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Titans-Cardinals Game Notes

Posted Dec 15, 2013

Kendall Wright had career highs of 12 catches for 150 yards and went past the 1,000-yard mark in a season for the first time.
Click here for the slideshow from the game.

A DOZEN FOR WRIGHT: Wide receiver Kendall Wright led the team and set career highs against the Cardinals with 12 receptions and 150 receiving yards.  It was only the 11th time in franchise history a player recorded 12 or more receptions and the first time since Drew Bennett tied the franchise record with 13 catches against the Raiders on Dec. 19, 2004.  Wright became the first Titans player to reach 150 receiving yards in a game since Jared Cook (169) against the Jaguars on Dec. 24, 2011. 

WRIGHT’S CATCH TOTAL BEST FOR FRANCHISE SINCE 2004: Kendall Wright’s big day against the Cardinals gave him season totals of 85 receptions for 1,007 yards and a pair of touchdowns.  He became the first Titans player to reach 85 receptions since Derrick Mason recorded 96 in 2004.  With two games remaining on the schedule, Wright’s catch total already ranks as the seventh-best in team history.  Charlie Hennigan owns the team record with 101 receptions in 1964. Additionally, Wright produced the 24th 1,000-yard receiving season in franchise history and the first since Nate Washington’s 1,023 yards in 2011. 

FITZPATRICK PASSES FOR 402 YARDS: Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 36 of 58 passes for 402 yards, four touchdowns and a pair of interceptions (91.3 passer rating).  His attempts, completions and yardage totals all set career highs for the ninth-year signal caller.  His 402 passing yards rank 12th in franchise history, and he became the first Titans player since Billy Volek in 2004 (492 at Oakland, Dec. 19) to record 400 passing yards in a game.  Additionally, his 58 attempts are tied for fourth in franchise history for a single game, and his 36 completions are tied for fifth in franchise annals. 

FOUR FITZPATRICK TOUCHDOWN PASSES: Ryan Fitzpatrick tossed four touchdown passes against the Cardinals to tie his career high.  He previously hit the mark four times in his career.  His touchdowns against Arizona included a 25-yard pass to Chris Johnson in the first quarter, a one-yarder to Delanie Walker in the third quarter, and a pair of touchdowns to Michael Preston late in the fourth quarter (10 and eight yards).  It was the first time a Titans player passed for four touchdowns in a game since Billy Volek accomplished the feat at Oakland on Dec. 19, 2004.  Fitzpatrick has 13 touchdown passes in 2013 and 105 in his career.  He has at least one touchdown pass in eight of the nine games he has played this season, including a current streak of six consecutive games with a touchdown pass.    

WALKER RETURNS: Tight end Delanie Walker returned to the lineup after missing much of the Dec. 1 game at Indianapolis and all of the Dec. 8 contest at Denver due to a concussion.  Against the Cardinals, he finished second on the team with eight receptions for 53 yards and a score.  In the third quarter, he hauled in a one-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick, giving him a team-high six touchdown catches in 2013 and extending his career high (three in 2011 and 2012).  His six touchdown receptions this season are the most by a Titans tight end since Frank Wycheck had six in 1996.  His eight receptions against the Cardinals made up the second-largest total of his eight-year career. 

PRESTON MAKES MOST OF OPPORTUNITY: With Justin Hunter and Damian Williams inactive against the Cardinals, wideout Michael Preston received his most extensive playing time of the season.  He delivered with three receptions for 27 yards, including a pair of late touchdowns on passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick.  His 10-yard touchdown reception — the first of his career — helped cut the team’s deficit to 34-24, and with 10 seconds remaining, he came up with an eight-yard touchdown reception to help tie the score at 34-34.  Preston was originally signed as an undrafted free agent from Heidelberg University in 2011 and spent the majority of his first two-and-a-half seasons on the practice squad.  He appeared in nine total games with seven receptions prior to his performance against the Cardinals. 

CASEY IN ELITE COMPANY: In the second quarter, Jurrell Casey dropped Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer for a seven-yard loss, and later in the quarter, he split a nine-yard sack with Bernard Pollard.  The two plays gave Casey 16 career sacks, including 10.5 in 2013.  He became only the second Titans/Oilers defensive tackle since sacks became an official statistic in 1982 to record double-digit sacks in a season.  The only other defensive tackle to accomplish the feat was Ray Childress, who notched 13 sacks in 1992.  Also, Casey became only the seventh NFL 4-3 defensive tackle or 3-4 nose tackle in the past 10 seasons (2004 to present) to get to 10 sacks in a season.

CHRIS JOHNSON TOUCHDOWN RECEPTION: In the first quarter, Chris Johnson scored on a 25-yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick.  It marked Johnson’s fourth touchdown reception of 2013, equaling his combined total from his first five seasons.  Johnson finished the contest with 51 yards on three receptions, in addition to 13 carries for 40 yards. 

MOST NET YARDS SINCE LAST GAME VERSUS CARDINALS: The Titans offense netted 460 total yards against the Cardinals, the eighth-highest total by the team in the “Titans era” (1999-present).  The 460 yards were the most by the Titans in a game since the last time they played the Cardinals (532 net yards) on Nov. 29, 2009.

LOW PENALTY NUMBERS: The Titans were whistled for only three penalties for 16 yards against the Cardinals, tying for their lowest number of penalties this season (Nov. 3 at St. Louis).  It was their lowest number of yards penalized since a zero-penalty outing against Jacksonville on Dec. 24, 2011.

THIRD-DOWN SUCCESS: The Titans offense converted seven out of 14 third-down attempts in the game, marking the fifth time in the last seven games they were 50 percent or higher on third down.    

MOST FIRST DOWNS SINCE 1993: The Titans totaled 32 first downs against the Cardinals: three rushing, 23 passing and six by penalties.  Their 32 first downs tied for the fourth-highest mark in franchise history and the most since Nov. 14, 1993 against Cincinnati (32).  Their 23 passing first downs were the most for the team since accumulating 28 on Dec. 19, 2004 at Oakland. 

ONSIDE RECOVERY: The Titans recovered an onside kick in the fourth quarter, when Daimion Stafford came up with a Rob Bironas kick.  It marked the team’s first onside recovery since Oct. 9, 2011 at Pittsburgh. 

COLD TEMP: The official temperature at kickoff was 37 degrees with a wind chill of 34 degrees.  The temperature tied for the 12th-coldest in 15 years of Titans games at LP Field.   

SCORES IN FIRST TWO POSSESSIONS: For the fourth time in 2013 and for the second consecutive week, the Titans scored on their first two possessions of the game, getting a field goal by Rob Bironas and a touchdown reception by Chris Johnson.  They scored two touchdowns to open the previous game at Denver (Dec. 8) and also on Nov. 14 against Indianapolis. On Sept. 29 against the New York Jets, they had a touchdown and field goal in their initial two drives.

TITANS INACTIVES: The Titans’ seven inactive players were quarterback John Skelton, wide receiver Damian Williams, wide receiver Justin Hunter, defensive back Micah Pellerin, offensive lineman Kevin Matthews, tackle Byron Stingily and defensive tackle Mike Martin.  

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