NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans' 27-23 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasn't a pretty one, as they had just 246 yards of offense and made some questionable decisions, but they came through when it mattered most. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill, with help from the Titans defense, was able to help the team come out on top where it mattered most: the scoreboard.
Describe the game in two words: Nail biter. The Titans went for a fake field goal with 3:45 to play, but instead called a fake and punter Brett Kern took off on a run. He was hit short of the first-down marker and fumbled, and the Bucs had recovered and took off in the other direction, but the Titans were saved by a quick whistle by one of the officials.
The Titans managed to take an early lead thanks to two turnovers that gave them the ball in the red zone. It seemed like Tennessee was on its way to an easy win, but Jameis Winston and Mike Evans had different plans to end the first half. Winston hit Evans four times for a 82 yards and a touchdown on Tampa's final drive. That made the score 17-15. The game remained close until the Titans stopped the Bucs on fourth-and-1 with just over two minutes left in the game.
Promising trend: The Titans continue to win the turnover battle. Last week they didn't turn the ball over but got an interception. This week, two turnovers led to 14 points for Tennessee. Malcolm Butler had an interception, Harold Landry had a strip sack and recovery, and the special-teams unit recovered a muffed punt. The Titans lost a fumble by Derrick Henry but still had a 4-1 turnover ratio.
Buy breakout performance: Tight end Jonnu Smith has stepped up with Delanie Walker out because of an ankle injury. He opened up the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown catch and showed himself to be a sure-handed pass-catcher by consistently catching the ball in traffic.
QB breakdown: Tannehill wasn't highly productive by box-score standards, but he did a solid job working the pocket and staying on schedule with his throws. He found Anthony Firkser for a 23-yard gain on a third-& long in addition to finding Adam Humphries on quick passes for a couple of first downs as well. Tannehill finished with three touchdowns passes.
Pivotal play: Henry broke off a nine-yard run on the Titans first drive of the second half but had the ball punched out. Vernon Hargreaves recovered the fumble for the Bucs. Winston promptly hit Evans for a 43-yard gain on the next play. Evans caught a 2-yard touchdown pass three plays later to give the Bucs the lead.