Week 7 Game Recap: Tennessee Titans 10, Arizona Cardinals 20
What you need to know
The Titans started backup QB Billy Volek due to an injured QB Steve McNair, and the injuries kept on coming.
RB Chris Brown was hit hard in the second quarter, jarring both his right shoulder and the ball loose. Brown left the game with a shoulder stinger and was later seen in street clothes on the sidelines.
In the fourth quarter, Volek and WR Brandon Jones both were hurt on the same play. Volek left the game with a concussion, and Jones with a knee sprain. Both will be evaluated early in the week.
HC Jeff Fisher turned the ball carrying duties over to rookie RB Jarrett Payton. Payton did not perform very well, gaining just 30 yards on 12 carries and failing to gain a single first down rushing. Payton was the clear backup to Chris Brown, but that is likely to change when RB Travis Henry returns from his suspension.
QB Volek had a modest performance, passing for just under 200 yards and a score. He was later replaced by third string QB Matt Mauck in the fourth quarter after his injury.
QB Josh McCown started once again, but he failed to post statistics anything like his performances before the bye. McCown completed less than 50% of his passes as he was both pressured and made bad decisions as to where to throw the ball. McCown threw into double coverage and tight coverage, and both his starting WRs had bad games as a result.
WR Anquan Boldin failed to make a catch for the first time this season, and WR Larry Fitzgerald salvaged his day only by catching a 34 yard touchdown on his final reception.
The Cardinals continue to struggle running the ball, as rookie RB J.J. Arrington broke off the longest Arizona rush of the season for 32 yards in the second quarter. However the Cardinals managed just 23 more yards on their 21 other carries.
Arizona continues to rely on their defense and special teams to keep them in contests, and against Tennessee they did just that. CB David Macklin returned an interception for a touchdown, and a sack and fumble recovery in the final quarter by LB Karlos Dansby set up their other touchdown. PK Neil Rackers remains perfect for the season as he connected on his nineteenth and twentieth field goals this year.
What you ought to know
|QB Billy Volek, Pass: 18 - 32 - 198 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0|
Volek was named the starter for the injured QB Steve McNair on Saturday, and he was able to post average numbers. Volek’s downfall was the turnover, as he was victimized on a tipped ball in the second quarter that was returned for a touchdown. Volek also was sacked in the fourth quarter and fumbled. Arizona grabbed possession at the spot and scored their second touchdown just a few plays later.
Volek had to leave the game after the sack in which he fumbled. Officially the medical staff stated that Volek had a concussion.
|QB Matt Mauck, Pass: 8 - 13 - 71 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 20 - 0|
Mauck came in with 5:20 to play in the game as QB Billy Volek had to leave the game with a concussion. Down ten points, Mauck tried to mount a comeback, running and throwing as much as he could. Mauck scrambled and threw the ball around enough to put the Titans into the red zone, but they failed to convert on a key fourth down that ended the comeback attempt.
McNair did not play (nor did he make the trip to Arizona) due to back troubles.
Payton touched the ball just twice before the injury to starting RB Chris Brown, and then quickly became the featured back. Payton filled in as best he could, but performed as an average runner at best. He touched the ball 14 total times, gaining just 35 yards. Nine of his touches went for three yards or less, and his longest play went for only eight yards. Most notably Payton failed to gain a single rushing first down.
Payton is clearly the second back of choice in Tennessee at the moment behind Chris Brown, but that all will likely change once RB Travis Henry returns this week.
Brown played into the second quarter before leaving with a stinger in his right shoulder. He left the game and returned to the sideline in street clothes in the second half.
Brown had an average day, gaining 37 yards on ten carries but it could have been much better. He lost his biggest gainers due to penalties, as he broke both a 21 and 26 yard gain that were reduced to just two yards and zero yards, respectively. He also put the ball on the ground on his last carry, the same play in which he injured his shoulder.
Henry is due back for week 8 from a four game suspension.
Calico was most active during the final drive, as he was looked at four times by third string quarterback Matt Mauck. Calico caught two passes in the first half for just 15 yards. He added four short catches of between seven and 11 yards in the fourth quarter. Three of his targets were on deep balls that would have all been catches of at least 25 yards. Calico reeled in the first of the three, a 30 yard toss from QB Billy Volek in the second quarter, but his second foot was out of bounds.
Williams came off the sideline and was active in the passing game only in the fourth quarter. He was targeted seven times, catching five of them for short and medium yardage. Williams’ longest reception was for 16 yards.
Jones started with a bang, catching a 38 yard heave from QB Billy Volek in stride in the middle of the end zone for the only Tennessee touchdown in the game. Unfortunately for Jones, the rest of the game was a disappointment. Jones was targeted on a deep ball in the second quarter but was double covered and was lucky to prevent an interception. The luck ran out on his next target, as the Cardinals’ defense tipped the ball and intercepted the pass, running it back for a touchdown.
