Titans beat Fisher, Rams 28-21
Chris Johnson became a star under Jeff Fisher, rushing for 2,000
yards in 2009 a year after the Tennessee Titans drafted him in the
On Sunday, Johnson got the best of his former coach.
”C.J., when he gets on the edge he goes,” Fisher said after
Johnson’s second touchdown of the game was the go-ahead score in
the Titans’ 28-21 victory over the St. Louis Rams.
Fisher has seen Johnson run wild plenty of times, just not from
the opposite sideline.
He again downplayed the matchup against the franchise he coached
for 16 years, saying it was ”another week for me,” although he
expected the loss to hurt more for former Titans players now in the
St. Louis lineup.
”I think this one probably at the end of the day, it’s probably
going to last a little longer, hurt a little bit more,” Fisher
said. ”Because it was important to them.”
Titans coach Mike Munchak, a longtime former Fisher aide, also
said this game was nothing personal. The postgame handshake was
”That’s something we can talk more about in the offseason and
having bragging rights about who beat who,” Munchak said. ”But
this is all about us vs. them.
”Players are the ones who win the games.”
Johnson ran for 150 yards on 23 carries for the Titans (4-4),
who ended a three-game losing streak after their bye against a team
on short rest. The Rams lost 14-9 to Seattle on Monday night and
have dropped three in a row.
Johnson’s 19-yard scoring run snapped a tie with 2:54 remaining
the play after Jurrell Casey sacked and stripped quarterback Kellen
Clemens, and Derrick Morgan recovered. Clemens landed on it first,
but the ball squirted away.
”It’s a mistake that can’t be made,” Clemens said. ”And
unfortunately I made it.”
The Rams (3-6) have lost three in a row despite a second
straight 100-yard game from rookie Zac Stacy, who had 127 yards on
27 carries and two touchdowns.
St. Louis drove to the Titans 26 in the final minute, but Austin
Pettis could only get a hand on Clemens’ high throw to a corner of
the end zone on fourth down.
Johnson gained his most yards since Week 7 last season against
Buffalo when he had 195. In the previous four games, he’d totaled
110 yards with a 2.4-yard average per carry.
”It helps my confidence, sure,” Johnson said. ”I felt like I
was getting close to breaking out.”
Rookie Tavon Austin’s 24-yard punt return gave the Rams a final
chance at their 39 with 50 seconds to go and no timeouts. Chris
Givens had a 25-yard catch to put them in position.
Rodney McLeod intercepted an overthrown pass by Locker with 4:44
left, less than two minutes after former Titan Jared Cook tied it
at 21 with a 10-yard catch from Clemens.
Locker put the Titans up 21-14 with 9:42 to go on a 4-yard run,
breaking a tackle by linebacker Alec Ogletree about 2 yards from
the end zone.
Stacy gained more than 100 yards for the second straight week on
the next drive with a 32-yard carry topped off by a horse collar
penalty on Casey after he’d stepped out of bounds.
The Rams had a sloppy start with three straight penalties
helping the Titans score on their opening possession capped by
Shonn Greene’s 5-yard run. Cortland Finnegan, Darian Stewart and
Jermelle Cudjo were whistled for horse collar, holding and illegal
use of hands.
Stacy’s 3-yard run in the second quarter was St. Louis’ first
rushing touchdown of the season. It also was their first TD in two
games overall, to snap a 1-for-8 slump inside the 20.
Clemens was 7 for 7 for 75 yards to open the game, and 0 for 6
to finish the half – with two dropped passes. The Rams failed to
capitalize on Cortland Finnegan’s interception in the final minute
when Greg Zuerlein pushed a 44-yard field goal attempt just wide to
the right – his first miss inside 50 of the season in 15
Notes: ”Modern Family” star Ty Burrell wore a Rams camp during
an interview on the scoreboard during a break in the first quarter.
… Casey got his fifth sack of the season in the first quarter.
… Coty Sensabaugh’s fumble recovery at the Titans 10 in the first
quarter stifled a Rams scoring opportunity and capitalized on a
careless play by rookie Benny Cunningham, who lost his grip without
contact. … Locker has two rushing TDs this season and four for
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org