NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Titans defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 24-22 on Sunday in the week’s only matchup of 0-2 teams.
The Titans scored touchdowns on their first three offensive possessions and led by 14 at halftime. However, they did not clinch victory until the defense broke up a two-point conversion attempt, and Austin Hooper recovered an onside kick with 1:14 to play.
Here is a roundup of what Titans players and coaches said following the victory.
On being outscored 12-0 in the second half …
• Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel: “[We] just could never get anything going in the second half. The momentum really just switched, and they were able to convert, hit (explosive) plays or whatever it may be. We have to finish better. … We had to be anticipating some things would change at halftime. We just weren't able to make productive plays on first down and extend some drives.”
• Quarterback Ryan Tannehill: “We didn't come out and didn't execute well enough and didn't do things well in the second half. So, we'll take a look at it, see exactly what caused it. But, I think we can build on what we did in the first half, clean up some things there in the second half.”
• Running back Derrick Henry: “We just didn't execute. We will watch the film and do what we need to do better. We just didn't have the same first half production in the second half. We just need to be better coming in from the half. We weren’t moving the ball coming in. If we do that, we will have more success.”
• Center Ben Jones: “Yeah, we played great in the first half. We scored points I think on every drive but one. We’ve got to do it the second half. We’ve got to keep our foot down. We’ve got to start the first play on each drive with positive plays.”
On stopping the two-point conversion attempt with 1:14 remaining …
• Henry: “I'm very confident in the defense. Those guys have resiliency and they show it each and every week. We’ve got the guys out there that will make plays and (Kevin Byard) and all the other guys did what they need to do to stop that two point.”
• Vrabel: “Dylan [Cole] was able to make a play there at the end. Just a couple weeks ago he probably wishes he could have made a play on that same opportunity as that play. It was cool to see him be able to tip that ball and help us win.
On playing without left tackle Taylor Lewan, who is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury …
• Jones: “Every year we've had multiple guys go down. Taylor (Lewan) is a fighter. We never want to see something like that happen to one of our guys. He's one of our brothers. But it's always this mentality, ‘the next guy up,’ in this league. That's how guys get opportunities and you’ve got to take advantage of those.”
• Right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere: “What I'll say is that we all are ready for us to step up when the time is needed because that's the NFL. We've got to find a way to compete, whether you have guys here or guys gone. Taylor (Lewan) was on the sideline helping us out, so not only did we have him in terms of the past few weeks with him playing, but we also have him on the sideline helping me out, helping Dennis (Daley) out, helping every single one of us out in terms of pass protection, what he sees on the field. And that's just another coach that we get to help us out.”
• Vrabel: “We need everybody. Every injury is a loss but it's also an opportunity for somebody else. I'm sure Dennis [Daley] had some plays he would like back but he competed. I know we'll continue to work with him and get him into our program.”
On limiting the Raiders to two touchdowns in six red-zone opportunities …
• Safety Kevin Byard: “It was big for us as a defense to get off the field in the red zone because our offense kind of stalled a little bit, but we kind of put it upon ourselves that sometimes when offense - they’re not going to score every drive. They started out the game with three straight touchdowns. They gave us a little bit of cushion to be able to go out there and try to play some good defense.”
• Vrabel: “It takes some discipline. We kind of had who we had. We were trying to take a couple of guys away, we did that. To be able to get down in the red zone, force some turnovers and not panic was fantastic. We held them to just some field goals and got a turnover. It is going to go a long way this year if we can play red zone defense like that.”
On getting the first win of the season …
• Defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons: “It's really good. I consider each and every week – we want to be 1-0. I don't care about the record right now. All I know is we are 1-0 this week. And next week, we are going to try and be 1-0 again.”
• Tannehill: “We came out and we played with an attitude, played with an edge and found a way to win at the end of the day. That's all we were asking ourselves to do. That's all we're asking each other to do and I'm proud of our guys. We did that.”
• Cornerback Kristian Fulton: “Two 0-2 teams, and it is all about who is going to make the next play. You can't run us on a play that they made because they're going to make some. I feel like we fought until the end, and that's our mentality the whole year, to fight.”
Byard: “To end the game and get a W at home, it just feels great. That type of feeling in the locker room, that's something we want to continue to feel and keep building on that.”