Jones added a 12 yard catch in the second quarter, but that was his last reception. Jones’ last opportunity was on a short fourth down pass attempt in the third quarter, but the ball was thrown too short for him to make the catch. Jones came up lame in the fourth quarter with a sprained right knee.
Roby caught just one pass, a 31 yard gain in the fourth quarter. Roby added a seven yard catch on his next target, but the reception was nullified by a penalty. His last chance was an overthrow in the end zone. Three of his four targets were in the final quarter.
Kinney continued to be one of the leading receivers for the Titans, as he caught five passes for 60 yards. Kinney had at least one target in every quarter, and he was able to catch every target except for the last one. Three of his catches were for over ten yards.
Troupe caught three passes early in the game, gaining 15 yards before halftime. He was targeted three more times in the third quarter, but only the last one was catchable, and he dropped it.
Scaife continues to be the third TE for the Titans, but in their offensive scheme all the Titan TEs get chances. Scaife caught the first two of his chances for nine and five yards, respectively. The third was knocked away by the defense, and the fourth was a short pass that comically hit him in the facemask.
Bironas made his only official field goal, a long kick of 53 yards in the first quarter. He was about to attempt a 33 yard kick in the fourth, but the snap was bad. Tennessee’s normal long snapper Ken Amato was out with an injury, and the backup (Robert Reynolds) made a bad snap on the try. Bironas grabbed the ball and tried to run, but was quickly tackled.
Tennessee gave up a 31 yard run to RB J.J. Arrington on his first carry, but held Arizona to just 23 yards on their other 21 carries. The Titans gave up just two rushing first downs and also recovered a fumble.
Arizona gained just 140 gross yards passing and just five first downs. Only a fourth quarter touchdown pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald marred their performance, as the Titans sacked QB Josh McCown four times and grabbed an interception.
|QB Josh McCown, Pass: 12 - 28 - 140 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0|
McCown followed up his two stellar performances before the bye week with a lackluster performance. Completing just 43% of his passes, he could not get his two leading receivers involved in the game until the end. WR Anquan Boldin failed to catch a ball for the first time all year, and WR Larry Fitzgerald’s final catch and run for a touchdown salvaged a rather pedestrian performance to that point.
McCown was under significant pass pressure most of the game, getting sacked four times. Many of his passes were defended or tipped, yet that was also partially due to McCown’s poor decisions of where to throw the ball. He often threw the ball either up for grabs or into double coverage.
With HC Dennis Green not officially naming McCown the starter until game day, McCown seemed to play as if he was still under the microscope and on a short leash. QB Kurt Warner said that he was able to go this week, and he was throwing a bit before the second half started. Despite the bad performance, McCown took every snap for the Cardinals.
|RB Marcel Shipp, Rush: 14 - 8 - 0, Rec: 3 - 34 - 0 (4 targets)|
Shipp was most active as a runner, but was far more productive as a receiver. The running back tried to get the dormant running game going, but averaged less than a yard per carry. Four of his rushes were for a loss, and his longest run was for just five yards.
Shipp caught three passes for the game, including two in the first quarter. The first two were for 11 and 16 yards and a first down each. He added a seven yard catch before halftime, but his final target in the third quarter was a throwaway by QB McCown to avoid a sack on a poorly set up screen attempt.
Arrington ripped off the longest run by any Cardinal this year on his first carry, a 32 yard run. However, his next four rushes amounted to minus two yards. He also added two short catches for a total of seven yards.
Ayanbadejo had two targets in the second half, including a nine yard reception that was overturned due to a penalty.
Fitzgerald had a miserable first half, as he caught just one pass for four yards. After halftime, he added two catches in the third quarter for 33 yards, but then failed to catch his next three targets.
Fitzgerald finished the game on the highest of high notes, catching a ball in stride and taking it all the way for a 34 yard touchdown.
Boldin failed to make a catch for the first time all year. He was targeted five times and was close on a few occasions to making the reception. The first of three targets in the fourth quarter bounced off his hands on a medium length pass of about 15 yards. His next target was caught 35 yards from scrimmage, but Boldin only had one foot in bounds. His final opportunity was a juggling reception that might have been ruled a catch on replay, but the Cardinals committed a penalty so the play never had a chance.
Johnson was targeted three times in the third quarter. He caught the first two, for nine and 12 yards each. Johnson did not make the grab on the final target as he was pulled down by CB Pacman Jones, but he did get a five yard pass interference call on the play.
Lee had two targets before halftime, including one that was tipped away in the end zone in the second quarter.
Bergen caught one ball for seven yards in the first quarter.
Rackers remains perfect for the season, making two short field goals of 33 and 24 yards.
RB Chris Brown was forced from the game in the second quarter, and that was the end of an already anemic run game for the Titans. Tennessee finished with 90 yards and just three first downs rushing, 20 of which were gained on the final drive when the Cardinals were in a prevent defense.
Arizona held QB Billy Volek to under 200 yards passing and just one touchdown, but more importantly they created turnovers. Arizona returned their one interception 60 yards for a touchdown, and later added a fumble recovery on a sack that set up their second touchdown.