Final

Falcons 13

(1-4, 0-3 away)

Titans 20

(3-1, 1-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, October 7, 2007

LP Field, Nashville, TN 

1 2 3 4 T
ATL 7 3 3 013
TEN 7 3 10 020

Top Performers

Passing: V. Young (TEN) - 157 YDS, 3 INT

Rushing: A. Pinner (ATL) - 1 CAR, 49 YDS

Receiving: R. White (ATL) - 3 REC, 55 YDS

Titans overcome five turnovers to beat Falcons

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons had first-and-goal at the Tennessee 1, needing a touchdown to get even with 2 minutes left.

When Albert Haynesworth leaped and turned a toss play into an 8-yard loss, Tennessee's resilient, stingy defense bailed out sloppy Titans quarterback Vince Young.

Scouts Buzz
When Byron Leftwich replaced Joey Harrington in the fourth quarter, coach Bobby Petrino hoped the change would provide a much-needed spark. Unfortunately, Leftwich probably was even more ineffective, connecting on just two of eight attempts. After a turnover gave the Falcons the ball in the red zone, Leftwich threw an interception as his arm was jostled by a pass-rusher. One of the issues Leftwich had while in Jacksonville was his long-armed, slow delivery. He has a tendency to drop the ball as he winds up to throw it, which gives defenders more time to read the pass and close on the receivers -- or defensive linemen an extra half-step or full step to close on the quarterback. He still needs to improve on his ability to make a quick decision and pull the trigger.
-- Doug Kretz, Scouts Inc.
Complete Week 5 Scouts Buzz

Vincent Fuller picked off a pass and returned it 76 yards for a touchdown, and Kyle Vanden Bosch sacked Byron Leftwich with 1:01 left, as the Tennessee Titans overcame five turnovers in pulling out a 20-13 victory Sunday over the Atlanta Falcons.

"When you get on the 1-yard line, you assume that your team is going to put the ball in for seven," Atlanta cornerback DeAngelo Hall said.

The win allowed the Titans (3-1) to continue their best start since 2003 when they last reached the playoffs. This is the fourth 3-1 start under coach Jeff Fisher, and they made the postseason the three previous times.

But it couldn't have been uglier for a team coming off its bye. Young matched his career high with three interceptions and said he knows he made bad decisions by trying to force some balls.

"Our defense saved this game," Young said.

Fisher agreed.

"The obvious reason we won this game was because of the performance, the consistent performance and never-say-die attitude the defense took throughout the game," Fisher said.

Atlanta (1-4) scored only 13 points off the turnovers and botched plenty of chances to win, including three missed field goals.

"The bottom line is their defensive front controlled the line of scrimmage, and we couldn't make plays when they were there," Atlanta coach Bobby Petrino said.

Petrino replaced a battered Joey Harrington, who threw for 87 yards, with Leftwich trying to spark the offense in the fourth quarter. Leftwich overthrew open Laurent Robinson in the end zone after Demorrio Williams intercepted Young's pass with 4:15 to go.

Williams gave Leftwich another shot, breaking through and tackling Titans punter Craig Hentrich at the Tennessee 19 with 2:24 left. That gave Atlanta the ball with 2:24 left, and Warrick Dunn, held to nine yards on his previous nine carries, broke loose for 18.

That was as close as the Falcons would get, and Vanden Bosch's sack on fourth-and-5 sealed the victory.

Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck said this win showed that Tennessee has all it takes to be a good team.

"As a team, we have to come together and start playing like it," he said. "We're 3-1, and it could be a lot worse."

Part of Atlanta's problem was trying -- and missing -- three long field goals despite having the kicker with the most career field goals in NFL history on the team.

The 47-year-old Morten Andersen was short on a 48-yarder. Michael Koenen, Atlanta's punter and kicker on long field goals, was short on a 53-yarder in the second and was wide left on a 50-yarder early in the fourth quarter.

"We couldn't get it done offensively," Petrino said.

That forced the Falcons to try to reach the end zone on those final two drives. The Titans, who have not allowed a point in the fourth quarter this season, shut them out on a steamy afternoon when the temperature was 89 at the end.

The Titans hadn't played since beating New Orleans 31-14 on Sept. 24, and the layoff showed.

They never picked up more than two first downs in any drive and had four or fewer plays on seven possessions. They turned over the ball twice in their first three possessions, and Hall picked up LenDale White's fumble on Tennessee's opening drive and ran it 56 yards for a TD.

Michael Boley intercepted Young's pass that led to Andersen's 32-yard field goal. Andersen also kicked a 28-yarder off another interception by Young for a 13-10 Falcons lead in the third quarter.

The Titans also struggled on special teams, giving up a 49-yard run to Artose Pinner on a fake play that set up Andersen's first field goal. They later gave up a 76-yard kickoff return to Jerious Norwood, but Andersen came up short on his field goal attempt.

Leftwich, signed Sept. 18 as insurance, was no better. A play after missing Robinson, Titans defensive end Travis LaBoy deflected Leftwich's pass that was then picked off by linebacker David Thornton.

Young and the offense couldn't run out the clock, going three-and-out again. The defense bailed them out.

Game notes


The Titans are 13-1 against the NFC South. ... Atlanta lineman Wayne Gandy Fuller has interception returns for TDs in consecutive games, both coming off tips. This time, the ball bounced off Falcons WR Michael Jennings' left hand to Fuller. ... The Titans beat Atlanta for the fifth straight time. ... Tennessee improved to 11-8 after its bye.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ATL
TEN
1st Downs920
Passing 1st downs
411
Rushing 1st downs
55
1st downs from penalties
04
3rd down efficiency
4-186-13
4th down efficiency
1-20-2
Total Plays6365
Total Yards198249
Yards per play3.13.8
Total Drives1416
Passing99157
Comp-Att
18-3920-33
Yards per pass
2.44.8
Interceptions thrown
23
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-160-0
Rushing9992
Rushing Attempts
2232
Yards per rush
4.52.9
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-31-2
Penalties8-666-40
Turnovers25
Fumbles lost
02
Interceptions thrown
23
Defensive / Special Teams TDs11
Possession30:1129:49

Passing Leaders

ATLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Harrington16/31872.8011-8
Leftwich2/8283.5011-8
TENC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Young20/331574.8030-0

Rushing Leaders

ATLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Pinner14949.0049
Dunn10272.7018
TENCARYDSAVGTDLG
White12322.708
Young8273.4020

Receiving Leaders

ATLRECYDSAVGTDLG
White35518.3034
Robinson4276.809
TENRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jones33612.0016
Moulds4317.8010

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERATLTEN
atlTD10:12DeAngelo Hall, 56 yd fumble return (Morten Andersen kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 19 yds, 2:36
70
tenTD6:20Chris Brown, 3 yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 58 yds, 3:45
77
SECOND QUARTERATLTEN
atlFG11:19Morten Andersen 32 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 62 yds, 3:45
107
tenFG0:04Rob Bironas 30 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 43 yds, 1:31
1010
THIRD QUARTERATLTEN
atlFG10:13Morten Andersen 28 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 12 yds, 3:29
1310
tenFG7:00Rob Bironas 40 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 57 yds, 3:12
1313
tenTD1:12Vincent Fuller, 76 yd interception return (Rob Bironas kick is good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 10 yds, 1:10
1320