The Titans entered Sunday’s game a banged-up bunch, and while they hung tough with the Falcons, it wasn’t enough to overcome as they fell to Atlanta 10-7.
It was their fifth straight loss overall and ninth consecutive on their home field dating back to last season. They played without rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota and two starters in their secondary before losing two more starters.
Their defense kept them close all day, giving the Titans plenty of chances needing only a field goal to force overtime.
But Zach Mettenberger was intercepted by undrafted rookie Falcons safety Robenson Therezie with 1:31 left to seal the win for the Falcons.
”We can’t make mistakes there,” Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said.
“It was a poor decision by me, I should have hit Delanie (Walker) underneath,” Mettenberger said of the pick at the end. “That’s situation, all we needed was to get 12 yards to get in field goal range to push it to overtime. Just a boneheaded mistake by me.”
Mettenberger finished 22-of-35 for 187 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Matt Ryan threw for 251 yards and a touchdown pass, and Devonta Freeman ran for 116 yards as the Falcons moved to 6-1 in a game that was a lot closer than they expected.
Freeman notched his third consecutive game with at least 100 yards, and Atlanta outgained Tennessee 378-256 in squeaking out the win.
The Titans stopped Atlanta fullback Patrick DiMarco on third down, then Titans linebacker Avery Williamson intercepted Ryan’s pass intended for Jacob Tamme in the end zone with 6:30 left.
Tennessee turned it over on downs with 3:30 left.
Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant then pushed a 47-yard field goal wide right with 2:28, giving Tennessee one final chance. Instead, the Titans have lost three games in this skid by a combined six points.
The Titans played without cornerback Perrish Cox (hamstring) and safety Michael Griffin (left knee), and cornerback Jason McCourty left early in the third quarter with a sore hamstring.
They lost their second center in as many games at halftime when rookie Andy Gallik was sidelined by a concussion. That forced Joe Looney, signed Tuesday, onto the field.
The 1-5 Titans will be in Houston next week.