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It's Not Pretty, but Titans Have Finishing Touch

November 06, 2000|From Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans just want to win, no matter how it looks.

Al Del Greco kicked his third field goal, a 29-yarder, with four seconds left as the Titans rallied for a 9-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, stretching their winning streak to eight.

"As long as we're getting the wins, we can't complain about how we're winning or by how many points we're winning by," receiver Derrick Mason said.

The Titans improved to 8-1 for the first time in franchise history by overcoming their own mistakes. It looked like they might suffer their first loss at Adelphia Coliseum, stopping themselves with a season-high 14 penalties for 115 yards.

But quarterback Steve McNair took control just in time. He connected with Mason on three passes, the biggest a 17-yard completion on fourth and eight at the Pittsburgh 42 with 2:12 remaining.

Eddie George, who rushed 34 times for 98 yards, ran up the middle 11 yards. The Titans then ran the clock down and saw Del Greco, who had missed a 24-yarder in the third quarter, clinch the victory with the field goal.

"Thank God for second chances, that's all," Del Greco said.

Tennessee has a 2 1/2-game lead over Baltimore in the AFC Central and has defeated Pittsburgh seven consecutive times.

"When you've won eight straight games, you're going to have one of these types of games," Titan Coach Jeff Fisher said. "Lucky for us, we would like to think that we have had it today,"

Kordell Stewart put the Steelers (5-4) ahead, 7-6, when he found tight end Mark Bruener across the middle for a 30-yard touchdown pass with 8:27 remaining.

The Steelers had a chance to extend their own winning streak to six when they got the ball back with 4:38 left. But they couldn't run the clock down, going three-and-out and giving the ball back less than a minute later.

"We didn't come here for consolation prizes," Pittsburgh Coach Bill Cowher said.

McNair completed 20 of 31 passes for 227 yards and added 50 yards rushing in five carries. Mason had a season-high eight catches for 92 yards.

Penalties kept McNair from having an even bigger day, wiping out 48 yards passing to tight end Frank Wycheck alone. After eight penalties in the first half, McNair tried to shake the Titans out of their doldrums with the first halftime talk of his career.

"It's very frustrating when you get this thing going, and all of a sudden you make a big play and look back and see a flag," McNair said.

Pittsburgh's defense stretched its streak to 20 quarters without giving up a touchdown. The Titans, who finished with 364 yards in total offense, failed to get into the end zone despite five consecutive trips inside the Steeler 20.

The Titans held the ball for more than 39 minutes, sacked Stewart twice and forced two turnovers.

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