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Titans notes: Davis, Taylor make NFL debuts

By Jimmy Trodglen

Editor

Nashville, Tenn. –  The Titans have patiently waited to see their top draft pick, Corey Davis, make a meaningful catch.

The rookie out of Western Michigan missed all of preseason because of an injury, but was ready for the Titans’ season opener against the Raiders at Nissan Stadium Sunday.

Davis and fellow rookie receiver Taywan Taylor made their first NFL catches in the 26-16 loss. Davis had six catches for 69 yards. Taylor, a rookie out of Western Kentucky, had two catches for 14 yards.

“It felt good, really good,” said Davis, referring to his first NFL catches. “It is unfortunate that we came up with the loss, but we will bounce back. We have got another week of preparation and we will be better next week.”

“There’s some things he (Davis) has got to clean up,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. “Again for the first time I thought he did some very good things. … he got a lot of plays, a lot of things to learn, but there were some things that were not on track just because of a lack of time.”

Jackson’s first start

Titans corner Adoree’ Jackson started in place of LeShaun Sims and finished with four tackles. He also returned a kickoff 35 yards.

“I saw him make a lot of good plays,” Mularkey said. “He made a play by the goal line by the end zone I thought it was a good play.

“The kickoff return he had a chance, he made something out of nothing. I thought that was a good play.”

Walker’s presence

Titans tight end Delanie Walker missed the Titans’ game with the Raiders last season because of an injury, however, this time around Walker was quarterback Marcus Mariota’s top target, catching seven passes for 76 yards.

Walker said the Titans were disappointed they “didn’t protect our house” and said it was a matter of not executing.

“I am out there and really don’t know the missed assignments,” Walker said. “I can say what I did. I don’t think there is anything they did. Everything in practice we had seen. We’ve just got to execute.”

Who is Giorgio Tavecchio?

Sebastian Janikowski, the Raiders’ kicker since the 2000 season, was placed on IR Saturday, leaving the Raiders to rely on a kicker few had heard of before Sunday.

Giorgia Tavecchio, added to the Raiders’ roster Saturday, played in his first NFL game and hit four field goals, nailing two of those kicks from 52 yards.

Tavecchio, like Janikowski, is a left-handed kicker and helped the Raiders start with a season-opening road win.

Special teams’ mistakes

Three plays on special teams left its mark on the Titans, including the game’s opening play when the Titans attempted an onside kick.

The Raiders recovered the kick at the 50-yard line and scored four plays later on Derek Carr’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper.

The Titans also ran into the punter in the second half, helping set up a Raiders field goal.

Following a 52-yard field goal from Ryan Succop, cutting the Raiders’ lead to 23-16, the Titans immediately allowed a 41-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson.

The Raiders took advantage of idea starting field position to drive to the Titans’ 25-yard line where Tavecchio hit a 52-yard field goal, extending the Raiders’ lead to 26-16.

Succop hit three field goals, including one from 52-yards, but he missed on an attempt from 52 yards in the final seconds that would’ve cut the Raiders’ lead to seven.

“We missed a field goal at the end. That (making the field goal) still keeps us in the game,” Mularkey said. “Special teams still has got to get better at it, there’s no doubt about it.

“We had three penalties, a missed field goal, we had a 40-yard plus return by Patterson; those are things we’ve got to get better.”

Back in action

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch made an impressive return after missing last season. Lynch ran for 76 yards on 18 carries, and helped the Raiders melt away the clock during the fourth quarter.

Jimmy Trodglen, editor, Twitter@Tnsports360