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Titans-Lions Game Notes

Posted Sep 23, 2012

TITANS ACHIEVE A FIRST IN THE NFL: The Titans became the first team in NFL history to score five touchdowns of at least 60 yards in a game.  Their touchdowns included Tommie Campbell’s 65-yard punt return, Jared Cook’s 61-yard touchdown reception, Darius Reynaud’s 105-yard kickoff return, Nate Washington’s 71-yard reception and Alterraun Verner’s 72-yard fumble return.

THREE RETURN TOUCHDOWNS: The Titans tied a franchise record with three total return touchdowns—one each on a punt return, kickoff return and fumble return.  The team posted three return touchdowns on three previous occasions: initially against the New York Jets on Oct. 15, 1967, then against the San Diego Chargers on Dec. 19, 1971, and finally against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 17, 2006.  Sunday against the Lions marked the first time in franchise history the Titans/Oilers scored two touchdowns on punt returns and/or kickoff returns in the same game.                                                                                                 

BIRONAS TIES FRANCHISE RECORD: Titans kicker Rob Bironas made field goals in the first half from 31 and 38 yards.  That put Bironas in a tie for the franchise record with 20 consecutive field goals.  He reached the mark twice already in his career to tie the record Al Del Greco originally set from 1998–1999.  Furthermore, Bironas became the eighth player in NFL history to have three or more separate streaks of that length, joining Gary Anderson, Morten Anderson, John Carney, Phil Dawson, Jason Hanson, Mike Vanderjagt and Adam Vinatieri.  On his third attempt, Bironas missed a 41-yard attempt, his first miss since Nov. 27, 2011 against Tampa Bay. 

BIRONAS EXTENDS ANOTHER STREAK: Rob Bironas now has at least one field goal in 13 consecutive games, dating back to Oct. 23, 2011 against Houston.  The streak is the third-longest in franchise history, trailing only his previous streaks of 20 games (2009-10) and 19 games (2006-07). 

BIRONAS TIES FRANCHISE MARK FOR GAME-WINNERS: In overtime, Rob Bironas booted a 26-yard field goal to win the game.  The kick was his 10th career game-winning kick (final score of game and put Titans ahead in fourth quarter or overtime) and his first since Dec. 20, 2009 against Miami.  Bironas now has 10 career game-winning kicks, tying the franchise record set by Al Del Greco

CAMPBELL SCORES AFTER LATERAL ON PUNT RETURN: Special teams gave the Titans a lead late in the first quarter.  Darius Reynaud fielded a punt at the Tennessee 35-yard line, went two yards, and then lateraled across the field to Tommie Campbell.  Campbell then raced 65 yards down the right sideline for his second career touchdown.  As a rookie in 2011, Campbell scored on a reverse off of a kickoff return.

COOK SCORES ON LONG PASS: In the second quarter, Jake Locker completed his seventh career touchdown pass (third of 2012) with a 61-yarder to tight end Jared Cook.  It was the second-longest reception of Cook’s career and his fifth career touchdown reception.

AYERS DELIVERS A KEY SACK: On a third-and-nine with the game tied 27-27 in the fourth quarter, linebacker Akeem Ayers recorded his third career sack (first of 2012), taking down Matthew Stafford for an eight-yard loss.

LOCKER PASSES FOR 378, SETS CAREER LONGS: In recording his first NFL win as a starting quarterback, Jake Locker completed 29 of 42 passes for 378 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 113.0.  His career-high 378 passing yards were the most by a Titans quarterback since Vince Young’s 387 yards against Arizona on Nov. 29, 2009.  Locker’s single-game total ranks 21st in franchise history.  He also set new career longs in two categories against the Lions.  His 31-yard run against the Lions topped his 20-yarder against San Diego the previous week (Sept. 16), and his 71-yard touchdown strike to Nate Washington was better than his previous long of 54 yards on Dec. 11, 2011 against New Orleans.  The touchdown to Washington was Locker’s eighth career touchdown pass (fourth of 2012).

MOST POINTS SINCE 2008: The 44 points scored by the Titans were the most by the team since a 47-10 victory at Detroit on Nov. 27, 2008.  It was 30th time in Titans/Oilers history that the club scored 44 or more points.

OVERTIME WIN: The Titans recorded their 17th all-time overtime win.  It was their first since Dec. 20, 2009, when they beat the Miami Dolphins at LP Field by a final score of 27-24. 

STEVENS RECORDS CAREER HIGHS: Tight end Craig Stevens set career highs with five receptions and 63 receiving yards.  His role in the passing game picked up when Jared Cook was removed from the game late in the first half with a shoulder injury. 

WRIGHT LEADS TEAM IN CATCHES: Rookie Kendall Wright led the Titans with seven receptions against the Lions.  It was the highest number of catches by a Titans rookie since Kenny Britt’s seven on Nov. 29, 2009 against the Arizona Cardinals. 

REYNAUD SETS NEW FRANCHISE RECORD: In the fourth quarter, Darius Reynaud scored on a 105-yard kickoff return.  In addition to being his first career touchdown, it was the longest play in franchise history.  Previously, the longest kickoff return and the longest play was a 104-yard kickoff return by Ken Hall against the New York Titans on Oct. 23, 1960.

WASHINGTON BIG IN 100TH GAME: In his 100th career regular-season game, wide receiver Nate Washington came up with one of the best performances of his eight-year career.  He totaled three receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown, recording his fifth career 100-yard game. His 71-yard touchdown reception equaled his career long, set at San Diego on Oct. 31, 2010. His first catch, a 32-yarder, extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 65, including all 51 games he has played with the Titans. 

VERNER SCORES FIRST TOUCHDOWN: Late in the fourth quarter, Alterraun Verner stripped the ball from tight end Brandon Pettigrew and raced 72 yards for a touchdown. The play gave Verner, in his third NFL season, his first career touchdown and the team’s first fumble return for a touchdown since Cortland Finnegan’s 92-yard return for a score against Jacksonville on Dec. 17, 2006.

MUNCHAK WINS CHALLENGE: Head coach Mike Munchak won a big challenge in the first quarter.  Calvin Johnson snared a third-down pass from Matthew Stafford that was originally ruled a catch for 17 yards and a first down.  However, Munchak challenged the call, and upon further review, it was ruled Johnson did not finish the reception.  On the ensuing punt return, the Titans scored a touchdown.

MARKS BACK IN STARTING LINEUP: Defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks was back in the starting lineup against the Lions.  The fourth-year defender missed the first two games of the season with a knee injury.  

TITANS START IN EMPTY-BACKFIELD FORMATION: On offense, the Titans opened the game without a starter at running back.  They had three wide receivers on the field—Nate Washington, Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright—along with tight ends Jared Cook and Craig Stevens.

ROOS AND BACKUS TWO OF LEAGUE’S IRON MEN: The Titans-Lions game featured the two NFL tackles with the longest current starting streaks: the Lions’ Jeff Backus and the Titans’ Michael Roos.  Roos has started all 115 games for the Titans since entering the league as a second-round draft pick in 2005.  Backus holds Detroit’s franchise record with 178 consecutive starts.  Besides Backus, the only offensive players in the NFL with more consecutive starts than Roos are New York Jets guard Brandon Moore and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

INACTIVES: The Titans’ seven inactive players against the Lions were quarterback Rusty Smith, running back Javon Ringer, safety Al Afalava, linebacker Colin McCarthy, tackle Mike Otto, guard Deuce Lutui and wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins

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