Antonio Andrews Carrying the Load for Titans

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** Antonio Andrews is now the lead back for the Titans.

And in Sunday’s game against the Saints, Andrews turned in a career-high 88 yards in the team’s 34-28 overtime win. He also made a 23-yard reception, giving him 111 yards of total offense.

“It feels good,’’ Andrews said. “I feel I get better as the game goes on, more and more carries. Overall the offensive line was solid up front, and I was able to do my thing.”

The Titans think he’ll only get better. In fact, interim coach Mike Mularkey on Monday pointed out one area where Andrews could improve.

Andrews, who starred at Western Kentucky, set up a touchdown with a 38-yard run in the second quarter. He also played a big role on the team’s game-winning drive in overtime, turning in a 15-yard gain.

Titans tackle Taylor Lewan likes Andrews, and his running style.

“We are going to be that downhill team,’’ Lewan said. “(After games), we’re going to be bloodied and bruised when it’s over.”

Mularkey thought Andrews turned in a solid performance against the Saints, when he was on the field for 45 of the 71 offensive snaps. Running back Dexter McCluster played in 29 snaps, and contributed with eight carries for 19 yards. Bishop Sankey didn’t play a snap in Sunday’s game.

One thing Mularkey would like to see Andrews improve on: Short-yardage carries.

Andrews busted off six runs of five yards or more against the Saints, including the 15-yarder and the 38-yarder. But he was stuffed for no gain on a third-and-one early, and held for no yards on a second-and-one in the third quarter.

“I thought his performance was good. He made some yards. Really, not just running it, but some of the runs after catches, he did a good job with that,’’ Mularkey said of Andrews. “There were times in some short-yardage plays that I thought we should have made it, and he has to understand there is no room for stopping the feet. If there is no hole there -- and we’ve talked about it -- you have to make a hole. He has to do that. We had a couple of chances to do that with him, but he’s a young player…Antonio will learn as we go to hit it a little better. It’s been reinforced.”

Andrews said he’s happy to get the chance. On the season, he now has a team high 290 yards on 73 carries (a 4.0-yard average) and two touchdowns.

He believes Sunday was a sign of things to come for the team.

“Our goal is to win out for the rest of the season, and this is just one brick for the foundation,’’ Andrews said. “We plan on winning out.”

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