When Ryan Tannehill watched the Tennessee Titans’ biggest offseason acquisition in years racing down the field, his gaze was fixed on Julio Jones. Tannehill threw a high-arching pass to the 10-year veteran wide receiver that proved he still has the necessary acceleration to go retrieve the ball after a run fake got the play in motion.
The Titans’ chemistry between Ryan Tannehill and Julio Jones heats up in Week 2
Jones had a top speed of 20.9 mph on the play, which resulted in a 51-yard completion and set up a 30-yard field goal by Randy Bullock in the first half of the Titans’ 33-30 win over the Seattle Seahawks, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. When questioned about his connection with Tannehill, Jones responded, “It just comes down to working one day at a time to get better and be on the same page.” Titans coach Mike Vrabel added, “We saw that every week.” The 51-yard completion is an excellent example of Tannehill and Jones collaborating. Tannehill explained that the huge play came after they made a sideline modification based on what they had seen in the previous series. One of the major doubts for the Titans heading into the season was whether they’d had enough time to create the requisite chemistry to make the passing game dangerous enough to penalise teams who prioritise run defence. Last week’s season opener against the Arizona Cardinals revealed that the two are still in the early stages of their relationship. Jones was targeted six times by Tannehill, who caught three passes for 29 yards.
Against the Seahawks, things were lot more efficient. In the first half alone, Jones had 102 receiving yards. Jones had not had a game like this since Week 12 of 2017, according to ESPN Stats & Information analysis. Jones’ performance was a watershed moment in his career. It was his 59th career game with more than 100 receiving yards, tying him for third all-time with former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison. On Sunday, Jones passed Jason Witten for 19th place in all-time receiving yards (13,053). Jones would take sole possession of third place with another strong performance against Harrison’s Colts in Week 3 after catching six passes for 128 yards on eight targets Sunday.
The first incompletion was a drop, while the second was a 6-yard pass in the end zone for what appeared to be a touchdown. Jones was unable to maintain his heel in bounds after skying in the air to make the catch, and the play was reversed. Despite the fact that the score was called back, the play demonstrated Tannehill’s faith in Jones. “I sensed he was brewing and it was going to be a fantastic day for him once I saw him make those plays,” Tannehill said. “It’s a trust throw when you see a player make plays like that where there’s tight coverage and a small window. Your guy makes the play for him to go grab it, and that creates trust. When you find yourself in that circumstance again, you are adamant about giving him a chance to get the ball.” The game on Sunday was a preview of what Titans general manager Jon Robinson envisioned when he traded Jones and a 2023 sixth-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons in return for a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick.
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