going on for Chris Johnson and the running game. Jake Locker is the team's leading rusher again right now. The offensive line has done a great job of stopping the Lions scary pass rush from putting pressure on Locker, but the run blocking continues to be an issue.

    Q1 - B

    The Titans offense has been clicking with completions to several receivers. Kenny Britt looks healthy and ready to make a big play later in the game. Even Chris Johnson has been a plus with a couple nice gains on the way to the team's first score of the game.

Defense

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    Overall Game Grade - C+

    The defense did a great job of keeping Calvin Johnson under wraps in the first half, holding him to just one reception. However, the team appeared to switch to a deep cover 2, or shell defense, for the rest of the game and it resulted in several Lions' receivers finding themselves open. The run defense is still awful and will likely remain an issue for several weeks. 

    Overtime -  C+

    Bend but don't break, the theme continued and it worked in this instance but it's not one to live by.

    Q4 - C-

    Deep cover 2 continues to be the strategy and the Lions are eating it up. The poor tackling that plagued the team in the first two weeks of the season has reappeared as well. A stripped fumble return for a touchdown by Alterraun Verner put Tennessee ahead 41-27. Two overturned turnovers later and the Lions score two touchdowns, including a hail mary,  to tie it back up.

    Q3 - B-

    The Titans are reverting to strategies that clearly didn't work during the first two weeks of the season by playing safeties 20 yards down the field. Calvin Johnson has come to life for the Lions along with the rest of the team's offense. Mikel Leshoure is tearing it up on the ground as well.

    Q2 - A- 

    Remember last year when the Titans weren't so concerned about yards allowed, but were a top-10 defense in points allowed. This year's defense is looking awfully reminiscent. Everything is being kept in front of them and the Lions haven't been able to hit any big plays.

    Q1 - B+

    Fans wary of getting blown out of the water by Calvin Johnson and the Lions offense have been pleasantly surprised so far. Calvin has been held without a catch through the quarter. Jordan Babineaux has been inserted back into the starting lineup and made some big hits, including one that broke up a near catch by the Lions' CJ. They continue to struggle against the run and have not put much pressure on Stafford.

Special Teams

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    Overall Game Grade - A

    The Titans' special teams gave the team two huge touchdowns and Tennessee ended up needing both of them. Rob Bironas missed two field goals in a game for just the third time in his career and his made field goal streak ended at 18. The coverage units performed well yet again. 

    Overtime - A

    The special teams units did their jobs: Bironas made a chip shot, game-winning field goal and the coverage unit made sure there were big returns.

    Q4 - A-

    105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown is enough to merit the grade. The return by Reynaud couldn't have come at better time. The score tied the game up at 27. The unit did allow an onside kick recovery that ended up going for a touchdown.

    Q3 - C

    Two Rob Bironas missed field goals could be the reason for defeat if the Titans can't hold on to their lead in this one.

    Q2 - A+

    We've seen a lot more of the Lions special teams than the Titans. Rob Bironas came out and nailed a last-second 38-yard field goal to put the Titans ahead 20-9 at halftime. The kick and punt coverage have been of good quality.

    Q1 - A+

    The Music City Miracle makes its return on a punt this time. Darius Reynaud threw it across the field to a wide open Tommie Campbell for the Titans' go-ahead score.

Coaching

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    Overall Game Grade - B-

    If I could grade defensive coordinator Jerry Gray alone the coaching staff's grade would be much higher. The extremely passive approach that the Titans defense is playing with nearly cost Tennessee this game and will cost them games in the future. The offense worked out a few kinks and got it self going, but the play of CJ and the offensive line is still a work in progress.

    Overtime - B

    When it gets to overtime, you have to stick with what got you to that point no matter how ugly it looks. This time things went in the Titans' favor, but the coaching staff still has a lot of work to do.

    Q4 - B-

    Defensively, the coaching staff needs to come up with scheme that doesn't force the defense to be so passive for the duration of the half. The offense was designed to take what was given and find the big play when it shows itself. Alan Lowry, the special teams coach, put up two scores for the team on a punt and kickoff return.

    Q3 - B-

    The decision to have the Titans essentially play prevent defense is inexcusable, and the Titans offense has failed to adjust to the loss of Jared Cook.

    Q2 -  A

    Someone got angry during the week because the Titans are looking like a much more disciplined team today. The Titans are doing a much better job of wrapping up on defense and the offense is doing a solid job of staying on the field for a longer period of time after only holding the ball for 23 minutes in San Diego.

    Q1 - A

    The coaching staff appears to have simplified things a bit for the the players to allow them to stop thinking so much and just play. Several short route passing plays and a return to basics on defense have been beneficial through one.

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