Saturday night the Titans had their third and final preseason game prior to the 2022 season. In what was for some players their last chance to impress Head Coach Mike Vrabel and General Manager Jon Robinson, the Titans rallied from an early deficit to earn the victory. There were some good things to takeaway from the victory but also some things that need to be better as well. Time for a final preseason edition of Good, Bad & Ugly.
The good was what we saw from Malik Willis. Willis had what was by far his best performance as a member of the Titans. He made some electric plays with his legs including a 50-yard run leading to a touchdown by RB Julius Chestnut.
From a passing perspective Willis was even more impressive than on the ground. Everyone is aware of his running ability, but Willis showed some new abilities through the air. Going through his progressions and reads Willis was making the correct choices in terms of when to let it rip vs take off running.
Willis capped off his night with a beautiful sidearm pass to rookie WR Treylon Burks for a touchdown just before halftime. Willis has certainly showed he is more than capable of being Ryan Tannehill’s backup.
The bad from the win was the offensive line play especially that of the unit that was playing with Malik Willis. Willis was sacked four times and nearly was stripped of the ball from behind during the opening drive of the game. While many of the OL starters didn’t play. NPF and Dillon Radunz did.
NPF has been declared the starting RT but there is clearly room for improvement. Prior to training camp not many expected NPF to open the season as starting RT. There will likely be growing pains for NPF this season, which isn’t something any team likes to go through with their offensive tackles.
The ugly is the performance from second year WR Dez Fitzpatrick. Since being selected in the fourth round of the 2021 draft, Fitzpatrick has been quite disappointing. Fitzpatrick didn’t contribute last year, and things look to be no different this year.
He is currently on the roster bubble and his performance vs the Cardinals did nothing to help his case. Fitzpatrick caught just two of his five targets. That includes dropping what would’ve been the going ahead TD in the fourth quarter. It was a ball in which no doubt should’ve been caught. In the end it didn’t matter as QB Logan Woodside scored on a rushing TD the next play.
The preseason isn’t all about wins and losses, the drop pass will most defiantly be noticed by Titans coaches. At this point it would be surprising if Fitzpatrick made the roster. If a WR has questionable hands, it’s going to be difficult to count on a young WR for Ryan Tannehill.