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3 things we learned about the Titans

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Atlanta’s defense made sure the Falcons didn’t suffer an upset loss on the road Sunday.

Linebacker Paul Worrilow’s second-quarter interception and safety Robenson Therezie’s fourth-quarter pick helped Atlanta hold on for a 10-7 win over the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium.

Worrilow’s interception came with 4 seconds left in the first half and Therezie’s with 1:35 remaining in the game.

“I loved the way we finished at the halves,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “Those are exactly the types of finishes we want for our defense at the end of a half, where we can close out a game and that’s what we want to stand for.”

The Falcons (6-1) rebounded from their first loss of the season against New Orleans.

Tennessee (1-5), which hasn’t won a home game since beating Jacksonville in October of last year, suffered its fifth straight loss.

Falcons back Quarterback Matt Ryan completed 22 of 38 passes for 251 yards and one touchdown.

Running back Devonta Freeman rushed for 116 yards on 25 carries for his third consecutive game with at least 100 yards. He wasn’t surprised the struggling Titans kept it close.

“This is the NFL — ain’t nobody better than nobody,” Freeman said. “It’s just the team that pays the most attention to detail. Those are the teams that maybe win the game. Or the team with the least turnovers. I’m not surprised at all.”

Zach Mettenberger started at quarterback for Tennessee in place of rookie Marcus Mariota, who suffered an MCL sprain in last week’s loss to Miami. Mettenberger completed 22 of 35 passes for 187 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

“It’s frustrating, for sure, but ultimately I can’t let that faze me,” Mettenberger said of the loss. “I’ve got to keep working like I know I do and it will come. It’s a team effort and I obviously didn’t make the plays to help the team out today.”

Tennessee converted only one of nine third-down situations.

What we learned about the Titans:

1. Tennessee fell to 1-5 with its fifth consecutive loss, but coach Ken Whisenhunt feels the team is still engaged. “We had a tough game last week, and you saw a team that had a lot of resiliency,” he said. “That’s part of this game, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying we’re close.”

2. Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger wishes he had his last throw back. His pass intended for wide receiver Kendall Wright was intercepted by safety Robenson Therezie at the Atlanta 33-yard line with 1:35 left, sealing the outcome. “It was a poor decision by me,” Mettenberger said. “I should have hit Delanie (Walker) underneath. In that situation, all we needed was to get 12 yards to get into field-goal range to push the game into overtime. Just a bonehead mistake by me to not fully grasp the situation and take Delanie.”

3. Maybe the defense’s strong showing against the Falcons’ potent offense offers a glimmer of hope. “I think we did pretty well,” defensive tackle Jurrell Casey said, “you know, other than one drive where we allowed them to go down and score. You play 60 minutes, and we allowed one touchdown to slip past us, and it cost us the game.”

Etc.

–QB Zach Mettenberger was under the microscope as he filled in for rookie Marcus Mariota, out with a minor knee injury. Mettenberger completed 22 of 35 passes for 187 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. “Zach hadn’t played in a game in a while — regular-season game — but he made some good throws early and we didn’t catch the football,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “The one down the field to Justin (Hunter) and he made another good throw on a crossing route.”

–TE Delanie Walker put up solid numbers with seven receptions for 55 yards. It was the third time in five games this season that he caught at least seven passes.

–ILB Wesley Woodyard led the Titans with nine tackles (six solo). Atlanta scored at least 21 points in each of its first six games, but Woodyard & Co. made things tough for the Falcons on Sunday in Nashville.


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