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Game Notes

Posted Oct 11, 2012

BIRONAS’ FOUR FIELD GOALS INCLUDES GAME-WINNER: Rob Bironas made all four of his field goal attempts, including the game-winner.  He gave the Titans an early 3-0 lead with a 22-yard field goal that initially bounced off the right post before going through the uprights.  He added a 38-yarder later in the first quarter and another from 47 yards at the end of the second quarter.  Finally, as time expired in the fourth quarter, he made a 40-yard attempt to secure his 11th career game-winning kick (defined as the final score of the game to put the Titans ahead in the fourth quarter or overtime) and his second of 2012 (9/23 against Detroit).  He broke a tie with Al Del Greco for most career game-winning kicks in franchise history.  Also against Pittsburgh, Bironas recorded his ninth career game with four or more field goals and his first since Sept. 18, 2011 against Baltimore.

HASSELBECK’S 21ST GAME-WINNING DRIVE: Matt Hasselbeck completed 25 of 44 passes for 290 yards with one touchdown and one interception for a passer rating of 75.0.  He notched his 198th career touchdown pass (fourth of 2012) on a five-yard toss to Kenny Britt to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.  On the game-winning drive, he found Jared Cook for a 25-yard gain on third-and-five.  The score capped the 21st game-winning drive of his career (series in which his team takes the lead for good in the fourth quarter or overtime after the team trailed or was tied at the start of or during the fourth quarter) and gave him 79 career victories as a starter (79-70)

BLOCKED PUNT BY SHAW: On the final play of the first quarter, the Steelers faced a fourth-and-seven at their own 23-yard line.  With Drew Butler attempting to punt, Tim Shaw rushed through the middle of the line and recorded his second career blocked punt.  Jason McCourty recovered the ball at the one-yard line, and two plays later the Titans went ahead on the scoreboard.  Shaw’s first career punt also came against the Steelers on Oct. 9, 2011.  Prior to last week’s block, the most recent Titans player to block a punt was Patrick Bailey against the Colts on Oct. 30, 2011.

BRITT SCORES FIRST TOUCHDOWN IN MORE THAN A YEAR: Kenny Britt scored the game-tying touchdown with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter on a five-yard pass from Matt Hasselbeck.  It was Britt’s 16th career touchdown and his first of 2012.  He had not scored since Sept. 18, 2011, the week before he suffered a season-ending knee injury.  Britt finished the game against the Steelers with four receptions for 62 yards, which also included a season-long 37-yard catch in the first quarter that led to a field goal by Rob Bironas.

WRIGHT LEADS TEAM AGAIN: For the fourth consecutive week, rookie wide receiver Kendall Wright led the Titans in receptions.  The first-round pick totaled a career-high 71 yards on six receptions against the Steelers.  On the game-tying drive in the fourth quarter, he posted a 16-yard catch and then a 35-yarder on third-and-eight.  In previous weeks, Wright led the team with seven catches against Detroit (9/23), four at Houston (9/30) and nine at Minnesota (10/7).  His season total of 33 receptions currently leads the club as well. 

WASHINGTON EXTENDS STREAK: With a 19-yard catch on the first offensive snap of the game, Nate Washington extended his streak to 68 games with a reception, including all 54 contests he has played with the Titans.  His 54-game streak moved ahead of Haywood Jeffires (53) for fourth in franchise history, behind only Frank Wycheck (99), Ernest Givins (82) and Drew Hill (76).  

COOK IS CLUTCH ON NIGHT HIS MOTHER IS HONORED: Tight end Jared Cook had four receptions for 54 yards and provided one of the contest’s plays.  With 39 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the Titans facing a third-and-five at the 50-yard line, Cook caught a pass over the middle and raced 25 yards to help set up the game-winning field goal two plays later.  His heroics came on a day when his mother, Yulinda Cook, served as the honorary 12th Titan as a representative of survivors of breast cancer. 

HARPER’S SECOND CAREER TOUCHDOWN: Early in the second quarter, Jamie Harper scored his second career touchdown.  The second-year running back and former fourth-round pick from Clemson rumbled into the end zone on a one-yard run to give the Titans a 13-10 lead.

SACK BY MORGAN: On a third down midway through the second quarter, Derrick Morgan dropped Ben Roethlisberger for a seven-yard loss to end the drive.  It was Morgan’s sixth career sack and second of 2012. 

INTERCEPTION BY McCOURTY: With the Steelers driving late in the second quarter, Jason McCourty recorded his fifth career interception and his first of 2012.  He picked off a Ben Roethlisberger pass intended for Antonio Brown, leading to a Titans field goal as time expired in the half. 

TITANS TAKE HALFTIME LEAD FOR SECOND TIME IN 2012: The Titans led the Steelers 16-10 at halftime.  It marked the second time in 2012 they led after two quarters.  The first was against Detroit on Sept. 23, which also was their first win of the year.

KERN COMES THROUGH ONCE MORE: On five punts against the Steelers, Brett Kern averaged 52.2 yards with two placed inside the 20.  He netted 44.8 yards per punt, marking his ninth consecutive game with a net average of 41.0 or greater, dating back to Dec. 18, 2011 at Indianapolis.  Prior to the current run, the longest previous streak of his career with a 41-plus net average was three games (twice, last Oct. 18-31, 2010).   Kern entered the week leading the NFL in net punting average for the season. 

TIME OF POSSESSION VICTORY: For the first time in 2012, the Titans won the time of possession battle, albeit by a slim margin.  They kept the ball for 30:03, compared to Pittsburgh’s 29:57.

C.J.’S DAY: Running back Chris Johnson carried the ball 19 times for 91 yards, his second-highest yardage total of the season.  He also caught four passes for 23 yards, to give him 114 total yards from scrimmage. 

SEASON HIGH ON THIRD DOWN: Against the Steelers, the Titans were a season-high 56 percent on third down, converting nine of their 16 attempts.  It was their highest conversion rate since a 57% performance at Atlanta on Nov. 20, 2011. 

VICTORY NUMBERS: The win gave the Titans an all-time record of 67-40 in regular-season games at LP Field, including a 2-1 mark in 2012.  The Titans are now 6-2 against the Steelers at LP Field.

INACTIVES: The Titans’ seven inactive players against the Vikings were quarterback Jake Locker, running back Javon Ringer, linebacker Patrick Bailey, tackle Mike Otto, guard Deuce Lutui, wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins and defensive tackle DaJohn Harris.

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