Game Notes from Preseason Opener


SEVEN NEWCOMERS START: Seven players who were added to the roster during the offseason started in the preseason opener.  In addition to second overall draft pick Marcus Mariota, six free agent signees received starts: wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, tackle Byron Bell, tight end Anthony Fasano, outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, safety Da'Norris Searcy and cornerback Perrish Cox.


STAT COLUMN:** The Titans were on the better end of several stats on the night, including total net yards (371 to 323), rushing yards (85 to 69), net passing yards (286 to 254), third downs (67 percent to 50 percent) and time of possession (33:02 to 26:58).

THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY: The Titans were able to keep drives going by having success on third down.  They converted six times on third down in nine tries (66.7 percent), including a crucial 26-yard completion from Marcus Mariota to running back Antonio Andrews on third down to set up a score.

COMPLETION PERCENTAGE: Four Titans quarterbacks combined to complete 85.2 percent of their passes against the Falcons, totaling 23 completions on 27 attempts.  Marcus Mariota went 7-of-8, Zach Mettenberger was 8-of-11, Charlie Whitehurst was 5-of-5, and Alex Tanney was 3-of-3.  The group's final stats also included 300 combined gross passing yards.


MARIOTA'S PRESEASON DEBUT:Rookie quarterback Marcus Mariotamade his NFL preseason debut and went 7-of-8 for 94 yards and a passer rating of 76.0.  His first pass of the preseason was complete toHarry Douglasfor 12 yards.  Although his first two possessions ended with an interception and a lost fumble, respectively, on his third drive he was a perfect 5-for-5 for 78 yards, including a 26-yard toss toAntonio Andrewsto set up a touchdown on the next play.  The touchdown drive took 10 plays and covered 80 yards.  Mariota led the first-unit offense for 19 total plays in three drives, lasting into the second quarter before giving way toZach Mettenberger**.     


METTTENBERGER'S NIGHT:Second-year quarterbackZach Mettenberger** played from the second quarter into the third quarter.  He led the team to touchdowns on two of his three series and completed 8-of-11 passes for 129 yards.  He threw an interception and a touchdown pass and recorded a passer rating of 104.0.       

DOUGLAS MAKES TRIUMPHANT RETURN: Titans wide receiver Harry Douglas made his first appearance in a Titans uniform, but he was in familiar territory.  Douglas was signed by the Titans as an unrestricted free agent during the offseason after playing his first seven seasons with the Falcons.  Against his former team, he caught three passes for 46 yards in the first half.


COBB SHINES IN DEBUT:Fifth-round pickDavid Cobb** waited until the second half to get his first rushing attempt of the preseason, but he made the most of his chances.  He began the second half with five carries in the first six plays, accounting for 35 yards to key the start of the touchdown drive.  Cobb recorded a team-high 53 yards on 11 attempts for the game.

ANDREWS MAKES KEY PLAYS, SCORES EIGHT: Second-year running back Antonio Andrews turned in a key performance, collecting 13 yards and a touchdown on four rushing attempts and adding two receptions for 25 yards.  The former undrafted free agent from Western Kentucky helped set up the team's first score with a 26-yard catch in the second quarter.  In the third stanza, he rumbled into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown run and then rushed for the two-point conversion. 


GREEN-BECKHAM MAKES A BIG CATCH:Second-round pickDorial Green-Beckhamentered the game at the 9:25 mark in the second quarter.  Although he was targeted only once, he snared the pass fromZach Mettenbergerfor a 32-yard gain, matching Titans tight endPhillip Supernaw** for the longest play of the game by either team. Green-Beckham had not participated in live action in a game since the 2013 season at the University of Missouri. 

FORD GETS MOST RETURNS: In the battle for the team's return roles, most of the action at Atlanta went to veteran newcomer Jacoby Ford.  He returned three kickoffs for 75 yards (25.0 average) and added one punt return for five yards.  Other than Ford, rookie receiver Tre McBride notched a punt return (three yard) and a kickoff return (29 yards).  Running back Dexter McCluster chipped in a punt return for no yards.    


The Titans kick off their 2015 preseason against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. (Donn JOnes Photography, AP Photos)

SENSABAUGH RECORDS INTERCEPTION:**Coty Sensabaugh started at cornerback in place of the injured Jason McCourty.  In the second quarter, Sensabaugh recorded an interception and nine-yard return.  It was his first interception in any preseason or regular season game since entering the NFL in 2012.

TITANS SCRATCHES: The Titans had four players ruled out before the game due to injuries: outside linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi, cornerback Jason McCourty, nose tackle Sammie Hill, cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson and tight end Delanie Walker.


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