NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans needed a play on defense, and they got one in the end.
The Butler did it. Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler, that is.
Butler intercepted Jets quarterback Josh McCown's pass with just 29 seconds left, sealing the win for the Titans. It was the second interception of the season for Butler – and it was his first since the season opener vs the Dolphins.
"It is what is expected of me, and anybody else on the team," Butler said. "Just to keep working and never give in, cut it to the metal at all times. That one's for my teammates, my coaches, my son, my family. Just want to be successful, man."
Butler, signed this offseason after playing previously with the Patriots, has been the subject of criticism at times this season. Along the way, he's been very critical of his own play. Leading up to the game, Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees praised Butler for his resiliency, and determination while battling through early season struggles.
But Butler was there to make a play when it mattered most on Sunday, as the Titans held on for the 26-22 win.
Butler smiled when asked what was going through his mind as the ball headed in his direction. He knew he had to make the play.
"It was … an end-the-game situation," Butler said.
Coach Mike Vrabel praised Butler after the contest. Butler also made a big third down tackle earlier in the game, and he was credited with six stops on the day.
The Titans got a number of key stops on defense throughout the game, holding the Jets to five field goals. A stop on New York's second-to-last possession allowed the Titans an opportunity to put together a game-winning drive at the end.
"(The defense) was put in some tough positions, but that's what you do – you play defense," Vrabel said. "Great defenses go out there and play defense wherever you have to.
"Malcolm, he battled. And it's great for him to come out there and ice the game. It was huge."
The Tennessee Titans take on the New York Jets in Week 13 of the 2018 season on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)
More than 80 former Titans players return to Nissan Stadium as part of the team's 2018 homecoming weekend in Nashville. (Photos: Gary Glenn)