Will Levis' preseason debut with the Titans on Saturday brought some positives but ended on a bitter note.
The rookie quarterback had played relatively well alternating with Malik Willis, who started the game, but when the Titans were six down with 19 seconds left, Levis threw an interception to seal the Titans' 23-17 loss to the Bears .
Levis attempted a throw across midfield, but that sailed past Racey McMath – the next wideout – and a Bears defender before Bralen Trahan picked up the pass, ran a few yards and celebrated on the Chicago touchline.
“As far as decision-making goes, I think I did a good job,” Levis said after completing 9 of 14 passes for 85 yards. “But in the end I had a chance to win the game and I was able to take a shot there to win the game. It's a shame that didn't happen, but we'll learn from it and get better.”
Levis said the interception was due to a “minor miscommunication” and turned into a throw he “would love to have back.”
But Levis was still recording his first NFL snaps since the Titans selected him in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
He took on second-year quarterback Malik Willis — Levis' competitor for the backup job behind Ryan Tannehill — in the second drive after Willis rushed for a touchdown early in the game.
Later in the first half, Levis helped build a touchdown drive that ended with running back Hassan Haskins scoring.
Levis' first shot went to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine for eight yards, but he also fumbled with a sack in addition to the costly interception late in the game.
Another drive in the second half ended in a missed 48-yard field goal from kicker Trey Wolff.
“It's like a football game: it's had good and bad,” said defensive coach and acting head coach Terrell Williams, who was replacing Mike Vrabel, after the game. “Both had chances in two-minute situations, that was great… Both, like everyone else, have a lot of things to clean up. But that experience is also invaluable for these guys.”
Levis, who began his collegiate career at Penn State University before moving to Kentucky for his final two seasons, had emerged as a possible first-round pick but fell short on day two of the NFL draft despite his family being a greener Space.
It was the second year in a row that the Titans selected a quarterback — with Willis, the Liberty product selected in the second round of the draft last April — but Tannehill is expected to be the starter as we enter 2023 as well will stay.
Still, the experience caught the attention of Levis and his girlfriend, Gia Duddy, and added to their fame before Levis even snapped his first snap.
“The only positive thing that I and my family took away from draft night is just the attention my sisters and my girlfriend got on social media,” Duddy said during an appearance on The Mid Show podcast in July. “So that was good.”