Titans Fall to Cardinals

The Titans offense dried up in the desert here on Sunday, and not even a valiant effort from the defense could bail them out.

The result was a 12-7 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 16-of-31 passes for 159 yards, with two interceptions.

With the loss, the Titans dropped to 8-5.

The Titans racked up eight sacks on defense — Johnathan Cyprien, Erik Walden, David King and Jurrell Casey, Wesley Woodyard, Avery Williamson and Brian Orakpo all sacked Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Casey got Gabbert twice.

But it wasn’t enough, as the Titans struggled to get anything going in the second half.

Running back Derrick Henry put the Titans on the scoreboard first with a six-yard touchdown run. Henry fought off Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson as he approached the goal line, and he lunged to the pylon for the score.

The scoring play capped a nine-play, 50-yard drive, and gave the Titans a 7-0 lead. The Titans converted two third downs on the drive – first on a 3rd-and-1 run by Henry, and later on an 11-yard completion from Mariota to receiver Eric Decker on third and nine.

But the Titans wouldn’t score again.

The Cardinals cut the lead to 7-3 on a 47-yard field goal by kicker Phil Dawson.

After a fake punt – Tennessee’s Eric Weems was stopped short of a first down on a 4th and 1 – the Cardinals had a big chance to take the lead. But after driving to the Tennessee three-yard line, Titans defensive lineman Karl Klug stopped running back Kerwynn Williams for a two-yard loss on third-and-1, and the Cardinals settled for another Dawson field goal, this one from 23 yards, to make it 7-6.

With the Titans driving late in the third quarter, Mariota was intercepted by Cardinals cornerback Tramon Williams on a throw intended for receiver Rishard Mathews.

The Titans then caught a break early in the fourth quarter when Dawson missed right from 40 yards, and it kept the game 7-6. But after the Titans went three-and-out on offense, the Cardinals drove the field again and took a 9-7 lead on a 32-yard field goal by Dawson with 5:59 left.

After a Mariota interception – his second of the game – Dawson added another field goal to make it 12-7 with 3:45 left.

The Titans had chances after that, but couldn’t get anything going on offense.

Murray finished the game with 34 yards on 11 carries, while Henry had 20 yards on eight carries.

A 58-yard field goal by Titans kicker Ryan Succop was just short on the final play of the first half.

The Titans travel to face the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday.