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Titans Falter in Fourth Quarter

Posted Oct 13, 2013

SEATTLE (AP) — Zach Brown looked and saw one Seattle jersey standing in his path to end zone, and a game-changing touchdown that could have given Tennessee a better chance at pulling the upset.

Just one problem; Brown failed to completely secure the ball.

Seattle's Russell Wilson recovers a fumble that eluded the grasp of Tennessee's Zach Brown early in the fourth quarter. Slideshow.

“I was thinking about scoring before I scooped the ball,” Brown said. “It was a touchdown for sure. I’m not letting Russell Wilson tackle me.”

Despite Seattle making mistakes and doing its best to hand Tennessee chances, the Titans could not capitalize and dropped their second straight, 20-13 on Sunday.

Brown’s almost fumble recovery — that bounced right into Wilson’s arms — was another frustrating moment in an afternoon where the Titans (3-3) had little offensive success and their only touchdown came because of a major special teams mistake by the Seahawks.

Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 17 of 29 passes for 171 yards and threw two interceptions. None was more costly than his decision to challenge All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman on the first play after Seattle took a 13-10 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Sherman didn’t get faked out on Nate Washington’s double move and stayed in perfect position to grab his third interception of the season.

Seattle (5-1) turned the interception into points, with Marshawn Lynch scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run, his second score of the game, for a 10-point lead with 7:33 remaining.

Fitzpatrick wasn’t helped by a run game that was mostly non-existent. Chris Johnson was limited to 33 yards on 12 carries. Fitzpatrick also scrambled for 33 yards.

The Titans were outgained by Seattle 404-223 and their only offensive points were a pair of field goals from Rob Bironas.

“We just couldn’t get into a rhythm on offense. A lot of that is me, I didn’t play well today. Really, for the last two weeks, I played poorly and we haven’t won a game,” Fitzpatrick said.

“It’s hard for me to come in and I feel like the momentum has kind of gone to a halt with the last two games and with the way we’ve played on offense because our defense is still playing great and making plays out there. I’m not doing enough right now to consistently move the ball for the offense.”

Lynch finished with 77 yards rushing, including touchdown runs of 1 and 3 yards, and a career-best 78 yards on four receptions. Wilson was 23 of 31 for 257 yards.

Steven Hauschka kicked field goals of 31 and 29 yards in the second half for Seattle, but only after being injured in the first half, a development that led to a major special teams blunder and Tennessee’s only touchdown.

Hauschka was plowed by Darius Reynaud during the kickoff return following Lynch’s first TD midway through the second quarter.

Just before halftime, Hauschka went to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion.

He missed a memorable special teams mistake. Chris Maragos, a reserve safety, was asked to hold on a short field goal attempt by punter Jon Ryan on the final play of the half instead of Seattle going for it on third-and-goal at the 4.

Maragos, who was a holder in college, caught the snap cleanly, but lost the ball as he went to place it down.

Instead of falling on the ball, Maragos tried to make a play. He was stripped by Michael Griffin and Jason McCourty picked up the loose ball and raced 77 yards to give the Titans a 10-7 halftime lead.

“That’s a lot of pressure on those guys and we didn’t handle it very well, obviously,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “We couldn’t have handled it any worse, as a matter of fact.”

On Seattle’s first possession of the second half, Sidney Rice caught his first pass of the game, only to expose the ball as he was spun to the ground. Moise Fokou knocked the ball free and Griffin recovered.

But the Titans failed to do anything with the turnover, going three-and-out. They ran just six total offensive plays between the 10:53 mark of the third quarter and the 7:33 mark of the fourth quarter.

By that point, the Seahawks had built a two-score advantage.

“There are plays we’re not making and there are plays that are costing us,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said.

NOTES: Fokou left in the fourth quarter with a knee sprain. Seattle DE Chris Clemons suffered a hyperextended elbow late and Carroll was unsure if he’d be back on Thursday in Arizona. ... Titans WR Kendall Wright had four receptions for 57 yards in the first half and just one catch after halftime. ... In his past 19 games dating to last season, Fitzpatrick has thrown 20 interceptions.

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