Sunday Night Football: Titans bully Rams without Derrick Henry, win 28-16

Tennessee Titans v Los Angeles Rams
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For at least one night, no Derrick Henry, no problem.

In their first game since 2016 without the two-time defending rushing champion, the Titans soundly defeated the Rams 28-9 on Sunday Night Football.

Tennessee’s offense didn’t look particularly in sync for much of the night. But the unit was buoyed by a strong performance from the team’s defense. The Rams didn’t score at least 20 points for the first time this season, as the Titans pressured and hit quarterback Matthew Stafford throughout the night.

Defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons led the way with 3.0 sacks, three tackles for loss, plus an additional QB hit that induced an interception. Defensive end Denico Autry was a problem, too, recording 1.5 sacks, a tackle for loss, and three total quarterback hits.

The Titans took the lead in the second quarter and never looked back, taking control of the game with back-to-back picks off quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford was trying to avoid getting sacked by Simmons for a safety on the first, but poorly chose to toss the ball to the middle of the field after Simmons spun him around. Linebacker David Long picked off the pass and set up the Titans at the L.A. 2-yard line. A play later, the Titans had a 7-3 lead.

Then safety Kevin Byard picked off Stafford’s next pass and returned it to the house, putting Tennessee up 14-3.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill added a 1-yard touchdown of his own late in the second quarter, fooling the Rams’ defense when he kept the ball on a bootleg on fourth-and-goal.

Los Angeles’ defense didn’t allow a point in the third quarter, allowing the club’s offense ample opportunity to cut the deficit. And it looked like the Rams had scored a touchdown when tight end Tyler Higbee reeled in a Stafford pass in the back of the end zone with 8:25 left in the third period. But upon review, the officials ruled Higbee had stepped out of bounds before making the catch. That brought on an illegal touching penalty that negated the TD. L.A. settled for a 22-yard field goal.

Matt Gay added a 54-yard field goal to start the fourth quarter, making the score 21-9.

The Rams’ best chance to make it a game came in the last period on a drive that reached midfield. But on fourth-and-1 from the Tennessee 40, Stafford tripped while moving to his left after a play-action fake. He got a throw off while falling to the ground, but the pass to Van Jefferson fell incomplete.

Aided by a pair of roughing the passer penalties — at least one of which was questionable — the Titans scored a game-sealing touchdown on their next possession. Playing in his first game for Tennessee, running back Adrian Peterson took in a 1-yard carry for a touchdown, giving him 125 in his career.

Los Angeles added a cosmetic touchdown with 24 seconds left, as Stafford connected with running back Sony Michel for a 3-yard score. But that was far too little too late.

Stafford ended the game 31-of-48 passing for 294 yards with a touchdown and two picks. Robert Woods had seven catches for 98 yards while Cooper Kupp caught 11 of his 13 targets for 95 yards.

Tannehill finished 19-of-27 passing for 143 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Peterson had 10 carries for 21 yards.

Now 7-2, the Titans are back home to face the Saints next week.

Also at 7-2, the Rams will head up to the Bay Area to play the 49ers on Monday Night Football in Week 10.

31 responses to “Sunday Night Football: Titans bully Rams without Derrick Henry, win 28-16

  1. Had a rookie played as bad as Stafford did, would have been called bust.

    I can’t see this hype for Stafford.

  2. Long time Rams fan here. McVay not a super bowl winning coach. He gets duped by smart defensive coaches. Bellohick did it. Vrabel did it. He just can’t outsmart smart defensive coaches. How many long developing deep routes did he call after he realized they couldn’t block for them. He’s an offensive coordinator, just like Martz was. Amd Raheem Morris is levels below Brandon Staley

  3. Gambling rarely works in the NFL. The Rams are absolutely screwed if it doesn’t win the Super Bowl, it’s making those trades like it only has a 3 year window left to win. Gambling on building a fanbase, because LA is forever Raider territory. Karma is coming, Kroenke! Better hope Stafford is OK.

  4. Tannehill played his .500 ball w/o Henry.

    Consistent to what he is.

    That Titans Defense will have to do this in January. Can they?

  5. The AFC is so close but this game was the one that showed the Bills aren’t ahead of everyone. It’s definitely the Titans to lose

  6. I feel like the Rams are built to win games like this but McVay would prefer to score 30+ points every game. Henderson was running the ball and the defense had a strong night. It’s ok to play a conservative game and force the other guys into mistakes. If the Rams want to win a SB they will have to do it at some point because you won’t be running up and down the field against 3 elite teams.

    Next week is a great test against their nemesis on the road in SF. Going to have to win that game ugly.

