Titans stay alive with OT win over Dolphins
By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans might fall short of making NFL history by rebounding from an 0-6 start to make the playoffs. It won't be for lack of trying.
Rob Bironas kicked a 46-yard field goal in overtime, and the Titans beat the Miami Dolphins 27-24 Sunday after blowing an 18-point lead.
Tennessee kept alive faint playoff hopes for another week as Vince Young threw for a career-high three touchdowns, and Chris Johnson ran for 104 yards. The Titans (7-7) reached .500 for the first time this year, but made it far too interesting by blowing the big lead.
The Dolphins (7-7) also viewed this as an elimination game for their own playoff hopes. They trailed 24-6 in the third quarter before rallying, tying on Ricky Williams' 2-point conversion run with 1:34 left.
Miami won the toss and got the ball first in overtime. But Michael Griffin picked off Chad Henne's pass, and Bironas kicked the winner four plays later.
The Dolphins tied it as Dan Carpenter kicked three field goals. Then Williams scored their first TD on a 1-yard run as he took a direct snap and outraced a defender to the left side of the goal line midway in the fourth quarter.
Griffin had a chance to seal the victory in regulation but a pass bounced off his chest into the arms of Brian Hartline for a 57-yard reception. Chad Henne finished the drive by finding Anthony Fasano in the end zone for a 2-yard TD pass on fourth-and-1 with 1:34 remaining. Then Pat White handed off to Williams for the 2-point conversion that tied it at 24.
The Dolphins forced a three-and-out as Young was incomplete on his first two passes. Brett Kern pinned Miami at the Dolphins 2 with a 59-yard punt, and Tennessee was content to wait for overtime as coach Jeff Fisher sat on his three timeouts.
It worked out when Griffin got redemption and his first interception this season.
The Dolphins outgained Tennessee 468-364 on offense. But Miami couldn't overcome four turnovers, including three interceptions by Henne, who finished with 349 yards passing.
Johnson turned in his ninth straight 100-yard game, extending his franchise mark and making him the eighth player in NFL history with such a streak. But he couldn't add to his numbers much in the second half as the Dolphins focused on stopping him in his chase to become only the sixth player to reach 2,000 yards this season. Johnson now has 1,730 yards.
The finish overshadowed Young's performance after he came into the game questionable with a mildly strained right hamstring and achy right knee. He now has a TD pass in six straight games and seven of his eight starts, even though his first pass was tipped by four players before Vontae Davis intercepted it on the opening drive.
Young came back by driving Tennessee 81 yards, finishing with a 22-yard pass to Justin Gage for a 7-3 lead. He also found Gage with a 21-yard TD pass that Gage pulled in after getting tangled a bit with Davis for a 17-6 lead.
It was Gage's first catches since breaking several bones in his lower back on a leaping catch Nov. 8 in San Francisco.
Young then capped the Titans' first drive of the third quarter with a 32-yard TD pass to Nate Washington and the 24-6 lead that didn't stand up to the Dolphins' furious rally.