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McNair, Titans Prevail in Game of Keep-Away

October 02, 2000|From Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans picked the perfect time to put together a ball-control offense.

Steve McNair passed for three touchdowns and Eddie George rushed for a touchdown Sunday as the Titans beat the New York Giants, 28-14, setting an NFL record with their 10th consecutive victory in their new stadium.

The Titans (3-1) won by controlling the ball against the Giants (3-2), who went into the game ranked second in the NFL in time of possession.

"The last couple of weeks, everyone was getting ulcers," fullback Lorenzo Neal said, referring to three previous close games. "No one said it was going to be easy, but it's good that we established some stuff and sent a message."

The Titans, who have won three in a row, held the ball for nearly 43 of the game's 60 minutes, rolled up 436 total yards and forced four turnovers.

They never trailed as they scored touchdowns on three of their first four drives, and none of the drives covered fewer than 80 yards. The best was a 19-play, 98-yard drive that consumed nearly 10 minutes of the first half.

The Giants never got the NFL's best rushing attack rolling. The unit that had averaged 163.8 yards had only one yard rushing at halftime and finished with 24 of their 215 total yards on the ground.

McNair picked up where he left off the previous week in rallying the Titans to a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, completing his first eight passes. He drove the Titans down the field on the opening possession and hooked up with Frank Wycheck on a 14-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead.

New York had its best chance to slow the Titans at the end of the first quarter when Ron Dixon downed a punt at the Tennessee two. But the Titans methodically moved down the field, converting six third downs, and George ran seven yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

McNair put the Titans up, 21-0, at halftime when he found Derrick Mason for a 29-yard touchdown pass, and his three-yard touchdown pass to Wycheck in the fourth quarter put the Titans ahead, 28-7.

Mason had with six receptions for a career-high 103 yards.

McNair completed 24 of 35 passes for 293 yards, and George had his first 100-yard rushing game this season as he finished with 125 yards in 35 carries.

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