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Titans-Rams Game Notes

Posted Nov 3, 2013

THIRD DOWN KEY FACTOR: After the Rams converted their first three third downs, they went two-of-10 the rest of the way to finish at 38 percent (five of 13).  Meanwhile, the Titans were seven-of-12, giving them a season-high rate of 58 percent.

OFFENSIVE LINE TAKES CHARGE IN SECOND HALF: After a first half in which the Titans allowed four sacks, the Titans offensive line helped the team pile up 131 of their 198 rushing yards without allowing a sack in the second half.                                          

TOUCHDOWN DRIVES AT THE START OF EACH HALF: For the first time in 2013, the Titans scored on their opening drives of the first and second halves. They opened the game with a 68-yard touchdown drive, marking their third game of 2013 in which they scored on their initial possession (touchdowns at Houston and against the New York Jets).  Then they began the third quarter with a 70-yard touchdown march, giving them their first game with scores on their opening offensive possessions of each half since Oct. 21, 2012 at Buffalo (two touchdowns). 

TITANS TOTAL 198 RUSHING YARDS, FOUR RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS: Chris Johnson (150 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns), Shonn Greene (38 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown) and Jake Locker (10 rushing yards, one touchdown) accounted for the team’s total of 35 carries for 198 yards and four rushing touchdowns.  It was the club’s highest rushing total since recording 202 rushing yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 27, 2011.  The last time the Titans had four rushing touchdowns was at the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 21, 2012.

Derrick Morgan, left, celebrates the first sack of the game by Jurrell Casey. The second led to a forced fumble that Morgan recovered. Slideshow.

CASEY NOTCHES PAIR OF SACKS: In the first quarter, defensive tackle Jurrell Casey dropped Kellen Clemens for a two-yard loss.  Then in the fourth quarter, with the score knotted at 21-21, he sacked Clemens again.  In the process, he knocked the ball free, and it was recovered by Derrick Morgan to help set up the game-winning touchdown on the ensuing possession.  It was the fourth forced fumble of Casey’s career (first of 2013) and the second fumble recovery of Morgan’s career (first of 2013).  Casey leads the club with six sacks in 2013, and he now has 11.5 sacks in three NFL seasons. 

CHRIS JOHNSON’S BEST GAME OF 2013: Chris Johnsonrushed 23 times against the Rams for a season-high 150 yards and two touchdowns.  He had four runs of 18 yards or longer, including a 24-yard long and a 23-yard carry on the first play from scrimmage.  His yardage total ranked ninth in his six-year career, and in the 14 games in which he has rushed for two touchdowns, the team is 13-1.  On his 24-yard carry in the fourth quarter, he went over the 100-yard rushing mark for the 34th time in his career.

JOHNSON PASSES HENNIGAN: Chris Johnson scored touchdowns on runs of 14 and 19 yards.  His 19-yarder with less than three minutes remaining in the game provided the game-winning score.  His two touchdowns gave him 52 total career touchdowns (rushing and receiving), moving him past former Oilers wide receiver Charlie Hennigan (51) for third place in franchise history, trailing only Eddie George (74) and Earl Campbell (73).

GAME-WINNING DRIVE FOR LOCKER: Quarterback Jake Locker was credited with his third career “comeback performance,” defined as a game-winning drive when the team trailed or was tied in the fourth quarter or overtime.  It was his second-such performance of 2013, with the first coming against the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 22.  Locker finished the game with 13 completions for 185 yards and a pair of interceptions on 22 pass attempts.  He added three rushing attempts for 10 yards and a five-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.  It gave the third-year signal caller four career rushing touchdowns, including a career-high of two in 2013.

CAREER LONG FOR WRIGHT: Second-year wide receiver Kendall Wright led the Titans with 69 receiving yards on three receptions, including a career-long 45-yarder in the fourth quarter.   

WASHINGTON’S STREAK ENDS: For the first time in his five years with the Titans, Nate Washington was held without a reception.  Dating back to his final season with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2008), his streak reached 85 career games, including each of the previous 71 games he played with the Titans.  Only three players — Frank Wycheck, Ernest Givins and Drew Hill — had longer runs of consecutive games with a catch.

LONG RECEPTION BY MOONEY: During the team’s first drive of the second quarter, fullback Collin Mooney took a screen pass 22 yards to help set up a touchdown.  The play was a career-long reception for Mooney.

WILLIAMS TAKES OVER RETURNS: For the first time in his four-year career, Damian Williams was the team’s primary return specialist for the game.  He finished the contest with two punt returns for eight yards and two kickoff returns for 59 yards, including a long kickoff return of 37 yards.   

SENSABAUGH RECORDS TAKEAWAY: Second-year defensive back Coty Sensabaugh recorded a fumble recovery in the first quarter to give him two fumble recoveries in 2013. 

GREENE REACHES PAYDIRT: At the end of the first possession, Shonn Greene scored his first touchdown as a member the Titans.  Greene, who was signed during the offseason as a free agent from the New York Jets, was injured in the season opener at Pittsburgh and had only five carries before his touchdown at St. Louis.  The fifth-year pro now has 19 career touchdowns.  Against the Rams, he totaled 38 yards on nine carries (4.2 avg.).

BIRONAS MOVES PAST BETHEA AND BULLUCK: With kicker Rob Bironas playing in his 136th consecutive game, he moved past Elvin Bethea and Keith Bulluck (tied with 135) for fourth place on the franchise’s all-time consecutive games list.

GRIFFIN’S STREAK ENDS: For the first time in his seven-year career, safety Michael Griffin was inactive for a game.  He was inactive at St. Louis due to a quad injury, ending his streak of 103 consecutive games played.  George Wilson started in his place.  Starting right tackle David Stewart was also inactive against the Rams with a shoulder injury, and Mike Otto filled in to record his sixth career start.  The five other inactive players besides Griffin and Stewart were quarterback Rusty Smith, linebacker Moise Fokou, linebacker Zac Diles, offensive lineman Pat McQuistan and defensive end Lavar Edwards.

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