  7. i heard the Rams were going to run away with the NFC and win the Super Bowl.🤮🤣😁😭

  8. Yesterday proved that teams who have been “crowned” can lose to lesser foes: Rams, Bills, Bengals, Cowboys, and Raidas. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Bucs and Ravens went down, as well.

  9. Stafford pulled a “Carson Wentz” in the end zone. Titan’s probably couldn’t believe it happened 2 weeks in a row. Rookie mistakes.

    Kudos to the Titans to winning a tough game. Felt like opposite Sunday as the favorites were falling all day.

  10. Mike Vrabel has to be in the lead for Coach of the Year. Coming off of consecutive wins over the Ravens, Chiefs, and Colts; the Titans were ripe for a let down. But not on Vrabel’s watch. On the flip side, look at the let down the Cowboys has yesterday.. What a difference between Vrabel and McCarthy.

  11. Well Stafford finally looked like himself. That is the guy we have seen for years. Put up big numbers gives the ball away. This honeymoon is now officially over.

  12. This game capped a day of curious results.
    Anyone claiming there is favourite to win it all this year is blowing smoke. There is no dominating team, which should make for surprising/exciting playoff games.

  13. Now THAT was the Matt Stafford every Detroit fan remembers. Rams fans, kid yourself all you want, you ain’t winning a Super Bowl with Stat Padford.

  14. Stafford and the Rams didn’t do much to rid Stafford of his “PAD STATford” nickname. Why are you throwing a 3 yard touchdown with 49 seconds left when you’re down by 19?? And more than 1/2 of his passing yards came during the latter part of the 4th quarter when the Titans went to a soft coverage. But hey, “ He didn’t play bad, he had almost 300 yards and a TD”…… Stats are so misleading.

  15. So the Rams aren’t infallible like every “expert” out there is telling us? Tough weekend for the folks who act like they know everything.

    Any given Sunday.

  16. he’s throwing a 3yd touchdown because NFL games are 60 minutes….this has shades of 99…Rams go into Titan’s house 6-0 …Titans get up 21-0 and eventually win 24-21 on last second FG…then the Superbowl happens….

  17. Matthew Stafford is overrated. Yes, he is a good quarterback. As a Lions fan, I am not disputing that. But Stafford is too inconsistent. In the big games, he can’t get it done. Look at this season, with games against the Cardinals and the Titans. He collapses. He also played pretty poorly against the Seahawks. He’s lucky their defense missed assignments and that Wilson got knocked out. He just can’t get it done. The national media makes it sound like Detroit held him back—and don’t get me wrong, we’re not a great franchise. But he also hurt us, too. In 2014, when both the Pack and the Lions were 11-4 and faced one another with the last game of the season to win the division, he disappeared. He also sucked in the second half of that postseason against the cowboys. Lastly, he completely melted down during the 2013 season when we were 6-3 and had a golden opportunity to win the division. I’m just tired of the national media giving him so much love, when he’s just a good quarterback. He’s not elite, and the Rams will not win a super bowl with him.

  18. Stafford is the same QB he was in Detriot. Stats look good but at end of year, team will have mediocre results. He struggles vs good teams. Tennessee manhandled the Rams and that was without Henry. For all the praise McVay was showering Stafford with praise, dont expect much. Final record will be better because the Rams have more overall talent than he had to work with in Detroit. But they wont do much in the Playoffs

  19. Both of the pick-6’s were clumsy, but Stafford got clobbered because our OL was swiss cheese. When Stafford stood in the pocket he’d get nailed. We got punched in the mouth. Hopefully it’s a lesson learned for the entire team.

  20. There is a reason why Pat Statford didn’t win a single division title w/ Detroit. You would think w/ Megatron, you would luck yourself into a divisional title somehow, but nope.

  21. @kjdoyle58 says:
    November 8, 2021 at 10:39 am
    he’s throwing a 3yd touchdown because NFL games are 60 minutes….this has shades of 99…Rams go into Titan’s house 6-0 …Titans get up 21-0 and eventually win 24-21 on last second FG…then the Superbowl happens….

    This is not accurate. It was the following year, 2000 when the Rams came to Titan Town to be beaten. The year after the SB.

  22. Rams have played three teams with a winning record. They lost two of those three

  23. As long as McVay continues to make bad decisions it doesn’t matter who’s at quarterback!! Sean McVay is battling himself and his ego this is why we lose games we shouldn’t!! The defense can go out and get interception or fumble and oiwill get the ball back but Sean McVay will make sure he’ll give it right back to the opposing team with his wacky play calling!!!

  24. There is simply just not enough room for the Rams offense, Sean McVay and Sean McVay’s EGO!!! He constantly puts the Rams defense in bad situations because he keeps them on the field longer!!!

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