Locker’s TD run gives Titans 14-10 lead over Jets

Jake Locker’s 13-yard quarterback keeper around left end with 20

seconds left in the third quarter gave the Tennessee Titans a 14-10

lead over the New York Jets on Monday night.

Chris Johnson set a franchise record with a 94-yard touchdown

run in the first half for the Titans.

New York was attempting to keep its faint playoff hopes alive.

The Jets entered the night needing to win their three remaining

games and to receive some help from others to have any hope of

reaching the postseason. The Jets host San Diego and travel to

Buffalo in their final two games.

The Jets took a 10-7 lead when Mark Sanchez and Jeff Cumberland

connected on a 17-yard touchdown pass with 3:19 to go in the third.

The Titans responded on their next possession with Locker’s first

touchdown run of the season, capping a seven-play, 64-yard

drive.

On Cumberland’s touchdown, the Jets’ tight end caught a

third-and-12 pass at about the 5-yard line after getting behind

Titans linebacker Tim Shaw, starting in place of injured defensive

captain Colin McCarthy. Cumberland headed into the end zone from

there.

The Jets began that drive at the Titans 35 after Brett Kern

shanked a 30-yard punt. Kern has been one of the few steady

performers this season for the Titans.

The Titans owned a 7-3 halftime lead after Johnson’s long

scamper in the second quarter. His touchdown run was the longest by

any NFL player since Minnesota’s Chester Taylor had a 95-yard TD in

a 31-13 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 22, 2006.

After Robert Malone’s 53-yard punt backed the Titans up to their

own 5-yard line, Johnson rushed for 1 yard on first down. On the

next play, he found a seam up the middle and appeared untouched on

his way to the end zone.

Jets safety Yeremiah Bell chased Johnson most of the way and

made an unsuccessful diving attempt to tackle him from behind

inside the 15.

The previous record for the longest run in franchise history was

91 yards, a mark shared by Johnson and Sid Blanks. Johnson had a

91-yard run against the Houston Texans in 2009. Blanks also did it

against the Jets in 1964.

This marked Johnson’s sixth career touchdown run of at least 80

yards, giving him twice as many as anyone else in NFL history.

Barry Sanders, Ahman Green, Hugh McElhenny and O.J. Simpson each

had three touchdown runs of at least 80 yards.

Johnson was otherwise held in check, but he still headed into

the fourth quarter with 110 yards rushing on 10 carries, giving him

32 career 100-yard games.

The Jets grabbed a 3-0 lead when Nick Folk’s 22-yard field goal

capped their first possession of the night. New York appeared to

reach the end zone when Cumberland caught a 4-yard pass from

Sanchez on third-and-goal, but the original ruling of a touchdown

was overturned after replays showed the ball hit the ground.

Sanchez struggled after that opening drive and was 9 of 19 for

93 yards through three quarters. He threw a pair of interceptions

to Jason McCourty, giving the slumping quarterback 21 turnovers

this season.

The Jets allowed backup quarterback Tim Tebow to run the offense

for a complete series in the second quarter. They picked up two

first downs on that series and advanced to their own 44, but the

drive stalled from there after a sack, a delay-of-game penalty and

an incompletion.

Sanchez returned on the Jets’ next series and promptly threw his

first interception to McCourty.

McCourty picked off another pass in the third quarter when

Sanchez overthrew a deep pass to Cumberland. A 28-yard return gave

the Titans the ball at the Jets 46, but Tennessee couldn’t get

beyond the 35 and eventually punted.

Before the game, a moment of silence was held for victims of the

shootings Friday in Newtown, Conn. Twenty children and six adults

were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman also killed

his mother in her home before committing suicide.

Johnson had the names of all the victims written on the two

shoes he wore for the game. He also had the words ”R.I.P. SHES”

and a cross written on each shoe. The Jets had an ”SHES” decal on

their helmets.