Titans

Tennessee Titans: 3 takeaways from Sunday’s victory over the Vikings

  • Adoree Jackson
  • isaiah wilson
  • Stephen Gostkowski
  • Tennessee Titans
By Shaun Calderon September 29, 2020 0 Comment

The Tennessee Titans won a 31-30 nail-biter over the Minnesota Vikings . Here are are some of the biggest takeaways from Sunday’s victory.

Takeaway 1: Team NEEDS Adoree’ Jackson to return ASAP

As amazing as being 3-0 for the first time since 2008 feels, Tennessee Titans fans everywhere know that this team is far from flawless. The defense in particular is responsible for a lot of these games being closer than we’d like. Fortunately, the Titans have someone on IR who has experience of saving a sinking ship.

The absence of Titans’ cornerback Adoree’ Jackson has been drastically felt through the first three weeks. The defense let Gardner Minshew carve them up in a nail-biting Week two 33-30 victory. Minshew followed that performance with a dud against the Miami Dolphins. Oppositely, Kirk Cousins turned in one of the worst performances of his career against the Indianapolis Colts last week. Only to look like pro bowler against Tennessee one week later. After looking relatively stout against the Denver Broncos, this defense has had an unfortunate reality check these last two weeks.

Injury history

The defense needs a healthy Adoree’ Jackson in the lineup in order to be the balanced team they strive to be. Last season Adoree’ dealt with a foot injury that sidelined him for Tennessee’s Week eight matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He then suffered a knee injury a few weeks later during the teams’ victory over the Colts. That injury ultimately caused him to miss Weeks 14-17 and his absence was felt just as much then, as it is now.

In games in which Jackson started for the Titans last season, the team allowed 19.3 points per game. When Tennessee’s top corner was inactive, the team allowed 24 points per game. In fact, the Titans didn’t allow more than 20 points to any opponent prior to the game against the Bucs. A game in which Mike Evans ate the secondary alive for 198 yards and two touchdowns on 11 catches.

After battling with lingering lower body injuries for the last half of the season, the Titans finally got their star corner back in time for their playoff run. And as much as his absence was felt throughout the year, the impact upon his arrival was felt even more. The defense went from allowing an average of 24 PPG to just 12.5 in their two playoff wins.

Tremendous talent

He helped hold the New England Patriots offense to just 13 points during the wild card round. The USC product then played outstanding against the Ravens one week later and contributed to holding the most explosive offense in football to just 12 points. To say he was the sole reason for that defensive turnaround might be a stretch. But there is no denying that the backend of the defense gets much better anytime No. 25 is back there.

According to Pro Football Focus, Adoree’ Jackson finished his 2019 campaign as the eighth highest-graded cornerback in the league (79.9). He also graded as the 6th best cornerback in coverage last season (82.5). As well as finishing with the fifth highest grade out of all outside cornerbacks.

The front-seven has played relatively well this season. Once Tennessee gets their top corner back into the fold, this defense should start to come together to compliment an extremely potent offense. Adoree’ Jackson is eligible to come off the injured reserve list this week. Whether it happens this week or in a few weeks, the Titans will potentially get a difference maker at a position that definitely needs one right now.

Takeaway 2: Stephen Gostkowski is back

During the first takeaways article of the year, Stephen Gostkowski got chewed out for the vast majority of it. The article ended by saying:

“If Gostkowski does end up sticking around, he must make last night an anomaly and not his new norm in Tennessee. Otherwise, the Memphis alumnus will likely be enjoying his retirement sooner rather than later.”

Not only has Stephen Gostkowski made that performance into an anomaly. He has quickly become one of the most clutch players on the team. Gostkowski went from leaving 10 points on the board during the teams’ Week one nail-biting victory in Denver. To now producing 19 points in a single game and being the difference between a 3-0 to having a blemish on the loss column.

He made all six of his field goal attempts yesterday Including one extra point in what turned out to be a one-point victory over the Minnesota Vikings. In total, Gostkowski has made nine straight field goals since his nightmare in Denver. Three of those turned out to be game-winning field goals. The most recent being a 55-yarder that he drilled without a shred of doubt.

Stephen Gostkowski has earned the right to be this teams’ kicker. And after last Sunday, we should all feel confident that someone who has historically been one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history, is back to being just that.

Takeaway 3: Isaiah Wilson must be ready if Taylor Lewan is out

To say that the Titans’ rookie tackle has had a lackluster start to his career would be an understatement. Isaiah Wilson has found himself on the COVID Reserve list, twice. Whispers then got louder about Wilson severely struggling in camp.

According to a campus-police incident report, Wilson also received a trespass warning for attending a college party. The reports rated that he contemplated “jumping off the second-story balcony”.

And the worst one of them all, he received a DUI after blowing a .107 and .113 after being pulled over, exceeding Tennessee’s BAC limit of .08. Wilson lost control of his car while doing “donuts” in the intersection, resulting in him hitting a concrete wall, a witness said, according to the release.

Wilson’s tenure in Tennessee has been nothing short of concerning. It make take him some time to fight some of the demons he seems to be personally dealing with. Fortunately for him, he has the chance to turn the corner on the field which can undoubtedly help with everything else.

The Titans’ star left tackle Taylor Lewan suffered an undisclosed shoulder injury during yesterday’s win. If Lewan is to miss any significant time, the Titans may need their first-round rookie to turn the corner now more than ever.

His first on-field battle is to get back on the active roster as he is still on the COVID reserve list. That is something that you would imagine could happen sooner rather than later. One thing is for certain, if there was ever a time for Wilson to get back on the teams and fans’ good side, it’s now. And the only way to do that, is to be ready if/when that monstrous No. 79 is called upon.

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