Comeback fails, Cardinals beat Titans 37-34 in OT

Coach Mike Munchak decided to play for overtime by kicking an

extra point that may have cost the Titans a win.

Whether it helps cost his job will only be known after the

season.

The Titans rallied, scoring 17 straight points with no timeouts

left in the final 3:12 of regulation and were in Arizona territory

in overtime when Antoine Cason intercepted his second pass from

Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Jay Feely kicked a 41-yard field goal capping the Cardinals’

lone possession for a 37-34 victory Sunday.

”Now you sit here and think, `We might as well have done it. We

had a better chance to win,”’ Munchak said. ”I felt the momentum

was on our side. We go the ball, which I hoped we would. We were in

position to take over the game. We have to make plays there and win

it. Now that we didn’t get it done, I wish we did go for it.”

The Titans (5-9) lost their third straight and eighth in 10

games, and they have lost five consecutive home games for the first

time since moving to Tennessee in 1997.

New president and CEO Tommy Smith was on hand for this latest

game that featured thousands of empty seats, a number that

increased when Arizona scored 21 straight points, taking a 34-17

lead with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter.

Smith spoke to reporters before kickoff in his first news

conference since taking over the team Oct. 29 following the death

of owner Bud Adams.

Smith said he will meet with Munchak and general manager Ruston

Webster after the season ends to evaluate what’s next, but also

sees the Titans still playing hard.

The Titans did, even if they came up short again.

Fitzpatrick threw for 402 yards, and two of his four touchdowns

came in Tennessee’s rally. With receivers Justin Hunter and Damian

Williams deactivated for violating team rules, Fitzpatrick found

Michael Preston with a 10-yard TD pass with 3:12 left and an

8-yarder with 10 seconds to go for the first scores of the

receiver’s NFL career in regulation setting up Munchak’s

decision.

Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and the rest of the Titans

wanted to go for the 2-point conversion and the win.

Munchak said Loggains’ confidence almost swayed him. The

decision to tie the game looked good as Fitzpatrick found Nate

Washington on a 33-yard pass down to the Cardinals 43.

Fitzpatrick didn’t adjust for a blitzer on the next play that

affected his throw, and Cason picked off a pass intended for

Preston.

”When you have a comeback like that, you’re not supposed to

lose,” Fitzpatrick said. ”We felt like we had things rolling

there.”

The Titans recovered an onside kick when Jackie Battle knocked

the ball away from Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald with 44

seconds left to set up the final touchdown.

They failed to recover two onside kicks last month in losing to

Jacksonville and Indianapolis, and Patrick Bailey dropped a short

kickoff to open the third quarter that Cason recovered as well.

”It has been strange the way the ball has bounced against us in

plays or plays made or plays not made,” Munchak said. ”It just

seems like we’ve been finding a different way to lose games that

we’ve had a great chance of winning.”

Arizona turned Tennessee’s mistakes into 13 points with Cason

also intercepting Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter and running it

20 yards for a touchdown in a 21-point spurt by the Cardinals to

take that 34-17 lead.

The Cardinals (9-5) won their sixth in seven games. With San

Francisco and Carolina winning, they remain a game back of both for

a NFC wild-card berth. The Cardinals visit Seattle and then host

the 49ers on Dec. 29 in the season finale.

”It’s not like the BCS,” Feely said. ”You don’t get style

points. You’ve just got to win a game and move onto the next one

and, hopefully, keep winning.”

Notes: The Cardinals went 4-0 against the AFC South with the

win, their first interconference sweep since realignment in 2002.

… Arizona improved to 3-4 on the road this season. … Cardinals

LB John Abraham had a half sack, giving him 11 1/2 for the season.

… With Hunter and Williams scratched, Kenny Britt played and

caught his first pass since Oct. 20. He finished with three catches

giving him 11 for the season.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org