NFL Week 2: Questions Still Loom about Mariota/Brissett spoils Titans' opener, rallying Colts to 19-17 win

(J&J TITANS AUDIO) Week 2 ICYMI: Back for now, Brown leads the way for Patriots

Jason & John
September 16, 2019 - 9:35 pm
Mariota Brissett

© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

(Click below to listen to Jason & John to hear their thoughts on the Titans through week 2)

Brissett spoils Titans' opener, rallying Colts to 19-17 win

By TERESA M. WALKER AP Pro Football Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Colts keep changing quarterbacks, not that it matters when they play the Titans.

Jacoby Brissett became the latest Indianapolis quarterback to top Tennessee, throwing a 4-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton with 4:38 left to lead the Colts to a 19-17 victory Sunday in the Titans' home opener.

Brissett had come up empty for Indianapolis against Tennessee, losing both games he started against the Titans in 2017. After Andrew Luck retired with a perfect 11-0 record against the Titans, Brissett picked up right where Luck left off. He passed for 146 yards and three TDs despite also being intercepted and losing a fumble.

"Honestly, I wanted to see what he's made of," Colts tight end Eric Ebron said of his buddy, Brissett, when Indy got the ball back for that go-ahead drive. "I've wanted to see because he's one of my great friends, and I just wanted to see what kind of person he was going to be in that situation, and he showed us all."

The Colts (1-1) also sacked Marcus Mariota four times on a day when Adam Vinatieri, the NFL's oldest player and career scoring leader, missed two extra points. Vinatieri left, telling a reporter he'd talk to the media Monday.

"I have zero concern," Colts coach Frank Reich said when asked about Vinatieri. "I mean, he hit the upright on the one. You probably saw the first one. It was not a good operation. The snap and hold was not clean. I've held for kicks. The ball was barely on the ground, it was not clean. ... Zero concern."

It was Indianapolis' 14th win in its last 16 games against Tennessee overall, and a big AFC South win after the Colts managed a split of their first two games on the road.

"That's a big start for us," Reich said.

The Titans (1-1) missed their chance for payback against Indianapolis after losing the 2018 regular-season finale, along with a playoff berth on the line for the winner. They haven't started 2-0 since 2008 when they won their first 10 games and last won the AFC South.

"We let one slip for sure," Mariota said.

The Titans had one last chance, getting the ball back with 1:07 left. But Mariota threw incomplete to rookie A.J. Brown on fourth-and-2 with 11 seconds left. Mariota took the blame for spiking the ball on third down, choosing to stop the clock with 15 seconds left rather than run another play.

"That's totally on me," Mariota said.

Brissett put the Colts up 7-0 with a 3-yard shovel pass to Ebron in the first quarter, and he capped a 12-play drive in the second with a 12-yard TD pass to Parris Campbell. Vinatieri missed the extra point, leaving the Colts with a 13-7 lead.

Tennessee grabbed a 17-13 lead when Derrick Henry ran for a 1-yard TD and Cairo Santos kicked a 49-yard field goal in the third. The Titans scored their first TD when Mariota tossed a 1-yard TD pass to lineman David Quessenberry, the first in an NFL career delayed by a fight with cancer.

Santos, who was signed to fill in for Ryan Succop, missed a 45-yarder wide left in the fourth.

VINATIERI WATCH

Vinatieri has missed an extra point in consecutive games to start the season. A week ago, the NFL's career scoring leader missed an extra point and a pair of field goals in the same game for the first time in his career. With a chance to put the Colts up 14-7 midway through the second quarter, the 46-year-old Vinatieri pulled the extra point wide left. After the go-ahead TD, Vinatieri clanked the extra point off the right upright.

SIDELINE FIRE

Sunday was the hottest home game for the Tennessee Titans with a temperature of 93 degrees at kickoff, and it got hotter when a mechanical failure caused pyrotechnics equipment to burst into flame s about five minutes before kickoff. Workers quickly extinguished the fire near the 5-yard line on the sideline near the Titans' locker room, while Taj George, a member of the group Sisters With Voices (SWV), sang the national anthem.

The Titans said nobody was hurt, with only minor field damage.

NUMBERS RETIRED

The Titans honored a big piece of their past at halftime, becoming the first NFL team to retire either No. 9 or No. 27 for the late Steve McNair and Eddie George. Mechelle McNair and her two sons, McNair's mother and brothers attended along with George and his sons. The Titans turned it into a family affair with George's wife singing the national anthem.

