Yesterday was without a doubt a major victory for the Tennessee Titans. The Seattle Seahawks came in at 1-1 and needed this win. Their defense has been tasked with lifting their disastrous offense. The Titans exotic smash mouth offense gave the Seattle defense a favorable matchup considering that the run game seemed limited because DeMarco Murray was dealing with hamstring issues. Corey Davis wasn’t available due to his own hamstring issues, giving the Seattle secondary one less receiver to worry about. The Titans were able to overcome all of that because Mike Mularkey‘s “exotic smash mouth” style wore down the defense. The Titans put up 33 points on the Seattle defense and give the team their biggest win of the season.
The “exotic smash mouth” style is essentially using the ground and pound run game to create explosive plays downfield. It seems baffling that the Titans would invest so heavily in the run game given that the NFL is pass-heavy. DeMarco Murray had 115 yards which included a 75-yard touchdown and that wore down the Seattle front seven. Marcus Mariota threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns, he also rushed for 27 yards. The Titans offense struggled early but due to the “exotic smash mouth” Mariota was able to make plays through the air.
Seattle struggled with penalties netting 98 yards worth of them including one by Richard Sherman that eliminated a would be Kam Chancellor interception. The line woes continued for Seattle as the running game netted a total of 69 yards. Russell Wilson exploded for 373 yards and four touchdowns but the Titans were able to chew up the clock. This is a huge win for the Mularkey era and re-establishes the Titans as a contender. Houston represents their next major challenge. For now, the Titans can celebrate a victory against one of the league’s premier defenses.