Titans 27

(2-3, 1-2 away)

Lions 24

(0-5, 0-2 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, October 21, 2001


1 2 3 4 T
TEN 3 6 8 1027
DET 0 14 0 1024

Nedney's four field goals drop Lions to 0-5

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) -- If not for Joe Nedney, the Tennessee Titans wouldn't have managed to beat a Detroit Lions team that did all it could to give away another game.

Joe Nedney

Titans kicker Joe Nedney booted four field goals, including the game-winner from 46 yards with five seconds left.

Nedney kicked four field goals, including from 46 yards with five seconds left, and the Titans beat the Lions 27-24 Sunday, leaving Detroit as the only NFL team without a victory.

Nedney also connected from 30, 38 and 46 yards to save a Titans offense that struggled all day. Steve McNair threw two interceptions and completed just 15 of 35 passes, while Eddie George produced just 51 yards on 26 carries.

"I'm disappointed in the number of field goals, but the field goals were the difference in the ballgame," Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher said. "We'll take them."

McNair's 22-yard run set up the winning kick after Detroit (0-5) tied the game 24-all with 1:18 left. Tennessee has won two straight after starting the season 0-3.

What do the Titans take away from a win like this?
Mainly, it gives them two wins in a row -- they've got some momentum and some success to build on.

Titans QB Steve McNair now has played two games in row looking like the McNair of last year, scrambling and making plays. That's a good sign for the Titans.

But Titans RB Eddie George doesn't look 100 percent healthy -- he hasn't had a really productive running game all season. McNair is playing better, but George doesn't look like the guy who's averaged better than 1,300 yards per season throughout his career. NFL analyst Vinny Cerrato has served as director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.

The Lions, meanwhile, helped the Titans in all sorts of ways, including two botched field goals, two turnovers, and eight penalties for 77 yards.

Detroit is off to its worst start since 1989. A loss to Cincinnati at home next week would drop the Lions to 0-6 for the first time since 1955.

"I'm not demoralized," said Marty Mornhinweg, Detroit's rookie coach. "I am quite upset about some of the things that have happened in the past few weeks. Good teams don't do those things."

The Lions at least have been more competitive lately. After dropping their first three games by an average score of 29-7, Detroit has lost its last two by a total of eight points.

Frank Wycheck caught seven passes for a career-high 100 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown that gave the Titans a 24-17 lead with 4:41 remaining. Two plays earlier, Wycheck threw a 29-yard pass to Derrick Mason on a third-and-2 from Detroit's 36.

"That was one of my worst throws," said Wycheck, who threw an across-the-field lateral to Kevin Dyson on a game-winning kickoff return in the 1999 playoffs against Buffalo.

The Lions drove inside the Titans' 30 on the ensuing drive, but Kevin Carter's second sack of the game -- and of the season -- ended that Lions' possession.

Then the Titans gave Detroit another chance.

Charlie Batch directed a 10-play, 79-yard drive to tie the game at 24. On fourth-and-10 from the Titans 36, Batch threw a touchdown pass to Desmond Howard, who hadn't caught a TD toss since 1995.

Batch was 25-of-42 for 338 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Johnnie Morton caught nine passes for 113 yards.

McNair threw for 216 yards with one touchdown.

Detroit's first miscue came on its first possession, after Ron Rice intercepted McNair's pass at Tennessee's 41. The Lions moved close enough to set up a 27-yard field goal try for Jason Hanson, but Brad Banta's snap never made it off the ground.

Later, Detroit's Jimmy Wyrick was flagged for interference on a punt, which gave Tennessee the ball at midfield. Eight plays later, Nedney's 38-yard field goal gave the Titans a 3-0 lead late in the first quarter. Nedney's 46-yard kick put Tennessee ahead 6-0 midway through the second.

Detroit then went up 7-6, scoring a touchdown before halftime for the first time this season. Chris Claiborne set up the TD by picking off McNair's errant lob in Tennessee territory.

Batch threw an 18-yard pass to Johnnie Morton for the score, 2:14 before halftime. On the first play of the Lions' next possession -- just 54 seconds later -- Batch threw a 46-yard touchdown to Germane Crowell to give the Lions a 14-6 lead.

Crowell later left the game with a left knee injury that could end his season.

Nedney's 30-yard kick as the half ended cut Tennessee's deficit to 14-9.

In the third quarter, Henry Ford blocked Hanson's field-goal attempt. Donald Mitchell picked up the bouncing football and returned it 69 yards for the score. A 2-point conversion pass to Drew Bennett gave the Titans a 17-14 lead.

It was the first TD return off a blocked field goal since 1967 for the Titans' franchise.

Hanson tied the game 17-all early in the fourth quarter, with a 23-yard kick, when the Lions' 14-play, 76-yard drive that took over seven minutes stalled at Tennessee's 4.

Game notes
On the fourth play of the game, Lions defensive end Tracy Scroggins and Titans tackle Brad Hopkins were ejected for fighting. Midway through the second quarter, Detroit defensive tackle Luther Elliss was ejected for pushing an official. ... Wycheck's previous best receiving day was a 10-catch, 87-yard performance against Baltimore in 1999.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

Drive info: 1 plays, 46 yds, 0:00
tenTD12:26 0 yd blocked field goal for a touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 22 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 46 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 3 plays, 26 yds, 0:28
Drive info: 3 plays, 26 yds, 0:28
tenFG0:10Joe Nedney 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 40 yds, 1:41
Drive info: 8 plays, 75 yds, 5:08
tenFG1:30Joe Nedney 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 29 yds, 2:22
Drive info: 8 plays, 75 yds, 5:08
Drive info: 9 plays, 79 yds, 0:14
Drive info: 9 plays, 79 yds, 0:14
tenFG7:19Joe Nedney 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 14 plays, 70 yds, 6:46
tenFG0:05Joe Nedney 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 62 yds, 1:59
detFG9:42Jason Hanson 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 14 plays, 76 yds, 15:40