The Titans' new starting QB completed 23 of his 29 pass attempts for 312 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked only twice on the day. Tennessee gained a total of 403 yards as they squeaked out a 23-20 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
A questionable decision by Titans coach Mike Vrabel to go for it on fourth-and-short at the Chargers' 49-yard line with 2:34 left in the game almost blew up in his face. The Titans failed to convert and QB Philip Rivers guided Los Angeles into scoring position. But Titans LB Wesley Woodyard stripped the ball from Melvin Gordon on the 1-yard line and the Titans recovered to seal the win.
QB breakdown: Tannehill, in his first start in Tennessee, looked excellent against the Chargers. As anticipated, he was more decisive with the football then Marcus Mariota, who lost the starting job. Most of Tannehill's throws were shorter passes, but his receivers did the work for him by gaining yards after the catch. Tannehill was on time with the passes and very accurate. His best throws were both to WR Corey Davis. One was a 38-yard gain in which Tannehill threaded the ball just past the safety and in front of the cornerback covering Davis on the in-breaking route. Tannehill's first touchdown pass was a good one, too. He managed to fit the ball to Davis between two defenders in the end zone for an 8-yard score.
Describe the game in two words: On schedule. The Titans' offense had a rhythm thanks to Tannehill making sure he got the ball out of his hands quickly. His touchdown pass to Davis was a good example of being decisive with the football and making a play.
Buy on a breakout performance: Tannehill's play is something to build on. He spread the ball around to various receivers. The offense had a better look and feel to it, especially on third downs. WR Adam Humphries emerged as an option in the passing game, working the middle of the field. His 14-yard catch in the fourth quarter set up Tajae Sharpe's touchdown catch.
First-rounder Jeffery Simmons also made his presence felt in his first action as a pro. Simmons had a sack in the third quarter and consistently got pressure on Rivers. He forced an overthrow on one of his first snaps.
Promising trend: Quicker throws led to fewer sacks and pressures. Chargers pass-rusher Joey Bosa had an outstanding day, posting two sacks, but those were the only QB takedowns on the day. Tannehill will need to continue to quickly get rid of the ball next week against the Bucs, who feature Shaq Barrett and his nine sacks.
Eye-popping NextGen stat: Before Davis' 8-yard TD with 23 seconds remaining in the first half, Tennessee had scored a total of two points in the last two minutes of either half this season, fewest in the NFL. Mariota had completed just 44% of his passes with no TDs and an interception with less than two minutes remaining in either half this season.