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Titans rally for rare win over Steelers

Published: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 12:06 a.m. CDT
Caption
(AP)
Tennessee Titans kicker Rob Bironas reacts with holder Brett Kern after kicking the game-winning field goal Thursday against the the Pittsburgh Steelers in Nashville, Tenn.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Titans have bought themselves a little breathing room with a much-needed victory, and the Pittsburgh Steelers still can’t win away from Heinz Field.

Rob Bironas kicked his fourth field goal, a 40-yarder as time expired, and the Titans beat the Steelers 26-23 on Thursday night to snap a two-game skid.

Matt Hasselbeck threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt with 4:19 left to tie it at 23, and the Titans (2-4) snapped a three-game losing streak against the Steelers.

Pittsburgh (2-3) lost its third straight road game this season and for the fifth time in six games dating to last season despite Ben Roethlisberger throwing for 363 yards and becoming the Steelers’ career passing leader.

Roethlisberger drove the Steelers into position to take the lead after the Titans tied it. Shaun Suisham, who already had connected from 29, 28 and 52 yards, had his 54-yard attempt fall short of the crossbar with 49 seconds left.

Chris Johnson ran for 91 yards on 19 carries, and Hasselbeck finished with 290 yards passing.

The Steelers were up 20-16 when Lawrence Timmons picked off Hasselbeck’s pass, but they had to settle for Suisham’s third field goal after moving the ball only 14 yards. That field goal put Pittsburgh up 23-16, and the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense couldn’t make that stand up.

Johnson, who has been criticized mercilessly for his struggles running the ball, started Tennessee’s next drive with a 12-yard run. The Titans drove 80 yards before Hasselbeck found Britt to tie it.

After the Titans stopped Pittsburgh, Hasselbeck drove them 33 yards, with the big play a 25-yard pass to tight end Jared Cook on a night his mother, Yulinda, was honored as a breast cancer survivor. The Titans gave the ball to Johnson to run down the clock, then sent out Bironas for the field goal. The veteran nailed it after Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin called a timeout to ice him.

Roethlisberger entered the game with 27,703 yards, 286 yards shy of Terry Bradshaw’s franchise record. Roethlisberger was 24 of 40 and passed Bradshaw with a 17-yard pass to Heath Miller late in the third quarter of his 119th game. Bradshaw played 168 games from 1970-83. He threw an 82-yard TD pass to Mike Wallace.

 

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