Desmond King pays immediate dividends for Titans in win vs. Bears

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans defense redeemed itself in a 24-17 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

The biggest defensive play came when newly acquired Titans defensive back Desmond King scooped up a David Montgomery fumble forced by Jeffery Simmons on fourth down in the third quarter. King returned the fumble 63 yards for a touchdown to give the Titans a 17-point lead.

“Scoring a touchdown, that’s what you expect. I know my ability, what I can do," King said. "To come here and put that to use and contribute to the team’s success, that’s what it’s all about.”

King played 70% of the Titans’ defensive snaps despite meeting most of his teammates for the first time on Saturday because he was waiting to clear COVID-19 protocol after being traded from the Los Angeles Chargers. King said he was already familiar with Kenny Vaccaro, Kevin Byard and Malcolm Butler from doing offseason training with them in the past. Titans safety Amani Hooker and King played together at Iowa before King was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft.

“I already had a little bit of chemistry with some guys. It was a challenge because I wasn’t in practice. I was sitting in a hotel doing zoom meetings and burying myself in the playbook. Going out there with my teammates helped me communicate,” King said. “Coach said yesterday in our team meeting, ‘Don’t just act like one new person came in. Act like everybody just came in and make sure everybody is on the same page.’ It was a challenge but I took the right approach with the help of my teammates.”

Promising trend: A.J. Brown provided the fireworks for the Titans offense. Brown finished with four receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown. The second-year receiver's touchdown came in the second quarter when he connected with Ryan Tannehill a 40-yard touchdown to make the score 10-0.

Brown now has a receiving touchdown in each of his last five games. He's the third player to do so this season according to ESPN Stats & Information. Brown's five-game touchdown streak ties him for the third-longest in franchise history.

Describe the game in two words: Redemption game. The Titans laid an egg last week against the Cincinnati Bengals. They got back on track with the win over the Bears that featured the physical characteristics that have become a staple under coach Mike Vrabel.

Third-down defense: The Bears were facing a third and 5 on their first drive of the game. Nick Foles connected with Allen Robinson on a quick out-breaking route. Robinson was forced out just short of the sticks setting up a 4th and 1 at Tennessee's 34-yard line. The Titans stuffed Montgomery for no gain to force the turnover on downs. That play set the tone for the day on third downs.

The Titans' defense allowed Chicago to get first downs on two of 15 third-down opportunities. Entering this week, Tennessee's defense was allowing teams to convert on a league-high 61.8% of their third downs. It should be noted the Bears were 31st in the NFL entering this game with a 34.8% third-down conversion rate.

Bold prediction for next week: The Colts have the NFL's second-best rushing defense, allowing 79.9 yards per game on the ground. Indianapolis hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. The Titans will end that streak with Derrick Henry putting up his fifth 100-yard rushing performance this season.