Titans Walk-Off Over Eagles in OT
(973espn.com) - Three different fourth-down conversions on the final possession of the game ultimately led to 10-yard walk-off touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota to Corey Davis as the Tennessee Titans earned a 26-23 overtime win over the Eagles.
The Philadelphia defense had an opportunity to end things after a 37-yard Jake Elliott field goal, his third of the game, put the Eagles (2-2) on top 23-20 and needing a stop to win.
It should have come on 4th-and-15 but Taywan Taylor snuck behind Corey Graham, starting at safety for the injured Rodney McLeod, for a 19-yard conversion at midfield.
Graham called the hiccup "bad situational football" after the game.
The Birds were celebrating four plays later, however, until yellow was spotted on the field as Sidney Jones hooked Nick Williams, resulting in a pass interference call which gave the Titans (3-1) new life at the Philadelphia 40-yard line.
Consecutive negative plays for Tennessee -- a 4-yard stuff of Derrick Henry by Malcolm Jenkins and a 5-yard Haloti Ngata sack -- again had the Eagles on the cusp of victory until Mariota scrambled up the middle for 17 yards, setting up a 4th-and-2.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel originally sent Ryan Succop on the field before reevaluating things and deciding he didn't show up for a tie and trotted Mariota back on the field, who converted again with a pass to the shifty Dion Lewis, who rumbled to the Philadelphia 15.
Moments later, the 5-foot-9 Avonte Maddox slipped a bit in coverage and Mariota took advantage with a toss to the lengthy Davis for the win.
Maddox was playing safety in the team's dime package, the first time he's ever played the position but the tweak was necessary in the wake of McLeod's injury, which is likely a season-ender.
Maddox recorded his first NFL interception earlier in the game but claimed that meant nothing to him because the Eagles lost.
Mariota had one of his best games as a professional against an Eagles defense which continues to struggle on the road when compared to its home dominance. He finished with 344 yards passing and added 46 more on the ground, which accounted for nearly all of the Tennessee offense.
In his second week back from ACL/LCL knee surgery Carson Wentz was also very good for the Eagles, completing 33-of-50 passes for 348 yards and two TDs.
Jay Ajayi returned from a one-game absence due to a transverse process fracture in his back to pace the running game with 70 yards on 15 carries while Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery were the stars in the receiving game.
Ertz caught 10 of 14 targets for 112 yards while Jeffery was brilliant playing for the first time this season after offseason shoulder surgery, hauling in eight of nine targets for 105 yards and a 16-yard scoring pass.
The main issues were protection against the Titans multiple fronts and the defense giving up big plays to an offense that came in with just four explosive plays (20-plus yards) in their first three games of the season, fewest in the NFL.
“You have to hate this feeling more than you enjoy winning,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen