NFL Football

24
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Tennessee 14 10 0 0 24
Atlanta 7 0 3 0 10
10
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST12:00 PM CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , September 29, 2019
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia  Attendance: 72,108

Titans-Falcons Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons

  1. The Falcons have won their last two games against the Titans to even the all-time series at 7-7. Tennessee is 4-0 against the NFC since the start of last season, having swept the NFC East in 2018. Meanwhile, Atlanta is 0-5 against the AFC since 2018, having been swept by the AFC North last season.
  2. The Titans lost to the Jaguars, 20-7, in Jacksonville last Thursday. Since the Titans' bye week in 2018 (Week 8), Tennessee is 1-5 against AFC South opponents and 6-0 against all other opponents, making it one of two teams who are undefeated against non-divisional opponents since then (Buffalo: 4-0).
  3. The Falcons fell to the Colts, 27-24, at Indianapolis in Week 3 despite converting on eight of 10 third downs. That is just the third time in the past 25 seasons a team has lost when converting 80.0 percent or more of its third down attempts, most recently the Chargers at Patriots in 2011 (83.3 percent).
  4. Marcus Mariota has not thrown an interception in his last 142 attempts, the longest streak of his career and the fifth-longest active streak in the NFL. Additionally, Mariota has not lost a fumble in his last 356 touches, the second-longest streak of his career and the fourth-longest active streak in the league.
  5. Matt Ryan has thrown for 300-plus yards and at least two scores in each game this season. He and Patrick Mahomes are the only two who have done so in their first three starts of 2019. Peyton Manning in 2013 was the last QB to have such a streak last longer than the first three starts of the season (five).
  6. The Titans have a -24 point differential in the first quarter this season, second worst in the NFL (Dolphins: -35), and a +19 differential in the fourth quarter, best in the league. The Falcons have a -21 point differential in the first quarter, third worst in the NFL, and a +18 differential in the fourth quarter, second best in the league.
Team Comparison

Tennessee
 
Atlanta
22.3 Points 20.0
235.3 Pass Yds 309.3
112.7 Rush Yds 74.3
5 Takeaways 3
(AP Photo/AJ Mast)

ATLANTA (AP) - Slow starts for the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans have created more pressure on quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Marcus Mariota.

Ryan's six interceptions are a big reason the Falcons (1-2) have a minus-4 turnover differential. His red-zone interceptions have made it even more difficult for the Falcons to overcome their high penalty totals.

Mariota has no interceptions but his inconsistent play and lack of production have been criticized in the Titans (1-2) two straight losses. Mariota threw only one touchdown pass in the two losses, none in last week's 20-7 loss to Jacksonville.

Mariota said offensive coordinator Arthur Smith is "doing a great job of allowing our guys to get open."

"I've just got to complete them," he said.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel shifted focus to fundamentals in the longer 10-day practice slot since the loss to Jacksonville.

The Falcons had 16 penalties in last week's 27-24 loss at Indianapolis. They have 35 penalties in three games, tied with Cleveland for the NFL lead.

Coach Dan Quinn said it is unrealistic to expect the Falcons to beat other teams when they're hurting themselves with turnovers and penalties. He brought in a full crew of officials for this week's practices.

"We've got to get the part where we just get to fight one team," Quinn said. "If we do that, we know what we're capable of, but because we haven't done that, we're in the situation we are where we're sitting at 1-2. ... The urgency for us, for sure, is on point."

Atlanta trailed by a combined 41-3 margin at halftime of its losses to Minnesota and Indianapolis, including 20-3 last week to the Colts. The Falcons finally found their offensive rhythm in the second half last week, when Ryan completed 22 of 23 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns. His only interception came in the first half.

"When we're all doing it together, we've moved the ball really well throughout the first three games," Ryan said.

Here are some things to know about the Titans' first visit to Atlanta since a 23-17 loss at the Georgia Dome in 2011:

TITANIC CLEANUP

Penalties also are a renewed focus for the Titans. Tennessee set a franchise record last season with an NFL-fewest 82 penalties in a 16-game season. The Titans are coming off a game when they were flagged a season-high nine times for 101 yards, including five holding penalties in the first half.

MISSING NEAL

Falcons safety Keanu Neal suffered a season-ending torn left Achilles tendon last week. It is the second straight year he has suffered a season-ending injury in the opening month. Kemal Ishmael will move up as the starter, but Neal's injury is a significant loss for a unit struggling to regain its path toward improvement from 2016.

PROTECT MARIOTA

The Titans have allowed an NFL-worst 17 sacks. Mariota has been sacked more times through three games than any NFL quarterback since 2002. Help is coming. Three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan's four-game suspension for testing positive for performance enhancers ends this week. The Atlanta defense has only five sacks.

BOSHER SET TO RETURN

Falcons punter Matt Bosher, inactive last week, could return from a groin strain. His replacement, Matt Wile, was released early this week before being signed to the practice squad. It's a delicate situation for the Falcons, because Bosher also handles kickoffs.

Bosher's injury in pregame warmups two weeks ago forced Matt Bryant to handle kickoffs for the first time in a decade, and only after wide receiver Mohamed Sanu was given practice kicks. If there is any uncertainty about Bosher's injury, Wile could be brought back to the 53-man roster for the game.

TIGHTEN UP

The Titans had the second-best defense last season when backed up inside their 20, giving up touchdowns only 44.7 percent of those trips. That has been a major issue for coordinator Dean Pees' unit through three games. The Titans have allowed six TDs on seven chances inside the red zone.

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AP Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker contributed to this report.

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Updated September 28, 2019

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