INJURIES

Colts CB Pierre Desir hurt a knee in the third quarter at the end of a 25-yard catch by Titans receiver Corey Davis. He did not return.

UP NEXT

Colts: home opener hosting Atlanta.

Titans: visit Jacksonville on Thursday night.

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All around the NFL Week 2

Week 2 ICYMI: Back for now, Brown leads the way for Patriots

By EDDIE PELLS AP National Writer

On the field, Antonio Brown was hard to catch. Off it — hard to find.

Brown's debut with the New England Patriots was a success. He was Tom Brady's favorite target Sunday, finishing with four catches for 56 yards and a 20-yard touchdown that he celebrated by vaulting over the wall behind the end zone and into the stands.

New England defeated Miami 43-0 — side note, the Dolphins are awful — but afterward, Brown was nowhere to be seen once the media was allowed into the locker room. His clothes had been removed and his nameplate taken down from his locker.

Thus marked both the end of one tumultuous week and the beginning of another for the Patriots' wide receiver.

Last Tuesday, only three days after Brown signed his contract with New England after being released by Oakland, his former trainer accused him of rape and sexual assault in a civil lawsuit. Brown has denied the claim. His former trainer is supposed to meet with NFL officials on Monday.

In case you missed it, here are some other things people were talking about on the second Sunday of the 2019 season:

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WHAT A KICK: How crazy and improbable was the finish to the Bears' game?

Well, to put it simply, Chicago won it on a last-second field goal.

Yes, the Bears — the team that saw its playoff run last season end with a double-doink field goal and tried out nine kickers in the offseason to replace goalpost-banger Cody Parkey — got a 53-yarder from the winner of that contest, Eddy Pineiro, to come out with a 16-14 win over Denver.

The final 31 seconds contained more action than the first 59:29.

A brief summary:

— Joe Flacco throws touchdown to Emmanuel Sanders to cap 62-yard drive and pull Denver to 13-12.

— Broncos decide to go for 2, only to get called for delay of game.

— Broncos trot out kicker Brandon McManus, who shanks kick wide right. But Bears were offside.

— With ball now on the 1, Broncos go for 2 and make it for 14-13 lead.

— One play after kickoff, Broncos Bradley Chubb called for roughing the passer to give Bears ball on their 45.

— Three incompletions later, Bears receiver Allen Robinson II catches ball on Denver 35, clock ticks to "0:00" and Broncos storm the field. But refs say Robinson was down with 1 second left and Chicago called timeout.

— Pinero bangs it through for the win — and gets to keep his job for another week.

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AGREE TO DISAGREE: Imagine the conversation Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and coach Doug Marrone could have had AFTER the game.

Ramsey and Marrone had to be separated during an argument on the bench during the first quarter of Jacksonville's 13-12 loss to Houston. Apparently, Ramsey was upset the coach didn't throw a challenge flag on third-and-2 completion on a drive that led to a Texans field goal.

But Marrone's biggest decision came at the end, after the Jaguars had scored a touchdown to pull within one with 30 seconds left. Marrone went for the win. But a handoff to Leonard Fournette up the middle came up inches short.

"I was very, very comfortable with it. It just didn't work," Marrone said of the play call.

Sorta drowned out the drama from before.

"There are a lot of emotions in the game," Marrone said when asked what happened during the dust-up with Ramsey. "I don't know. I can't recall."

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ANYBODY CAN DO THAT: Three touchdowns and 269 yards passing. Five carries for 69 yards.

Sure, anybody can do that — but nobody did it better than Dak Prescott on Sunday.

The Cowboys' quarterback dominated the Redskins in a 31-21 win. No single play made a bigger statement than his 42-yard run in the second quarter, in which it appeared Prescott slowed down so he could deliver a stiff arm to the facemask of cornerback Josh Norman.

Norman, who also got beat on Prescott's 51-yard touchdown throw to Devin Smith, earned some headlines last week while talking about how well the Dallas offensive line has been playing in front of the second-year quarterback.

"You stand back there in the pocket all day and go through your first, second and third reads and come back to your first one, OK, cool," Norman said. "Anybody can do that."

To be fair, Norman was paying respect to the O-line more than dissing Prescott during that interview. And to be fair, Norman stood near his locker and answered all the questions during the postgame Sunday.

But the quote became a top trender on social media while Norman was taking his share of abuse on the field.

"I'm a little bit surprised. I'd lie to you if I said I wasn't. It's shocking," Norman said of Washington's struggles on defense. "We're much better than what we're doing right now."

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