Titans' wideouts thrive with Ryan Tannehill, as Tennessee puts up best offensive marks so far this season

The Tennessee Titans' 23-20 win over the Los Angeles Chargers was solidified by an impressive goal-line stand, as the Titans earned their first victory of this October. The Chargers ran three plays inside the Titans' 5-yard line with less than a minute left in the game, but the Titans forced a Melvin Gordon fumble, which sealed the deal.

The real story was what occurred on the other side of the ball, however, as backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill provided a spark for the Titans' offense in his first start, which has fans hopeful that the Titans can salvage what has been a disappointing season so far.

Tannehill completed 23 of 29 passes for 312 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on Sunday, as the Titans' passing attack looked as effective as it had all season with Marcus Mariota under center. Mariota hasn't throw for 312 or more yards in a game since Week 4 last season, and it took him four games to throw a touchdown to a wide receiver this year. Tannehill had two in his first game as the starter.

Former No. 5 overall pick Corey Davis recorded a season-high six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown against the Chargers, and finally started to look like the No. 1 receiver the Titans drafted him to be after he recorded just five catches for a combined 64 yards over the past two games. Rookie wideout A.J. Brown also had a season-high six catches for 64 yards. He's someone who has made the most of his limited touches so far this season, but Tannehill actually made it a point to get him the ball. 

"Ryan, he was leading in the huddle – he had a lot of confidence," Brown said of Tannehill, via the team's official website. "After every play, he was saying something positive, trying to keep us going no matter what.

"He was a general today."

The insertion of Tannehill into the starting lineup appears to be the only reason that the wide receivers finally started to have some success. It's hard to believe that Mike Vrabel would game plan around Tannehill and have him make different throws to his wideouts than Mariota did. Mariota was just uncomfortable in making some of the throws to the outside that Tannehill completed on Sunday, and he would rather just throw it to his tight ends or check down to the running backs. 

Tannehill finally got the offense humming. According to Titansonline.com, the Titans' offense engineered its longest drive of the season in terms of time and number of plays -- a 14-play, 85-yard drive which lasted just over seven minutes. That drive was capped off by a five-yard touchdown catch made by wide receiver Tajae Sharpe, his first of the season. The Titans also converted 54.5% of third downs, their best rate of the season, and recorded 403 offensive yards, the highest total as a team since last year. Additionally, Tennessee scored touchdowns on all three of their red-zone possessions. 

Vrabel made the decision to bench Mariota in favor of Tannehill to "spark" his team. That spark seemed to transfer over to the defensive side of the ball as well. The Titans' defense allowed only 39 rushing yards, which was the lowest total of the season by a Titans opponent and the lowest total since the Denver Broncos recorded 18 rushing yards back in 2016. 

It's just one game, but Tannehill came through for a struggling Titans team that failed to score a single point last week against the Broncos. 

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