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Titans-Buccaneers Game Notes


BIG NIGHT FOR TAYLOR: On the team's second offensive possession, wide receiver Taywan Taylor took a quick screen pass from Marcus Mariota and raced 47 yards for a touchdown. The extra point put the Titans ahead 7-3 with four minutes remaining in the first quarter. During the opening drive of the third quarter, he recorded a 16-yard catch, a 29-yard catch and finally a three-yard touchdown reception on a pass from Blaine Gabbert. He finished the night with team highs of four receptions and 95 receiving yards. Taylor, a third-round pick in 2017, posted 231 yards and one touchdown on 16 catches as a rookie.

STARTING OFFENSE SCORES ANOTHER TD: Led by Marcus Mariota, the Titans starting offense drove for a touchdown for the second consecutive preseason contest. They did so on their only series the prior week at Green Bay. On the unit's second possession against the Buccaneers, the offense drove 75 yards on six plays, including Taywan Taylor's 47-yard touchdown reception.

MARIOTA'S NUMBERS: Starting quarterback Marcus Mariota played two series, completing four of seven passes for 80 yards and one touchdown with a passer rating of 136.9. His two-game preseason totals include six completions, 122 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 142.5 passer rating on 10 passing attempts.

LEWIS MAKES IMPACT IN PASSING GAME: One of the Titans' key 2018 free agent signees, former Patriots running back Dion Lewis, made a significant impact in the passing game during the team's first-quarter touchdown drive. Within a span of three snaps, the seventh-year pro turned short passes from Marcus Mariota into gains of 10 and 16 yards. Two plays later, the offense reached the end zone.

DAVIS DEBUTS: After missing the first preseason game at Green Bay, second-year wide receiver Cory Davis made his preseason debut. The 2017 first-round pick entered the game during the first series but did not catch a pass.

GABBERT LEADS SECOND-HALF SCORING DRIVE: To begin the third quarter, backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert directed a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that included a three-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Taywan Taylor. Gabbert's game totals included 10-of-16 passing for 116 yards and a touchdown, amounting to a passer rating of 105.2.

STARTING DEFENSE: Many of the defensive starters played three series in the first quarter. They allowed only a field goal and 89 total yards on those three drives, including a three-and-out on the game's opening series.

SACK CONTINUES PRESEASON SURGE BY BROWN: Late in the second quarter, linebacker Jayon Brown recorded a 13-yard sack of Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston. Brown's game totals also included a team-high seven tackles. Brown had an interception in the first preseason game at Green Bay.

SPILLANE AMONG LEADERS AGAIN: Undrafted rookie linebacker Robert Spillane led the Titans with eight tackles in the preseason opener at Green Bay. Against the Buccaneers, he ranked second on the squad with six tackles to give him a team-leading total of 14 stops through two weeks.

BIG RETURN: Late in the first half, undrafted rookie wide receiver Cameron Batson returned a kickoff 44 yards. It came a week after the Titans got a 64-yard kickoff return from another undrafted rookie, running back Akrum Wadley. Against the Buccaneers, Batson totaled 65 yards on two kickoff returns and added a 12-yard punt return.

NOT IN ACTION: Among the players who did not play against the Buccaneers were wide receivers Michael Campanaro and Rishard Matthews (PUP); defensive backs Malcolm Butler, Kalan Reed and Dane Cruikshank; linebackers Rashaan Evans and Wesley Woodyard; offensive lineman Jack Conklin (PUP); tight end Delanie Walker; and defensive lineman Brian Orakpo.

CAPTAINS: The Titans game captains were defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, cornerback Logan Ryan, running back Dion Lewis, guard Quinton Spain, wide receiver Cory Davis and safety Brynden Trawick.

The Tennessee Titans prepare to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the the second preseason game for both teams Saturday night at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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