The Tennessee Titans rode a third quarter streak of 21 unanswered points, which included touchdown passes of 55 (Rishard Matthews) and 24 yards (Jonnu Smith) from QB Marcus Mariota, as well as Demarco Murray’s 75-yard scoring run, to wear down the Seahawks 33-27 Sunday in hot and humid Nashville. Despite 373 yards and four TD passes by QB Russell Wilson (box), Seattle fell to 1-2.
Seattle’s first six drives ended in punts, which kept the Seahawks’ defense on the field most of the half as Tennessee ran 43 plays to Seattle’s 26 and held the ball nearly 10 minutes longer. The defense wilted in 90-degree heat and the Titans responded by running the ball effectively.
Tennessee led 6-0 late in the first half on a pair of field goals by Ryan Succop. But Wilson, who completed three of his first 10 passes, put the Seahawks on the board in less than a minute on an 86-yard drive that included passes t0 WR Doug Baldwin for 36 yards and RB C.J. Prosise for 46. They scored so quickly that the Titans had time for a field goal and a 9-7 intermission lead.
RB Chris Carson caught a 10-yard TD throw from Wilson early in the third quarter to stake Seattle to a 14-9 lead. But Tennessee took over the game with the three touchdown drives that provided a 30-14 lead.
Wilson completed 29 of 49 and finished with a rating of 110.3, his first 100-plus mark of the season. Wilson’s TDs covered four yards to Baldwin, 10 to Carson, 27 to TE Luke Willson and eight to WR Paul Richardson. Wilson also ran seven times for 26 yards. Wilson’s previous regular-season high in passing yards: 350 vs. Arizona, Dec. 24, 2016.
Baldwin caught 10 passes on 15 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown, but didn’t play on the final possession after straining a groin muscle. TE Jimmy Graham, who caught only one pass last week against San Francisco, snagged seven balls on 11 targets for 72 yards.
Carson had 34 yards on 11 carries, but as the Seahawks deficit increased the ground game was abandoned and neither Thomas Rawls nor Eddie Lacy played. Carson’s catch was his first NFL score.
Despite the first-half disparity, the Seahawks ran 72 plays to 67 for the Titans and closed the time gap to 32:41 / 27:19.
On a single play in the second quarter, CB Richard Sherman drew three penalties, including pass interference, that denied SS Kam Chancellor an interception and cost 31 yards. In the third quarter, he was penalized for late sideline hit on Mariota that prompted a large-scale confrontation by the teams along the sidelines. The Titans and Seahawks each drew two personal foul penalties on the play.
Seattle’s defense gave Tennessee six first downs via penalty.
The 75-yard TD run by Murray was the longest allowed by Seattle since San Francisco’s Frank Gore went 79 for a TD Sept. 20, 2009.
The 195 rushing yards yards allowed was the allowed since giving up 190 to Kansas City Nov. 16, 2014. Two of the top seven rushing totals against Seattle since 2010 were in the past two games. Last week, San Francisco rushed for 159 yards.
LB Bobby Wagner was credited with 11 tackles. With 570, he passed Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy for eighth place on Seattle’ all-time tackles list.
Before the game, the teams agreed to not participate in the national anthem and remained in their respective locker rooms prior to kickoff . . . The Seahawks had won six of their past seven against the Titans . . . Seattle leads the all-time series 10-6 . . .The Seahawks have dropped six consecutive September games on the road and are 1-1 in Nashville . . . The Seahawks lost LB Dewey McDonald with a knee injury on the game’s first play . . . OG Mark Glowinski, who started the first two games, was a healthy inactive. Oday Aboushi made his first Seattle start.
The Seahawks return to CenturyLink Field at 5:30 p.m. Sunday against the 1-2 Indianapolis Colts (NBC), who won their first game Sunday 31-28 over Cleveland.