Titans beat former coach Fisher, Rams 28-21
One last time, Jeff Fisher said it was just the next game on the
schedule, ignoring all those familiar faces on the other sideline.
Mike Munchak, too, noting he’s not one to socialize before
Occasionally, there were reminders it was a game, and a reunion,
”When I saw Coach on the screen because I was looking up to see
the replay, I did realize that `Oh yeah, Coach Fish is on the other
side,”’ Munchak said after the Tennessee Titans’ 28-21 victory
over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
The matchup had connections galore, even if, as Fisher noted,
Tennessee had just 16 players remaining from his last season in
It definitely meant a lot to some of them.
”If you can get any closer to a Super Bowl without it being a
Super Bowl, that’s what it was for me,” said Rams cornerback
Cortland Finnegan, in his second year with St. Louis since leaving
Tennessee. ”It was staying up late and watching extra film and
doing everything I could to prepare myself.”
Rams tight end Jared Cook, who tied the score in the fourth
quarter with a 10-yard catch, is a former Titans player. He’s just
one of many with ties on both sides.
Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey really wanted to beat some
”This was a game for some bragging rights,” Casey said. ”They
were talking some trash to us. They wanted to win and we wanted to
win. We did and that’s good.”
”We worked, we came back on a short week against a good
opponent, and didn’t get it done,” Fisher said.
Five reasons why the Titans ended a three-game losing streak
coming off their bye week and the Rams lost their third in a
NO STATS, JUST WINS: Titans quarterback Jake Locker was 13 for
23 for 185 yards and no touchdowns with two interceptions,
pedestrian numbers. He’ll take the bottom line. ”Everybody is
good. You’re going to have games where you look at the stat line
and you’re like `mediocre,’ but when you look over and see a `W’
next to it that makes all those things feel better,” Locker
DEFENSE REGRESSES: Six days after the Rams held Seattle to 135
yards, Chris Johnson put up more by himself with 150 yards on 23
carries. The Titans and Rams each totaled 363 yards, a big step
back for St. Louis. ”They’re correctable things but you can’t be
saying these things are correctable in Week 9,” defensive end
Chris Long said. ”We can’t be one team one week and another team
TEAM UNITY: Johnson’s first three seasons with the Titans,
running backs and offensive linemen met together with position
coaches after practice on Thursdays. At Johnson’s behest, they
returned to that tradition. Then they put up a season-best 198
yards rushing. ”I don’t know why we got away from it but I think
it helped us,” Johnson said. ”We all talked, we all got on the
same page. It’s a small, minor thing but it worked.”
RUNNING RAMS: After four games, the Rams were last in the league
in rushing and averaging just 47 yards. There’s been a noticeable
improvement since rookie Zac Stacy took over at running back.
They’re averaging 133 yards rushing in the last five games,
including back-to-back 100-yard games by Stacy. ”Zac’s been great.
I think he’s been the highlight of our team for a good few weeks
now,” receiver Austin Pettis said. ”He’s been running very hard.
He kind of just goes there and doesn’t say much at all. He’s just a
worker. That’s something we definitely needed on this team.”
STREAKING STATS: Johnson and Stacy both scored their first two
touchdowns rushing, and Stacy’s were the first on the ground all
year for the Rams. The Titans ran for three touchdowns altogether,
matching their season total entering the game. Johnson entered with
115 carries, the most in the NFL without a TD, and Stacy had been
second with none in 76 carries. Titans wide receiver Nate
Washington’s streak with at least one catch come to an end. Titans
free safety Michael Griffin missed the first game of his career
with a right quadriceps injury, ending a string of 103 consecutive
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